National Public Service Campaign Targets Risky Driver and Pedestrian Behavior Near Rail Tracks in Effort to Save Lives

Federal Officials, Safety Advocates and Railroads Join Forces to Launch ‘See Tracks? Think Train!

On April 8, 2014 Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) launched a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign called See Tracks? Think Train! which aims to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks by highlighting behaviors that put people at risk. Launched with the help of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Association of American Railroads (AAR), the PSA campaign features bilingual television, radio, print and billboard advertisements aimed at educating drivers and pedestrians in the hopes of saving lives.

“Every day someone’s risky behavior around railroad tracks gets them injured or killed,” said OLI President and CEO Joyce Rose. “Our goal with this campaign is to make people think twice before doing something risky or unsafe. Ultimately it’s all about educating people and saving lives.”

“In the last two years we have experienced record-breaking safety performance along with dramatic reductions over the last decade in the number of accidents and incidents in almost every category measured, with the noted exceptions of highway-rail grade crossings and trespassing incidents.” said Joseph C. Szabo, Federal Railroad Administrator. “It is more important than ever that we educate the public about the dangers of risky behavior around trains. Increased education, enforcement and engineering can help reduce the number of rail-related fatalities.”

“Transit ridership on trains, light rail and streetcars, are at their highest levels since the 1950s. That growth carries with it a safety challenge, especially in this day and age of constant electronic distraction,” said FTA Deputy Administrator Therese W. McMillan. “We join in the chorus of voices urging people to be safe and alert whenever you’re near a train track.”

Preliminary FRA data show 908 pedestrians were injured or killed while walking on or near railroad tracks in 2013. That’s up 7.7 percent from 843 pedestrians in 2012. Additionally, 1,193 people were injured or killed at railroad grade crossings, up 1.5 percent from 1,175 in 2012. OLI has compiled the latest state and other relevant FRA data available at:

OLI’s See Tracks? Think Train! campaign highlights common risks drivers and pedestrians take each day, such as trying to beat a train at a grade crossing and walking on railroad tracks. Pedestrians and drivers often do not realize how dangerous it is to walk on or near railroad tracks, or how long it takes the average freight train to stop, said Rose. In fact, it can take a mile or more for a fully loaded train to come to a full stop, making it difficult for engineers to avoid a collision even in an emergency situation.

Education and outreach is key to saving lives, and the See Tracks? Think Train! PSAs will be supplemented with ongoing education efforts of OLI’s 50-state network of volunteers who work with the public through events at schools, with law enforcement, first responders, professional drivers and community organizations.

“It’s up to all of us to raise awareness about the dangers associated with taking risks near railroad property,” Rose said. “My hope is that See Tracks? Think Train! causes people to stay alert and make smart decisions when they are near a train.”
Visit to learn more, including infographics, and various creative executions of the PSA campaign.

Contact Operation Lifesaver, DeQuendre Bertrand, 703-739-0284, Carol Steckbeck,, 919-641-1076.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s (OLI) mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-­‐rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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UIC participates in the Conference of African Ministers of Transport (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, 7 – 11 April 2014)

Presentation of the Regional Strategic Vision
"Revitalisation of Rail in Africa: Destination 2040”

The third session of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport (CAMT), organised under the auspices of the African Union Commission (AUC), chaired by H.E. Dr. Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim, currently being held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – which currently holds the presidency – brings together African Ministers of Transport to discuss “Speeding up Transport Programme Delivery for Facilitating Africa’s Economic Growth”. The first session of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport, which took place in April 2008 in Algeria, was a historic conference that established the CAMT as a statutory conference of the African Union.

The objective of this Ministerial Conference, opened in the presence of the Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea, is to review the implementation of the various sub-sector plans of action, target specific outcomes, and identify constraints as well as new challenges to facilitate rapid implementation of transport development activities. Providing strategic direction to the AU Commission and all stakeholders on the appropriate actions to take for a coherent development of the transport sector on the continent will be also discussed.

Representatives are African Ministers responsible for Transport from all the African countries, including the Prime Minister of Guinea, Senior officials of ministries and agencies responsible for transport regulation of member states of the African Union, Heads of African regional and continental transport specialized institutions, CEOs of national authority of road, port facilities, airports and railways, African Union Commission, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Development Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, international technical organisations, regional and international financial organisations as well as various development partners.

The Conference is also attended by Commissioner, Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Dr. Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim, who signed the “Aide Memoire” in March 2010 between the African Union and UIC, strengthening cooperation in railway transport development within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the AUC and UIC in April 2007.

UIC is represented by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General, who presented the Strategic Regional Vision coordinated by UIC titled “A new Lease of Life for African Rail: Destination 2040”. During the first Keynote Speech, he said: “This strategy carried out by and for Africa is none other than the result of work led by a team of experts representing the various regions of the African continent. Three questions need to be asked: which strategy and for what purpose? What is the current situation of the African railways, and what path are we taking for 2040? […] He added: “This study ties in with the concern shared by the African railway community and which consists in working towards developing this tool to effectively contribute to the region’s sustainable and inclusive growth.

The UIC publication summarising the Strategic Regional Vision coordinated by UIC titled “A new Lease of Life for African Rail: Destination 2040” is available here:

Four objectives have been set:

  • Develop a suitably efficient African railway system which is able to adapt to changing demands and is first and foremost interoperable
  • Meet the international standards recommended by UIC, notably in terms of safety and security, operations and management
  • Harmonise and improve the conditions of creating and operating railways across the continent
  • Encourage and promote expertise and cooperation between networks within the frame of UIC.”

He continued by saying: “Rail in Africa is failing to play its role properly, its rightful role in socio-economic affairs and should therefore position itself better in the land transport market.”

He ended by saying “This work has led to the development of a model consisting of three scenarios: one intensive and optimistic trend scenario on significant prospects. As an example, and measuring in kilometres, passenger traffic could double, and that of freight traffic could increase eight-fold by 2040 based on the 2012 data. This needs the commitment of all stakeholders to implement the most suitable framework to address this issue in the best conditions. The study also showed a need to build 18,000 km of lines by 2040, which equals a cost of 36 billion dollars, and to gradually upgrade the whole existing network at a cost equivalent to 32 billion dollars. This financing need is completely in line with the results of the study conducted by PIDA (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa).

Obviously the implementation of this strategy will certainly have a significant socio-economic impact estimated at between two and seven billion dollars depending on the chosen scenario. In practical terms, and if it is limited to the intensive scenario which is in line with the PIDA programme, there is strong performance in 2040, and this is very important with regard to reducing the number of injuries by 24,000 per year, the number of deaths by 2000 per year as well as with regard to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3000 tonnes of CO2 per year. All this progress also contributes to the continent’s societal and economic benefits.”

The UIC Regional Assembly for Africa, comprising railway companies from African countries, is chaired by Mohammed Khlie, Chief Executive of Moroccan National Railways (ONCF) and groups together 22 Members.

4 Votes

Average rating: 2.75 / 5


Announcement of the 1st International Conference on Railway Standardisation (Paris, 10 June 2014)

UIC’s activities in the field of railway standardisation have naturally resulted in the organisation of the First Conference on Railway Standardisation to be held on 10 June 2014 at Paris UIC headquarters.

The concept of Standardisation is to collect experience, results, make technological choices, structure and assemble them in a coherent and efficient manner, to define and ensure minimum levels of interoperability, safety and to facilitate daily operations and service.

Standardisation at UIC was re-launched following the Beijing General Assembly in December 2010 and has passed some relevant milestones: the creation of the Standardisation Platform, the introduction of the International Railway Standards, the identification of the Clusters to reconstruct the economic and technical link between standards and real service.

The First Conference on Railway Standardisation intends to give status to the practical situation of the most important phases of railway regulations and their frames of reference – through experience and results – but it mainly wants to determine a moment of reflection on the future and a strategic collective enrichment.

The views of the various stakeholders, railway companies, manufacturers and legal representatives of legal frameworks will discuss the basic requirements set by rail transport, taking into account the results able to respond to the challenges introduced by society and by the transport market.

The conference will feature speakers of renown, high-level and competence in the four sessions and they will describe the actions and the guidelines that are more functional to the achievement of the expected step-change in the sector.
The audience will be offered a logical path in order to consider some key concepts that involve standardisation.

First of all, the original meaning of standardisation will be recovered as a cooperative and complementary expression of applicative knowledge by exploring the viewpoints of the various stakeholders; afterwards the legal implications, particularly with regard to interoperability and safety, will be depicted.

Specific emphasis will then be given to the development of the railway system and to the activation of the services: here the modalities for the financing and significant experiences of application of the standards are proposed to have some guidelines in the shaping of the standards. By comparison the effects of the not-standardisation are also considered.

After the presentations a substantial part of the conference will be reserved for answering any questions, thanks to an interactive session with the speakers.

A draft programme is available here:

For further information please contact Gianfranco Cau:

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UIC participates in Transport Research Arena “TRA 2014”, the “European capital of Transport this week” (Paris, 14 – 17 April 2014)

Following the success of the 2006 (Göteborg, Sweden), 2008 (Ljubljana, Slovenia), 2010 (Brussels, Belgium) and 2012 (Athens, Greece) TRA (Transport Research Arena) conferences, this major event dedicated to transport in Europe, supported by the European Commission, the Conference of European Road Directors, and the three European Technology Platforms: the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), and the WATERBORNE TP, is currently being held in Paris, hosted by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and IFSTTAR.

This year, the motto of the conference is “Transport Solutions: From Research to Deployment, Innovate Mobility, Mobilise Innovation”, addressing the main challenges in transport and mobility of people and goods, with respect to energy, environment, safety and security and economy issues. TRA aims to explore the most advanced research works and innovations, the latest technological and industrial developments and implementations, and innovative policies, in Europe and worldwide.
Open to researchers and academics, students, engineers, decision-makers, transport infrastructure managers and owners, construction and engineering companies, traffic operation managers, transport operators, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, ship builders, local authorities, governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations, TRA 2014 brings together over 3000 people this year.

The conference includes plenary sessions dedicated to general and policy presentations by invited keynote speakers, strategic sessions to convey policy messages and industrial key issues, scientific and technical sessions on the conference topics, where the accepted papers will be presented, either as oral or poster presentations, invited sessions to be proposed and organised by community or project leaders, submitted to the Programme Committee review and acceptance without published papers. Without forgetting 1000 m2 of exhibition allowing participants to discover the latest developments in this area.

In this context, UIC, through a stand, takes this opportunity to promote the technical expertise that can be brought to the development of research and innovation through the European framework programmes, the administrative services that can be provided through its External Funding Unit and the specialism that has been developed for the dissemination of communication materials, deliverables and the development of standards. A number of UIC technical specialists are involved in the organisation of scientific sessions, especially on infrastructure and security issues.

Daniel Bursaux, Director General for the French General Directorate Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea, representing the French Minister in charge of Transport, officially opened the conference and underlined French priorities for transport research as a major public policy in coordination with EU initiatives. Welcome Addresses were also made by Jean-Bernad Kovarik, TRA2014 Management Committee Chairman who delivered the overall welcome remarks and presented the ambitions of the 5th edition of the conference. Among them, “TRA has become increasingly multimodal since 2012. TRA is improving its role as an Arena where all the actors of the innovation chain can meet”.

TRA member organisation chairpersons had the opportunity to deliver their welcome during a round table. They included Simon Grima, Chairman of CEDR, who underlined the crucial role of TRA, with more research cooperation needed between partners; Wolfgang Steiger, Chairman of ERTRAC, who talked about the need to balance political views, industrial offers, societal needs; Joseph Doppelbauer, Chairman of ERRAC, who focused on SHIFT2Rail, the very first initiative improve mobility for millions of people, by enhancing capacity, consolidating reliability, reducing LCC; and Willem Laros, Chairman of WATERBONE TP, who presented the need to continue to develop cross cooperation on subjects of common interest such as energy consumption, safety, …
Keynote Speeches were also made by Shane Sunterland, representing Mrs Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who presented the Horizon 2020 initiative and how it aims at tackling transport issues.

Mr José Viegas, Secretary General of ITF (International Transport Forum) at the OECD presented the challenges faced by transport and, conversely, how efficient transport systems and infrastructure contribute to achieve society’s overall ambitions through a green and inclusive approach .. for a resilient society. He also added “Transport is also an instrument for peace. […]

UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who will participate in a strategic session organised on 16 April on “Rail as an Attractive and Sustainable Mode for the Future”, participated on 14 April in the TRA Opening session, presenting how the conference aims at job creation within the entire innovation chain. During this Opening session, Mr Loubinoux awarded three Young Researchers during the VISIONS TRA 2014 award ceremony. The Young Researchers presented with an award were:

  • Alessandro Nardinocchi, from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche (Marche Polytechnic University), Italy, for the subject “Self Presetressed concrete” (First Prize)
  • Sophie Damy, from Imperial College London, UK, for the subject “SPOT – Smart Positioning of Trains” (Second Prize)
  • Nedjemi Djamel Eddine Rachedi, from the University of Valenciennes, France, for the subject “Conception of driver’s risky state decision system” (Third Prize).

Presentation given by José Pires on UIC Security activities and EU projects is available here:

Posters on HRMS - Harmonisation of Running Behaviour and Noise Measurement Sites, presented at TRA by Laurent Schmitt, from the UIC Rail System Department is available here:

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ERRAC Plenary hosted at UIC HQ – 11 April 2014

New perspectives and challenges for railway research in Europe

On 11 April UIC hosted the first European Rail Research and Advisory Council (ERRAC) Plenary meeting of 2014. Some 60 delegates were present from all around Europe.
ERRAC is the European Technology Platform (ETP) for rail, the organisation that brings to¬gether all major rail stakeholders involved in European rail research and innovation developments. Its principle mission is to act as an advisory council for future research and innovation needs to the European Commission.

Mr Josef Doppelbauer, ERRAC Chairman, introduced the meeting highlighting that this is an important moment for rail research and innovation with the on-going Horizon 2020 1st call process and the final discussions occurring around the establishment of the SHIFT²RAIL Joint Undertaking (JU).

The ERRAC plenary started with the presentation of ERRAC’s new Strategic Rail Research and Innovation Agenda (SRRIA), prepared as part of the FOSTER RAIL project. The SRRIA takes the major challenges for the rail sector and identifies the research priority areas which would contribute most effectively to the achievement of an efficient, sustainable and attractive future European rail system. The document has been inspired by a range of source inputs including the EC White Paper on transport released in 2011, the Challenge 2050 vision document that was launched in February 2013, the ERRAC RailRoute 2050 document and also the contribution from the Rail Operating Community (ROC) with the recent Rail Technical Strategy Europe (RTSE) published in February 2014. There is still some fine tuning to be undertaken but then it is anticipated that the SRRIA will be officially endorsed at the next ERRAC Plenary meeting during the autumn.

The Plenary was also the opportunity for the FOSTER RAIL project coordinator, Mr Dennis Schut (UIC Research Manager), to provide an overview about the other on-going activities within the project and, especially, the preparation of the future technology roadmaps that will map the path towards how the SRRIA will be implemented.

Regarding the SHIFT²RAIL joint undertaking, Mr Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General, gave a presentation on the latest up-to-date status and the development of the Master Plan to be published by the European Commission in April 2014. Mr Citroën indicated that SHIFT²RAIL is expected to pass into the European legal framework by the end of June 2014 and could start its activities by the beginning of 2015.

The European Commission, represented by Mr Liam Breslin, head of land transport unit at DG RTD (research and innovation) and Mr Keir Fitch, head of the research unit at DG MOVE provided ERRAC members with more detailed information on the next steps regarding the development of the Horizon 2020 1st call and the SHIFT²RAIL Master Plan.

While the evaluators are reviewing the proposals submitted under the first stage of the Horizon 2020 1st call, Mr Breslin especially stressed that the Commission’s main concern is in improving the success rate in the implementation of results from European funded project in this new framework programme and to ensure the link with the future SHIFT²RAIL initiative.

On the future Joint Undertaking, Mr. Fitch assured the ERRAC members that the Master Plan will be released in April and will also be made available to the ERRAC Strategic Board, which has a dual role as the strategic advisory council to SHIFT²RAIL. A consultation of the stakeholders will also be organised between May and June 2014 prior to the final endorsement of the initiative by the European Council. Mr Fitch also confirmed the use of the RTSE by the Commission services in drafting this SHIFT²RAIL Master plan.

In a move away from the structure of previous plenary meetings, this one included a panel discussion around the subject of “Developing the future European rail system: what needs to be in place to make a real step change?" The panel was made up of colleagues from the ROC, manufacturers, academia, member states and the Commission. Led by Simon Fletcher, Coordinator Europe (UIC), it was a very interesting opportunity to test a number of points related to the role of ERRAC as a contributor to the development of the future European rail system.

Switzerland has a very central location in Europe and is therefore key to the future development of the future European rail system. ERRAC was delighted to welcome Mr Liechti, head of the section management affairs at the Swiss Federal Transport Office to present the current context in the Swiss railway policy and the role of civil society in its establishment. He informed the meeting that on 9 February 2014, Switzerland had voted on a new funding programme for railway infrastructure with a direct involvement of civil society who supported the legislative proposal by 62%.

The opportunity was taken to undertake a review of some of the successful projects carried out within the previous EC framework programme for research (FP7). Mr Otteborn, coordinator of the FOSTER RAIL WP6 presented the work being done to provide essential information and tools on the lessons learnt from the evaluation of past research projects. Mr Toubol, coordinator of the MARATHON project which demonstrated the effectiveness of operating faster, longer and heavier freight trains on European routes, presented the TIGER and MARATHON projects, both recognised as successful under the FP7 programme and addressing rail freight – a major issue of the European rail sector today for which the increasing development is a main objective of the EC White Paper on transport.

Mr Doppelbauer concluded the meeting thanking UIC for its support in the organisation of this event and invited all ERRAC members to attend the upcoming Transport Research Arena (TRA) conference to be held in Paris between 14 and 17 April 2014 where ERRAC and some of the ERRAC members will ensure the promotion of rail research and innovation.

The next ERRAC plenary meeting will be organised during autumn 2014.

More information:

Additional information:

For further information please contact François Maugère, ERRAC Secretariat, UIC Innovation Advisor: and
Téodor Gradinariu, ERRAC Secretary:

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Second UIC rail data modelling & RailML conference

The Rail Data Modelling project aims at creating the UIC Rail Topological Model as a common structure for storing railway infrastructure data. Its purpose is to provide a consistent, scalable way of representing corridors, lines, tracks, down to elementary details and equipment. Infrastructure data users include e.g. supply industry, regulatory authorities, engineering and service providers, and of course “the company-internal customers”. Responding to all needs by structuring and storing data in a single way will improve quality of exchanges, reduce expenses and fasten transactions: interoperability of data has immediate benefits.

Since legacy information systems shall remain, and others have been recently established for a special regulatory purpose (e.g. the European Register of Infrastructure, RINF), a single data exchange format is being developed in parallel, extending an existing, proven, xml-based encoding (RailML®).

The UIC conference held on 8 April brought together more than 70 participants representing over 15 countries, from infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, sector organisations, IT firms, and the European Railway Agency.

The UIC RailTopoModel, open for scrutiny since December 2013, has been demonstrated by a Topological Rail Viewer with data from RFF (France) and Infrabel (Belgium), displaying actual rail network topologies on a geographic background.

In close cooperation with the European Railway Agency, the RailML® foundation team managed to successfully upload sample RINF datasets for Jernbaneverket (Norway) Bergensbanen line and the whole French National network into the Agency servers, using the RailML® 2.2 format.

As announced by UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC will publish the finalised UIC RailTopoModel as an International Railway Standard (IRS) in 2015, together with software tools, sample datasets and other user support material.

The 3rd UIC Conference on the subject will be held on 7 and 8 October 2014 at UIC HQ.

For further information please contact Airy Magnien, Project Manager:

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InterRail passengers benefit from 25% reduction on Thello night trains

Since 1 April 2014 InterRail passengers have benefited from a 25% reduction on Thello night trains. This reduction applies to full-price adult tickets held by passengers with either an InterRail Global Pass or an InterRail One Country Pass for France or Italy. The special fare is available to pass-holders at Thello and Trenitalia (FS Italiane) points of sale.

Thello is a French-Italian railway company created out of the partnership between FS/Trenitalia and Transdev. It operates night trains travelling between France and Italy on a daily basis. Thello trains link major cities such as Paris, Milan and Venice.

In France, Thello services depart from Paris and Dijon every evening, whilst in Italy there are departures from Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Brescia and Milan. Arriving at the very heart of the city, passengers can begin sight-seeing straightaway or continue their journey in Italy using the Frecciarossa high speed rail network whose trains cover the 576km (358 miles) between Milan and Rome in under three hours.

The InterRail pass for young travellers was created in 1972 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UIC, International Union of Railways.

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Commuter and Regional Transport Services, 9 April 2014

On 9 April 2014 a meeting of the Commuter and Regional Train Services Working Group was held at PKP SA headquarters in Warsaw. The meeting was hosted by Agnieszka Gajewska, Director of the Strategy and International Cooperation Office at PKP SA and Bartłomiej Buczek, Chairman of the Group, Director of Transportation and a Board Member at PKP SKM in Tricity Ltd., a company part of the PKP Group.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of UIC: Marc Guigon (UIC), Kwon Ki Dong (UIC), Luis Casado (UIC), Takumi Ishii (UIC), and representatives of railway undertakings: Maria Magdelana Alonso (RENFE), Hans Bernhard Fiechter (BLS), Isabella Całkiewicz (PKP SA) and Michał Szarmach (PKP SKM).

Four presentations were shown during the meeting, illustrating operations of regional and agglomeration railways in Spain (Maria Magdalena Alonso), South Korea (Kwon Ki Dong), Japan (Takumi Ishii) and Poland (Bartłomiej Buczek, Michał Szarmach).

There was also discussion about the creation of a practical handbook for PSO, which aims to facilitate interaction between transport authorities and railway companies in the field of contractual practices. The preliminary draft is to be presented at the next meeting of the Group. This handbook is based on benchmarking of best practices, with legal and practical issues. This kind of handbook does not exist and the participants stated that it would be very useful, particularly in a context of liberalisation.

Moreover, the Group debated, inter alia, the issue of certain members developing reports that would describe, in an accessible and complex way, models of regional and agglomeration railways in particular countries as well as issues of regional cross-border train traffic. The aforementioned reports are supposed to provide a basis for a larger study on that matter.

The next meeting of the CRTS group will be held in Madrid on 5 June 2014.

This group is open to all UIC members, so do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to participate.

For further information, please contact Marc Guigon:

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News from UIC members

USA: Northeast Corridor is an economic engine

A new report details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter passengers, is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S. and contributes about $50 billion a year to the national economy.

The report, The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy, produced by the NEC Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission), also calculates that a loss of the NEC for a single day would cost nearly $100 million in transportation-related impacts and productivity losses.

The NEC mainline from Washington, D.C., to New York to Boston is a shared asset, used and supported by Amtrak, eight commuter rail operators and four freight railroads, and connects eight states and the District of Columbia. In addition, it connects people and businesses to world-class centers of employment, finance, education, healthcare, government, tourism and entertainment, and a variety of other economic and cultural destinations.

The report adds that the NEC carries more passengers within the NEC region than all the airlines combined and connects to the national freight rail network allowing Midwestern businesses and manufacturers to connect to east coast ports and the global economy.

“Our leaders in Washington need to read this report to understand the economic risk they are taking if they don’t act now to reverse decades of underinvestment in the aging and deteriorating infrastructure of the NEC,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

A previous report produced by the NEC Commission, Critical Infrastructure Needs on the Northeast Corridor, “recognizes that additional investment is necessary to renew and enhance the NEC as a world-class, high-performance rail corridor supporting the economic development and international competitiveness of the region and the nation.”
As a member of the NEC Commission, Amtrak has worked closely with, and appreciates the efforts of, the NEC Commission and other participating agencies, including Northeast states, and commuter and freight railroads in the creation of the report released today.

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

France: TER 2020, striking a new balance

Since responsibility for regional transport was devolved to France’s individual regions in 2002, regional mobility has enjoyed remarkable growth; with regional authorities acting as a driving force, there has been a 20% increase in service provision, whilst passenger numbers are up by 55%. Since 2002 the regions have invested in TER (Regional Express Transport), devoting over 9 billion euros to the purchase of new trains for example. The result of this is a quality service that is highly valued by its passengers, with 84% of customers saying they are happy with TER.

Punctuality is vital to the quality of service experienced by the customer, with an average of around 92% of TER trains running on time. This average has been more or less steady over the last three years and SNCF has now set itself the target of increasing this by one percentage point in comparison with 2013 figures. All those involved in planning and running TER services will have a part to play in achieving this new 93% punctuality goal. Specifically, the gradual introduction of the new RÉGIOLIS and REGIO2N trains will enable the regions to retire their worst-performing trains. These two next-generation trainsets will be rolled out in 2014 and combine the very best in technology and passenger-oriented design.

SNCF is committed to a process of decentralisation offering each French Region greater responsiveness from their local SNCF teams. The process is set to be completed by the end of the year and will result in a 12% increase in productivity over a five-year period. Structural costs will be reduced and services will be better tailored to the specific conditions in each region.

Bolstered by the ambition and investment of the regions, the commitment of SNCF’s 30 000 dedicated TER staff has helped to create a high-quality product serving the interests of communities and boosting travel within each region. New technologies are contributing too, allowing for the development of services that enhance travel and in many cases have become indispensable, such as remote purchase or access to real-time information. A notable example is “TER MOBILE”, an SNCF app aimed at TER customers.

SNCF and 20 French regions have signed an agreement for the performance of TER rail and road services in each area for a total annual sum of 2.3 billion euros.

(Source: SNCF)

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News from UIC members

Germany: DB presents encouraging results in 2013 Security Report

On 9 April, Deutsche Bahn (DB AG) presented its Security Report for 2013 in Berlin. The results were encouraging: security in trains and stations in Germany remained at a high level, much higher statistically than in other public spaces. In particular, the railway noted a significant drop in the incidence of vandalism and metal theft.
Gerd Becht, the member of the DB management board responsible for matters of security, commented that “even though we are registering successes, every criminal act on railway property is one too many”.

In 2013, the German railway police recorded some 14 600 cases of assault onboard trains and in stations. Gerd Neubeck, DB’s Chief of Security, has stressed the first-rate cooperation with the railway police saying, “the way that we collaborate in the field of public order is exemplary”. He added that “the majority of incidents occur either at weekends, with many young and heavily-inebriated people using our trains and stations, or during major events, such as football matches, festivals or demonstrations”.

(Source: DB)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Luxembourg: CFL freight activities, new 2020 business plan and 126 million euro investment

Together with its subsidiaries CFL Cargo and CFL Multimodal, CFL Group is one of Luxembourg’s key logistics players and over these last few years has strengthened its presence abroad through the creation of subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Today CFL’s freight services cover the entire logistics chain.

The group’s aim is to connect Luxembourg and its economic stakeholders to Europe’s main ports and industrial hubs, in particular thanks to the construction of a new intermodal terminal in Bettembourg-Dudelange (Luxembourg). The group is preparing to manage the transition of the railways – hitherto driven by more conventional business activities – towards increasingly multimodal activities.

At the same time the group constantly needs to improve its own competitiveness by offering efficient and innovative services, by using for example Modalohr technology and developing rail motorways.

On 31 March the Board of Directors approved the latest company business plan for 2020, along with a 126 million euro investment plan.
The plan envisages that the turnover for freight activities will double through:

  • Development of a combined train/rail motorway network from Bettembourg-Dudelange
  • The expansion of existing logistics services around the future warehouse located on the Eurohub South site (storage, rail/road transport and customs agency services)
  • The growth of conventional rail freight activities, in particular thanks to CFL Cargo’s foreign subsidiaries
  • The introduction of new added-value services on the Eurohub South site

CFL Group’s freight activities will henceforth be organised around four core areas of business: rail, logistics, infrastructure and services and will be managed by the new CFL Freight Division.

(Source: CFL Cargo)

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News from UIC members

Romania: New Director General of CFR Marfa appointed

Mr Dan Valentin Belcea was appointed on 10 April 2014 as Director General of CFR Marfă S.A. further to a corporate management selection process.

Prior to his appointment as Director General of CFR Marfa, Mr Belcea had been a member of CFR Marfa’s Board of Directors since February 2013.

Born on 30 July 1969, Mr Dan Valentin Belcea is a Romanian/American citizen and graduated in 1993 from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. Mr Belcea has an extensive experience in top management positions of important private companies (CFO of Graffiti/BBDO, CFO of CB Investment, General Manager of Prima TV, Vice-President of International Railway Systems S.A. and CEO of Protan SA).

Since CFR Marfa’s previous Director General, Mr Draghici, passed away in January 2014, the position of Acting Director General has been held by Mr Pavel Barculet, CFO, who is currently returning to his position of Chief Financial Officer of CFR Marfa S.A.

UIC expresses its warmest congratulations to Mr Belcea on his appointment and conveys its very best wishes.

(Source: CFR Marfa)

0 vote

REGISTER for 10th Training on High Speed Systems, 26 – 31 May 2014

High speed rail is not only a technical subject, but encompasses a complex reality involving various technical aspects such as infrastructure, rolling stock and operations and cross-sector issues such as financial, commercial, managerial, strategic and training aspects, each at its highest level.

The high speed rail system combines these various elements using highly sophisticated technology.
This rapidly expanding new transport mode is often described as the transport mode of the future for a number of reasons. As well as improving rail services, promoting the modern image they seek to convey and yielding greater customer satisfaction, high speed trains also play a key role in the structuring of territories and helping to create socio-economically balanced societies at world level.

This highly efficient transport mode makes significant demands in terms of investment, technology, industry, the environment and its political and social aspects, and media coverage of these various aspects is often unbalanced. This misinformation affects public opinion as well as technical staff and decision-makers.

It is in this context and in an often tense economic, political and social climate in some countries that managers must take what are in some cases historic decisions regarding transport in general and rail transport in particular.

In order to meet the many requests from its members and with their cooperation for comprehensive and unbiased information on the subject, UIC is staging a training session on high speed systems in 2014.
This 10th edition of the Training on High Speed Systems, basic level (THSS-1) will be held in the last week of May, from 26 to 31 and, in keeping with tradition, will consist of five full days of lectures completed by a technical visit.
The content of the lectures will give a global and complete overview on the High Speed world, analysing all the elements involved in a High Speed system and its implementation process.
More details at this link:

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5


Graffolution kick-off meeting (7 – 8 April 2014)

Graffolution – Awareness and prevention solutions against graffiti vandalism in public areas and transport

Theme: FP7-SEC-2013-1

Project Reference grant agreement: 608152

Duration: 03-2014 / 02-2016

As a partner of Graffolution, UIC participated in the project kick-off meeting from 7 – 8 April in Vienna. Using an innovative web-based platform, Graffolution aims at comprehensively understanding the marked increase of illegal graffiti across Europe by focusing on smart awareness and prevention solutions for all affected stakeholder groups.

UIC will be involved in several key components of the project including the collection of graffiti prevention initiatives and best practice across European railway networks. UIC will also support the demonstration of the final web platform with regard to the rail sector’s relevant stakeholder needs and expectations in the field of graffiti vandalism. Furthermore, UIC will contribute to sharing the results of this pioneering project through the UIC members’ wide information network.

The project will provide an extensive “Collaborative Knowledge Base” empowering city administrations, public transport services and law enforcement agencies across Europe to share statistics, knowledge, good practices and prevention strategies using intuitive modules and cooperation features. Additionally, the Graffolution platform will contain an interactive “Open Information Hub” addressing local communities, citizens and sprayers to strengthen public awareness and reduce illegal spraying activities, using effectual tools and visualisations.

The Graffolution initiative will promote joint approaches integrating all interest groups, including members of the sprayer communities, to reduce illegal graffiti in Europe, while positioning the issue within a global context. The created web platform will serve as a central collaborative instance against graffiti vandalism for all experts, stakeholders and citizens. The platform will be flexible and scalable to include future data sources, apps and modern strategies that support artistic expression while preserving public and private property and safety.

The Graffolution project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 608152.



1 vote

Average rating: 3 / 5


UIC delegation visits PKP-SKM (10 April 2014)

On 10 April 2014 at the invitation of PKP SKM (Szybka Kolej Miejska: Fast Urban Railway) in Tricity (Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia) (Ltd., hereinafter PKP SKM, representatives of the UIC Passenger Department Marc Guigon, Luis Casado and Kwon Ki Dong visited the headquarters of PKP SKM that is located in Gdynia.

PKP SKM is a railway undertaking that is part of the PKP Group, leading its activities in the field of agglomeration and regional passenger transport services in the province of Pomerania, in northern Poland, and is both a railway operator and infrastructure manager. During the visit, UIC representatives had the opportunity to learn about the history of the company and the way it operates. They saw, inter alia, the depot, the control command and signalling centre, and also had the opportunity to drive the newly modernised Electric Multiple Unit series EN57 AKM (see picture).

For further information please contact Marc Guigon:

0 vote

The UIC Passenger and High Speed Department is pleased to invite you to the workshop of the 50th anniversary of High Speed “50/50”

The workshop will be held at UIC Paris from 29 – 30 April (afternoon of 29 and morning of 30).

The evolution of High Speed Railways over the past 50 years and its expected development in the 50 years to come will be analysed and discussed at two round tables by railway experts from all over the world.

Free admission but registration required.

The conclusions will form the basis of the Scientific Content for the next World Congress on High Speed, WCHS’2015, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, in July 2015.

For further information please contact Inaki Barron:

0 vote

15th UIC Environment, Energy & Sustainability (EES) Platform (Paris, 9 April 2014)

The 15th UIC Environment, Energy & Sustainability (EES) Platform met at UIC HQ in Paris on 9 April 2014. UIC presented the latest sustainability activities, three proposals for opt-in 2015 and a number of items for information.

The meeting started with an introduction and welcome by Jerzy Wisniewski (UIC Fundamental Values Director) and Willy Bontinck (SNCB & Platform Chair). Following this François Maugere (UIC) announced the UIC Innovation Awards and invited Willy Bontinck to judge the category for Sustainable Development. François Maugere then presented an overview of European funded research including an update on the scope of Shift2Rail and also the UIC Consortia. It was noted that two key topics for sustainability, energy & noise will be represented as transversal themes cutting across the Shift2Rail pillars.

This was followed by a political update from Ethem Pekin of CER, covering the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, 2014 Handbook of External Costs of Transport, Rail Freight Noise Roadmap, NRMM, F-gases: COM (2012) 643, Mega Trucks, the risk of a Creosote Ban & consultation on the Introduction of a standardised carbon footprint methodology.

The next item presented by Veronica Aneris (UIC) looked at monitoring of progress towards the UIC-CER Sustainable Mobility targets and ESRS update. The four targets were reviewed (Climate Protection, Energy Efficiency, Exhaust Emissions and Noise and Vibrations) and good progress in all categories noted. It was also observed that the ERSR Methodology is approved and available to download and the new online data collection tool is already in use by 76% of members (29 out of 38 UIC European Members). It was announced that the Zero Carbon project will hold its concluding workshop in conjunction with CER on 19 May at UIC in Paris.

Nick Craven (UIC) presented an overview of the activities of the Sustainable Development Unit; this was followed by updates from the Expert Networks; Energy & CO2, Noise & Vibration, Emissions, Sustainable Mobility & Sustainable Land Use. Three new projects for opt-in 2015 were proposed and approved, which includes a series of Energy & CO2 workshops, a project looking at improving energy efficiency through managing smoother train traffic and a project on climate change adaptation (COALA). The EES unit budget for 2015 was presented and approved by the platform.

The latest information on the programme for the 2014 Energy Efficiency Day conference was presented. This major UIC conference will be jointly organised by UIC, SNCB and Infrabel and held in the historical city of Antwerp in Belgium, from 16 to 19 June 2014. The event will include two important parallel events: the 9th Eress Forum and the EU Co-Funded MERLIN project mid-term conference. The conference theme is Energy Efficiency is the best fuel to move our trains: it extends energy supplies, increases energy security, lowers CO2 emissions, improves air quality and supports sustainable economic growth. Registration is free, but participants are encouraged to sign up early to secure their place. To register and see the latest information visit the conference website

Airy Magnien (UIC) joined the meeting to present the first steps of a UIC study on the socio-economic benefit of rail, this item was followed by engaging Q&A sessions. A technical presentation on wayside monitoring of rail noise was then given by Ward Verhelst (InfraBel) before an overview of activities by the UIC Freight Department and possible areas for co-operation was presented by Miklós Kopp (UIC Freight Director).

The final item reviewed UIC global action for sustainable development. These included a side event in Warsaw at COP19, a presentation at the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in New York, a presentation on the strong environmental performance of rail to the UNECE Inland Transport Committee in Geneva. Proposals for a global rail sector climate change and modal shift challenge were presented, this will be used to highlight the benefit of investment in rail at the UN Climate Summit in September. Finaly, an outline of the Train4Paris campaign was presented, a call for members of the steering group will be issued in the coming months.

For further information please contact Nick Craven, Head of UIC Sustainable Development Unit:

3 Votes

Average rating: 2.67 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 25 April 2019 European work programme 2020 Paris
  • 25 April 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 8 May 2019 Freight Forum RCA Vienna
  • 14-16 May 2019 UIC Global FRMCS Conference Paris, UIC HQ
  • 14-16 May 2019 UIC Global FRMCS Conference Paris, UIC HQ
  • 15-17 May 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting Poznan, PL (PKP)
  • 16-18 May 2019 TopRail Forum Naples
  • 20-21 May 2019 Seminar on UIC Asia-Pacific Projects 2018-2020 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • 21-23 May 2019 UIC-ADB Asia-Pacific Railway Innovations Forum Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • 21 May 2019 Preparatory Group 94th General Assembly Paris
  • 22 May 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 22 May 2019 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 23 May 2019 27th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • 3-5 June 2019 1st Digital Conference Brussels
  • 15-16 June 2019 UIC Middle-East Regional Assembly Amman, Jordan
  • 18-20 June 2019 UIC Security Week Paris, UIC HQ
  • 24 June 2019 28th European Regional Assembly Budapest
  • 25 June 2019 Executive Board Budapest
  • 25 June 2019 94 General Assembly Budapest
  • 26 June 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting DB AG BERLIN
  • 16 September 2019 APNRTC (Asia Pacific Network of Rail Training Centres) Moscow
  • 17-20 September 2019 Best HR and training practices for Railways Moscow
  • 24-25 September 2019 Rail System Forum Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th UIC World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco
  • 16-19 October 2019 UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly Pietrarsa Napoli - Italy
  • 28-29 October 2019 28th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Tokyo, JAPAN
  • 5 November 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 5 November 2019 Freight Forum RCA Vienna
  • 6 November 2019 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 11-14 November 2019 7th NEXTSTATION Tehran
  • 20-22 November 2019 15th UIC Global Security Congress Praha, Czech Republic
  • 26 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 27 November 2019 Statistics Plenary Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 28 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 15 April 2014

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