Michele Mario Elia, CEO of RFI, chaired the 13th Steering Board meeting of the UIC Rail System Forum on 29 November 2012 in Paris. He was supported by the new Rail System Director, Hans Günther Kersten, two Sector Chairmen (out of five), Joachim Mayer from DB, and Sam Berggren from Trafikverket, the chairman of SWG (Standardisation Working Group) Stefano Guidi from Trenitalia, and RCG (Research Coordination Group), Co-Chairman Bo Olsson. The members of the RSF Steering Board were reconfirmed at the RSF Plenary Session on 30 October 2012 and include five European members – ADIF, ÖBB, SBB, SZDC, TrV – one member from North America (connected via video link) – AAE – four Asian members – CR, JR-East, KORAIL, RZD – one member from the Middle East – TCDD – one member from Africa – ONCF – and a representative each from CER and EIM as well as the Chairman of the UIC Asset Management Working Group. Dr Stefan Karch was officially introduced by Chairman Elia as the successor of Paul Messmer, SBB, and thus became a new member of the RSF Steering Board.
The meeting focused on five issues:
- Preparation of Project Sheets for the RSF Leaflets to be updated in 2013.
- Report on usable and exploitable deliverables for recent, on-going projects and future projects.
- RSF Outlook & Vision document: take into consideration the contents of the five Sectors and the preparation of opt in 2013.
- Individualisation of bilateral, trilateral, etc. topics in the Forum; commitment of the Sectors.
- Possible technical contribution to Shift2Rail.
A letter will be sent to the CEOs of railway operating companies in agreement with the Sector Chairmen relating to the opt in for 2013 projects, the proposal of new UIC projects and participation in research projects.
The first ideas for project proposals for 2014 and how to improve the preparation of deliverables and disseminate results were outlined. Each RSF Sector (CCS & Operations, Energy Management, Track & Structures, Train Track Interaction, Rolling Stock) was invited to draw up a list with bilateral or trilateral problems to be tackled in the course of 2013. The goal is to decide upon a common regulatory framework through natural aggregation of other members.
A new version of the RSF outlook & Vision document will be sent to members for approval in 2013 regarding comments received from members during the RSF Plenary Session and including further contributions from the five Sectors.
The Steering Board reflected upon the proposal Shift2rail and JTI and whether rail’s participation in this research programme was advisable. It was agreed that the RSF should try to become actively involved in the Shift2Rail project.
After an updated report on the latest events by the Sector Chairmen, the Steering Board meeting concluded with the statement that the department would undertake all that was necessary to improve the presentation of deliverables, deadlines and to outline concrete steps and actions for further project proposals.
A live demonstration of both the EUTREQ (European Technical Requirements) method and the LICBWeb (Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking Website) will be given at the next RSF Steering Board meeting on 14 March 2013.