On 30 April, UIC Director General François Davenne together with Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director and Leader of the Covid-19 Task Force, participated in a webcast hosted by Global Railway Review.
Around 250 participants attended the webcast from 60 different countries all over the world.
François Davenne highlighted the work done by the UIC Covid-19 Task Force with the support and the contribution of its Members and partners.
The Task Force is composed of 60 UIC Members and 12 international partner organisations (UITP, IATA, ..).
In March, this Task Force published a Guidance for Railway stakeholders available here: https://uic.org/IMG/pdf/uic-management-of-covid-19-guidance-for-railway-stakeholders.pdf
Presenting the freight transport trends, François Davenne mentioned that the traffic will not stop between Europe and China. He added that in terms of passenger traffic, the prospect in the future will remain quite positive for the rail sector as a whole, despite the current situation.
He also presented short and medium term actions, by underlining the importance to bring people back to public transport as a priority. In terms of business continuity, he shared with participants the measures taken by the members of the Task Force such as the set up of an internal task force to monitor the evolving situation and adapt in real time their continuity plan.
Marc Guigon, Leader of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force, focused on the way to restore confidence in rail travel by insisting on the need to use a combination of measures. In terms of social distancing, he particularly mentioned the crucial role of passenger behaviour. He shared with participants some examples to respect social distancing, such as the use of stickers in railway stations.
He also highlighted the importance of communication measures and innovative digital solutions which allow customers to stay informed about the occupancy of the train, using mobile applications.
Finally, François Davenne concluded by mentioning the technological added value of FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System), 5G for Railways. He said: “It is crucial to continue the dialogue with public transport.” And then: “We need to enter a new mobility paradigm, by being more innovative.”