The Corporate Partnership Board of the International Transport Forum

In the context of close relations established between UIC and the International Transport Forum (ITF), for several years now, please find below information about the Corporate Partnership Board.

Businesses are at the cutting edge of developments in a rapidly changing sector. Their foresight when it comes to future policy challenges and insights into the practical implications of policy change are extremely valuable to high-level decision-makers.

In March 2013, the International Transport Forum (ITF) member countries mandated the creation of a formal mechanism for engaging with the private sector. The Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) was created as this platform for dialogue with business.

The ITF, and the ministries it represents, invite leading companies from across the transport spectrum to join the CPB. Designed to grow over a three-year period, Partners will form a global network of some 50 companies from across all transport modes and closely related areas like energy, finance, IT, who understand the challenges to transport and want to work with policy makers to find solutions.

Information on the ITF and the Corporate Partnership Board is available below (cf. links)

  • About the International Transport Forum brochure, (which gives background information on the ITF and Corporate Partnership Board, listing their current members and the projects which are being undertaken at the moment)
  • The Corporate Partnership Board Brochure, outlining the benefits for Partners.
  • Synopsis of the Institutional and Operational Guidelines of the Corporate Partnership Board
  • CPB 2014 Thematic Project Series’ booklet, with some of the findings of the reports, with links to more of the background documents for more information. ITF presented the findings of these reports to their Transport Management Board of their 54 countries and OECD Ambassadors end of September 2014. The response was very encouraging.

http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/about_the_international_transport_forum.pdf

http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/corporate_partnership_board_thematic_projects_series_2014_.pdf

http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/cpb_-_synopsis_of_the_institutional_and_operational_guidelines.pdf

http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/cpb_brochure.pdf

For further information on the CPB and its activities, please contact: Sharon.masterson@oecd.org

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10th edition of the UIC Global Rail Security Congress held in Lisbon from 26 – 28 November

UIC was pleased to hold the 10th Edition of the UIC Global Rail Security Congress from 26 – 28 November in Lisbon, Portugal, with around 150 attendees, organised in close partnership with the Portuguese rail companies REFER, EPE e CP Comboios de Portugal.

Following the three previous editions that were mainly dedicated to the transverse topics within rail security: “Technologies” in Rome in 2011 organised in partnership with FS Group, "Human factors” in Bratislava in 2012 organised in partnership with ZSSK, “Strategies, regulations and partnerships” at Paris UIC HQ organised in partnership with SNCF, this 10th edition focused on the concept of “comprehensive rail system protection” which consists of two main topics:

  • Coherence between the rail protection policies addressing safety, security, and other hazards or risks (civil defence, civil protection, natural disasters and other disruptions).
  • Resilience of the rail systems or services: crisis management and communication.

The concept of “comprehensive rail system protection” implies that there must be an observation, understanding and effective management of the interdependencies between the railway internal and external protection sub-systems such as Railway Safety, Rail Security, Civil Protection Agents (CPAs), Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs).

The congress is designed to help attendees understand the forthcoming challenges that rail security will face in the coming years, also providing a unique opportunity to meet strategic partners and to help capitalise on new opportunities, solutions and exchange of good practices. In this edition, the congress theme is addressing a new and arising concept linked with the overall world security challenges such as the rail transport system becoming increasingly relevant within societal developments.
This 10th Edition of the Global Rail Security Congress is also particularly important due to the themes addressed and also with regard to the European framework developments on EU Internal Security Strategy for 2015-2020.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General welcomed the attendees and delivered the opening speech: “Each railway company and UIC region defines its strategy in the short, medium and long-term, but implementing this development requires our systems to be protected, against the risks and defects of internal operations, against external risks such as extreme climatic conditions and geo-physical events, against external threats due to malicious intent or harmful behaviour.

This protection consists of the concepts of safety in the traditional sense, which has always been at the core of railway professions, and the security of people and goods which has become a growing constraint. The growing complexity of our railway systems means that each of these aspects requires an increasing number of specialists, who are able to implement increasingly sophisticated technology, and develop increasingly detailed procedures – the success of which will depend on how effectively each issue is addressed. But despite these specialisations, the customer’s point of view – whether in passenger or freight traffic – is perhaps much more transversal: the customer wants transport to run smoothly, whatever the cause of disruption and those involved.

Bringing more coherence between policies or strategies regarding safety, and policies or strategies regarding security, is essential. Their main purpose is to reduce the possible causes of incidents in each of these areas and at the same time mitigate the consequences. No matter how effective our measures, there will always be incidents or accidents, and therefore one has to monitor the resiliency of our systems, the conditions in which operations are resumed following incidents, and the management of crisis situations which also include all aspects of communication with the public and the various institutional stakeholders.

Coherence and resilience: these two aspects fall within the scope of “comprehensive protection” which UIC has developed over the course of 2014. This concept has been presented on various occasions in the UIC regions of Africa, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific and which is the central focus of this 10th UIC World Security Congress.
For the future I would like to place particular emphasis on the research projects that are being conducted either within the railway sector or as part of a multi-sectoral approach. The five research projects currently underway within the security division, together with the Protectrail and Restrail projects – which ended in 2014 – cover a large area, with the characteristics and outcomes being made available periodically, such as the “Focus” brochure published for the congress.”

Mr Manuel Tomás Queiró, CP-Comboios de Portugal Chairman of the Board of Directors, spoke about the importance of both component – Safety and Security, stressed the need to have an approach coordinating efforts on both levels, and emphasised the importance of cooperation with security national bodies, which in Portugal has proven essential to minimise risks and ensure passenger safety.

Mr Rui Lopes Loureiro, REFER, EPE Chairman of the Board of Directors, delivered a Keynote Speech in which he emphasised the evident and enthusiastic participation of REFER in the organisation of the Congress, giving the opportunity to bring together so many specialists, that was only possible in the frame of UIC activities and that must be enhanced through the debates to reach some relevant conclusions referring to coherence between rail protection policies and the resilience of the rail systems and services. The exchange of experience with colleagues from foreign networks is fundamental to consolidate the ideas and actions of the future. The vision of REFER is to consider security as a culture, a service supported by technologies and procedures with a clear goal: serve our clients and society, creating a strong relation of confidence between the users and REFER.

Mr Loubinoux especially thanked Messrs. Krishna Chaudhary, Director General of the Railway Protection Force within Indian Railways and Chairman of the Security Platform since July, and Gerd Neubeck, Chief Security Officer at Deutsche Bahn and Vice-Chairman of the Platform since the same date, for their attendance. Their personal involvement in UIC work is a guarantee that an overall vision of security will be maintained as one of the fundamental values supporting UIC members and serving passenger, freight and rail system activities.

The work of the Platform working groups was highlighted and is given concrete form through the publication of the working groups’ main results, in the shape of leaflets on:

  • Human factors, technology and metal theft (last year)
  • A second leaflet on human factors and three leaflets by the group on border crossings and international corridors (November 2014)

These leaflets provide users with all the work that has been carried out, enabling everyone to benefit from the information they need for their own strategies. It ensures that the activities conducted are in line with the needs of UIC members and allows them to put forward their proposals for the future.

The two-day congress was organised around four sessions alternating between presentations and panel discussions:

  • Rail Security Information, Structure and Actors (the national and international dimension) moderated by Mr. Francisco Cardoso dos Reis (REFER,EPE)
  • Rail Comprehensive Protection - Security Coherence and Resilience, moderated by Mrs. Dora Peralta (CP, Comboios de Portugal) & Mrs. Luisa Garcia (REFER, EPE)
  • Security events impacting the rail system (at operations, economic and reputation levels) moderated by Mr. Jerzy Wisniewski (UIC)
  • Rail Comprehensive Protection – the political dimension, moderated by Mr. Iñaki Barrón de Angoiti (UIC) and the Panel discussion on Rail Comprehensive Protection - From the Concept to a Model? Moderated by Prof. Gerd Neubeck (DB Corporate Security)

Mr Sérgio Silva Monteiro, Portuguese State Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, concluded the seminar with his Keynote Speech: “Rail standardisation of procedures in Europe is not fully fletched, whereas in air space there is a single management at European level. Even if the temptation of protectionism is strong, there is a need to make sure that there is a true single rail market in procedures.

We need to try to ensure investment in signalling, telecom, safety and security, providing increasing incentives, and standardised railways will bring more passengers and goods for the rail network.

Geographically speaking, Portugal is a periferic country but central for world trade and even if Portugal had budget constraints, it honours its commitments at European Level. Besides, it is important for the country to show coherence in the plan for investment in transport and infrastructure.

For example, the current plan for the full electrification of the Portuguese rail network will decrease arrows and human intervention (consequently more safe and secure). We need to ensure stability in the future, regardless of which government is in place.

Finally, European projects in signalling, telecom, safety and security must support continued innovations and most of all helping the implementation of those in a comprehensive and coherent way.”

Attendees participated in an Emergency/Rail Security exercise at a Lisbon railway station in conjunction with the Portuguese National Public Police (PSP) & CP Comboios de Portugal with the support of REFER, EPE, during the Congress, as well as technical visits afterwards.

The Congress Final Declaration was delivered by Mr Jacques Colliard (UIC), Head of the UIC Security Division. He thanked REFER and CP for the organisation with the support of FERTAGUS, and confirmed the interest of the participants in the theme of comprehensive protection i.e. developing coherence between the policies dedicated to internal safety risks, external security risks due to geophysical events, and external security threats due to negative will from daily delinquency to terrorist acts; resilience of the rail systems and crisis management in order to manage the emergency situations and restart the service in the most appropriate way.

Emphasis was placed on the need to develop and enlarge the partnership between all the relevant stakeholders: law enforcement authorities, infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, civil protection and emergency services in order to improve the efficiency of each one by a close cooperation between all.

The presentations of the relevant actors or structures managing crisis aspects showed the need to address further the aspects of civil protection, contingency plans, to organise the sharing of experiences and best practices.

UIC was asked to include the evolution of security threats due to the use of new technologies particularly the growing importance of the cyber threats within the priorities of the UIC current and future activities.

Demands were expressed to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Security Platform to develop the activity of the current working groups by attracting new UIC members and including when possible external representatives.

The Chairman was asked to examine the opportunity of organising an event, perhaps the next UIC Security Congress, in India in 2015.

All presentations are available in the private area at http://extranet.uic.org

For more information on UIC security division, please visit www.uic.org/security

Contact Security team: security@uic.org

4 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

  

UIC / ONCF Organisation meeting in preparation for NEXT STATION 2015, 5th international conference on Railway Stations (21 – 22 October 2015 in Marrakech)

An Organisation meeting was held on 26 November at Moroccan Railways Headquarters in Rabat to set the general framework for the organisation of NEXT STATION, the 5th international conference on Railway Stations that will succeed the successful 4th edition held in October 2013 in Moscow. This Organisation meeting was attended on behalf of ONCF by Mr Said Chandid, Director of Strategy and Communications and Advisor to the UIC African Region Chairman Mohammed Rabie Khlie, Mrs Najiba Tarachte, Head of Communications and Public Relations, Mr Mohamed Chahid, Director of development of ONCF Heritage and Assets, Mr Tewik Bouarif, Passenger Commercial Department, and on behalf of UIC by Mr Inaki Barron, Director of Passenger and High Speed, chairman of the NEXT STATION conference Organising Committee, and Paul Véron, UIC Director of Communications.

The main objective consisted in fixing the organisational framework for the 5th international NEXT STATION conference that will be held from 21 – 22 October in Marrakech and distributing the responsibilities between UIC and Moroccan Railways (ONCF), as well as between the specific committees (Organising Committee and Scientific Committee).

In parallel to the Organising Committee, the Scientific Committee of the conference attended by the UIC Station Managers Global Group (SMGG) chaired by Mr Carlos Ventura (ADIF, Spain) is to start soon (by mid-December) to work with the remit to propose the overall structure of the conference (under the main theme “Stations: Designing future intermodal mobility”), themes for round tables and sessions as well as speakers.

Until mid-January 2015 the ONCF/UIC Organising Committee will decide, among others, on

  • the conference venue in Marrakech among proposals submitted,
  • the cooperation with the PCO appointed in Morocco, and distribution of responsibilities,
  • the business model of the conference (in view of finalising the agreement between UIC and ONCF),
  • the visual identity and image of the 5th NEXT STATION conference,
  • composition of the Honorary Committee,
  • the topics for the conference programme with high relevance and priority to ONCF,
  • the organisation of the exhibition and sponsoring,
    - etc.

The Organising Committee is also exploring the possibility of organising the 21st edition of CINERAIL, the international railway film festival (supported by UIC and a number of railway actors), in the same week in Marrakech, prior to the NEXT STATION conference, with a special focus on films (TV documentaries, short footage, corporate films of railway and public transport companies) dealing with railway stations.

For more information on NEXT STATION please contact at UIC: Inaki Barron, Director of Passenger and High Speed, barron@uic.org, Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor for Passenger Transport, guigon@uic.org, Paul Véron, Director of Communications, veron@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

  

Rail System Forum Steering Board, 25 November 2014 at UIC

Newly elected RSF chairman Luc Lallemand, CEO of INFRABEL, welcomed European and Asian members to his first meeting. He thanked UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, for the trust and the responsibility of becoming head of UIC’s biggest technical forum.

Close cooperation amongst the RSF Chair and the Sector Chairmen will be sought in order to confront challenges such as liberalisation, the need to improve performance while reducing costs and create more room for competition. Mr Lallemand indicated that the RSF as part of a global organisation should also focus strongly on worldwide interoperability and more simplicity in the rail system.

  • Jean-Pierre Loubinoux thanked both longstanding and new Steering Board members for their commitment and energy that they would be providing for the work on RSF projects and activities. Despite the low opt-in results obtained for project proposals in 2015 he felt positive that the proposals and ideas delivered by the Rail System Forum were good ones. UIC’s aim will be to build a strong technical organisation and to become the technical body for railways worldwide.
  • Antonio Berrios Vilallba, newly elected Energy Sector chairman from ADIF, briefly explained that careful management and sound projects in the energy sector could help railways reduce their operating costs.
  • Marco Caposciutti, newly elected Rolling Stock Sector chairman from TRENITALIA, stated that the Rolling Stock Sector would be principally working on the reduction of maintenance costs.
  • Thomas Joindot, re-elected CCS & Telecom Sector chairman from SNCF, indicated that the Signalling Sector will try to reshape project proposals which have been rejected at the 2015 opt-in by taking into account capacity, performance and cost effectiveness.
  • Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, newly elected Track & Structures Sector chairman from REFER, and Pierre-Etienne Gautier, re-elected TTI Sector chairman from SYSTRA, sent their apologies for this meeting and were represented by the Deputy Sector Coordinator, Oleg Nikolaev.
  • The RSF is careful to maintain very close cooperation with the Standardisation Platform. Thus SP Chairman, Stefano Guidi, from TRENITALIA, was invited to deliver an update on the state-of-the art of International Railway Standards and Clusters.

Rail System Department Director, Hans Günther Kersten, gave a presentation with an update on activities and events with RSD participation or RSD contribution since the last Steering Board meeting. He further presented a template for a RSF SWOT Analysis (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) which have been partly compiled by the RSF Sector Chairmen and partly by the Rail System Department (RSD). This analysis should help to determine the targets in the short, mid and long-term period for each of the five RSF Sectors. Once those targets are identified and implemented, an overall improvement of quality and performance with regard to Rail System Forum projects and activities should be expected.

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End of pallet conflict – EPAL and UIC join forces

Two years ago, two organisations had parted ways: UIC (the “EUR Pallet Exchange Group is managed by Rail Cargo Group/ÖBB on behalf of UIC) and EPAL (the European Pallet Association), formally approved by UIC in 1991. From a business perspective this was a step in the wrong direction; a well-oiled system had thus been disassembled. Under pressure and at the request of a number of economic and trade partners, UIC and EPAL agreed on a mutual acceptance of load carriers. However, the long-lasting reliability of the largest and most open pallet pool in the world is not a given.

An important step has now been taken towards optimising pallet management: the recent agreement on unrestricted exchangeability between UIC and EPAL has wiped the slate clean after two years of conflict. All companies that use pallets stand to gain from this agreement.

Legal certainty will thus be ensured through close cooperation with EPAL in the future, in particular regarding certain open points:

  • The continued existence of both organisations is of particular significance; they will carry out mutual monitoring, and together will ensure compliance with the regulations governing the pallet market. For this purpose, a suggestion was made during the negotiations to set up a joint governing body without an organisational and bureaucratic superstructure.
  • UIC and EPAL shall determine together the substance of the requisite pallet quality level, which is aimed at guaranteeing safety during pallet handling, for staff as well as for products transported by pallet.
  • To prevent the formation of a monopoly, the preservation of competition in the field of testing agencies is necessary; they will be commissioned by UIC and EPAL members and ensure compliance with pallet quality requirements.
    • Regular calls for tenders will require the testing agencies to adapt their conditions to technical and financial practices.

The renewed trust between UIC and EPAL gives UIC and all partners in the logistics chain cause for confidence in the future.

Useful information on pallets:

Where do pallets come from?

In the late 1950s, there was a boom in part load traffic – also known as packaged goods transport – on the European railways. In the 1960s, packages, boxes, kegs and the like handed over to the railways for carriage were transported in wagons individually, by means of the loading hatch. Pushcarts were useful for this purpose, but were not the right means of appreciably reducing “handwork”.

A manager at Deutsche Bahn (DB) responsible at the time for the cost-effectiveness of part load traffic worked with a transport equipment manufacturer to develop a liftable wooden base and a pallet truck.

The European Pallet and Box Pallet Pool founded by UIC in 1961

Pallets enabled packages, boxes and devices of varying sizes and weights to be grouped together for loading and transhipment, thus making it unnecessary to handle and move packaged goods individually and by hand several times, especially on long routes involving several transhipments. This development did not only make manual labour easier. Above all, transporting many individual loads grouped together on pallets up to the last transhipment station reduced loading times by 90 percent. The savings thus made in staff costs were a welcome bonus. These arguments rapidly propelled the pallet to the centre stage, revolutionising transport practices throughout Europe. A milestone in this process was the foundation of the European Pallet and Box Pallet Pool by UIC in 1961.

Today the pallet remains ubiquitous

Even nowadays, the pool pallet is unavoidable. The conventional EUR pallet, numbering around 500 million, is currently the most widely used and standardised load carrier in the world.

Most pallets are made with dried and heat-treated spruce wood. Other woods are seldom used due to their higher cost. Here are some further details: every cubic metre of wood can supply enough material for 22 pallets. Each pallet contains 78 nails, 11 boards and 9 blocks. When quality requirements are met, a pallet can bear a load of 1,500 kg for a tare weight of 25 kg. Depending on quality and use, it has a life cycle of around 1 to 10 years.

The pool pallet is relevant to practically every sector of activity. Even when a company’s own products are not carried by pool pallet, the majority of its preliminary products are delivered by means of one. The pool pallet thus has a great deal of economic significance and is unlikely to be replaced in the near and not-so-near future.

For further information, please contact:

Rail Cargo Group/ÖBB (which manages the UIC EUR Pallet Exchange Group):
Thomas Metlich, International Affairs, Coordinator EUR Pallet
Email: Thomas.Metlich@railcargo.at

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

RISEE Conference, 24 – 25 November 2014, Budapest

The RISEE Conference, held in Budapest from 24 – 25 November, was dedicated to the future of rail in this region of Europe.

Among the many speakers Mr Loubinoux was invited to deliver a keynote speech in front of the members and stakeholders, during which he highlighted the importance of the region for the future of freight development in Europe as well as between Europe and the eastern markets.

He also highlighted the need to develop the strong promotion of rail vis-à-vis the decision makers – whether politicians or financial institutions – to bring evidence of the concrete benefits of rail for societies and economies.

He also highlighted the four “Is” (the drivers) – that is access to Infrastructure, to Innovation, to Information, to Digitalisation and also to the other modes of transport in terms of intermodal complementarity, which is probably a better driver so far than intermodal competition.

0 vote
News from UIC members

Australia: Bipartisan support for level crossing safety welcomed

The TrackSAFE Foundation has welcomed the importance placed on level crossing safety by both the Victorian Coalition and Labor political parties in the lead up to the state election on 29 November.

TrackSAFE Chairman, Bob Herbert AM, said he was encouraged to see robust plans from both parties for the removal of a significant number of notoriously dangerous level crossings across the state network.

“There are thousands of near collisions between vehicles and trains at level crossings every year and each one is just seconds’ away from becoming a potential catastrophe. Both the Victorian Coalition and Labor parties must be congratulated on their proposed plans to address level crossing safety,” said Mr Herbert.

The Victorian Coalition has committed $685 million to roll out the removal of 40 level crossings and grade separations, whilst the Labor party has called for the removal of 50 dangerous level crossings under Project 10,000.

“Victoria has more level crossings than any other state in Australia and a large number of collisions and near hits. There have been 39 near hits at St Albans alone and tragically two fatalities, since its construction,” Mr Herbert continued.

“To avoid further incidents and trauma caused to everyone involved, including the train drivers, it is imperative that governments look to remove these dangerous crossings.

“Level crossing safety remains one of the rail industry’s highest safety priorities and, through TrackSAFE, has established the National Level Crossing Safety Committee to collaborate around education; enforcement; engineering; and research.

“No matter what the result of the election on Saturday, I look forward to working with the government elect on making Victoria’s road and rail networks safer for all,” Mr Herbert concluded.

(Source: ARA)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Czech Republic: Railway bridge reconstruction on the Čerčany – Skochovice line festively completed

The reconstruction of the bridge on the 9,531 km Čerčany – Skochovice line was completed on 12 November. The bridge – with a single-track non-electrified railway line – spans the Sázava River in Týnec nad Sázavou. The reconstruction was co-financed by the EU Cohesion Fund under the Operational Programme Transport. The construction’s investor was the Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC).

The two-span railway bridge built in 1896 no longer met the current railway operation requirements and had to be completely reconstructed. After reconstruction, the bridge now satisfies the required structure and loading gauge.

The reconstruction as such started in October 2012. It was carried out in difficult conditions for laying foundations in the Sázava riverbed and was being dealt with in three stages – railway superstructure, bridge reconstruction and relaying of Czech Railways – Telematika’s communication cable. After dismantling the railway superstructure, the current steel construction was removed and the middle pillar and a part of the abutments were demolished. It was followed by concrete work on new pier caps, micro-pile laying of the pillar, concrete work on foundations, shaft and pillar bearing shelf and a stone facing of the pillar shaft.

The new steel construction consisting of truss girders and an orthotropic slab was welded on the spot into a single unit, inserted into the aperture and equipped with bridge closures. The communication cable of Czech Railways – Telematika was transferred, new continuous ballast was laid as well as new railway superstructure and the bridge’s transition area. Small completion works took place during spring and summer of this year.

The project was co-financed by the European Union from its Cohesion Fund under the Operational Programme Transport with support amounting up to 77.52% of eligible costs. Domestic financing was provided by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. The construction supplier was the association of companies Chládek a Tintěra, Pardubice a.s., Porr a.s. and Mostostal Kielce S.A.

(Source: SZDC)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

China-Taiwan: TRA’s Jiji Line and Japan’s Isumi Line establish ties

Following the establishment of sisterhood ties between TRA’s CK 124 steam locomotive and Japan Rail’s Hokkaido C11 steam locomotive, between TRA’s Songshan Station and JR Matsuyama Station, and between TRA’s Pingxi Line and the Chokai Sanroku Line operated by Japan’s Yuri Kogen Railway, TRA’s Jiji Line and Japan’s Isumi Line announced on 28 October 2014 their initiative to establish twinning ties and a signing ceremony was organised accordingly. To celebrate this agreement, TRA also issued one-day trip tickets for the Jiji Line.

Isumi Railway is located in Chiba-kenin in Japan and is recognised as the renowned harbour branch line. The 26.8km line runs through various landscapes, such as spring cherry blossoms and autumn maple leaves. The Jiji Line is Taiwan’s longest railway branch line. The route not only features mountain views but also records historical heritage for the 921 earthquake. This partnership is expected to promote the tourism of both lines and further attract more travellers.

(Source: TRA)

0 vote

United States: Authority Issues Request for Qualifications to Build Third Phase of High-Speed Rail in the Central Valley

Continuing the forward momentum in constructing the nation’s first high-speed rail system, on 21 November the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design-build services for Construction Package 4 (CP 4), representing the next 30-mile phase of construction through the counties of Tulare and Kern and the cities of Wasco and Shafter.

“The Authority continues to deliver on its voter-mandated mission to build high-speed rail in California that will connect the major regions of the state through the ever-growing population centers in the Central Valley,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of the Authority. “As we have already seen with the ongoing construction work in the Central Valley, high-speed rail is creating jobs, small business opportunities and benefitting the local economies.”

Firms will have until January 30, 2015 to submit their statement of qualifications. The Authority will then review these applications and establish a shortlist of the most highly qualified firms to provide design-build services for the project. Firms will be selected based on experience, technical competency, ability to perform and other factors. The qualified firms will then be eligible to submit formal design-build proposals in 2015.

Work on CP 4 will extend approximately 30-miles through the Central Valley beginning one mile north of the Tulare/Kern County to Galpin Street north of Bakersfield. The estimated $700 to $900 million design-build contract will bring jobs to the Central Valley, an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in California and the nation. The route will also provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development.

A design-build contract means the chosen contractor must develop innovative means and methods to design the project and then construct it. This approach can lead to faster construction as the contractor is accountable for timing of design and construction work. The selected design-build firm will be responsible for all work required to design and construct the CP 4 segment in the Central Valley. The work will include construction of at-grade and aerial sections of the alignment and the relocation of 4.6 miles of existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks. This phase of construction received state and federal environmental clearances earlier this year.

The Authority is committed to small businesses playing a role in delivering the high-speed rail program. The design-build contract will include the Authority’s adopted 30 percent goal for small business participation in the work. The Authority is hosting an Industry Forum on December 5, 2014, at Bakersfield College, Forum West/101, 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305 from 9:00-12:00 p.m. This event allows interested firms to network and learn about the details and requirements of the contract, how to bid and the importance of small business participation.

(Source: CHSRA)

0 vote
News from UIC members

Innovation in rail freight BLS Cargo wins Swiss Logistics Award 2014

BLS Cargo wins the 19th Swiss Logistics Award, Switzerland’s most prestigious logistic award, with its innovative project “One locomotive – four countries”.

Since the end of 2013, BLS Cargo has been running locomotives through to Holland and Italy under the slogan “one locomotive – four countries”. The concept was developed in very close cooperation with ERS Railways. Instead of operating with different locomotives, which were formerly switched at the borders, the trains are now running across borders with just one locomotive, homologated for all four countries. The concept therefore represents a highly efficient and reliable operation from Rotterdam to Melzo: 21 hours driving, three hours for breaks, six days a week.

Under the slogan “one locomotive – four countries”, BLS Cargo was the first railway to implement a vision of the European Union with efficient and truly cross-border freight transport on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor.

GS1 Switzerland has been giving the award for new, pioneering logistic achievements since 1996. The award is given in recognition of business process solutions which are market and customer-orientated and which, when implemented, prove to generate above-average commercial success.

(Source: BLS)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

CRTS meeting in Bern

On 28 October 2014 the last meeting of the year of the Commuter and Regional Train Services Working Group was held at the headquarters of BLS in Bern. The meeting was hosted by Hans Bernhard Fiechter, Head of Service Offer Planning at BLS and was chaired by Bartłomiej Buczek (PKP SKM), chairman of the group. UIC was represented by Ignacio Barrón de Angoiti, Director of the High Speed and Passenger Department and Luis Casado Presa, Senior Advisor of this department.

The meeting started with a presentation given by the host, BLS. Mr Fiechter provided information about his company: the history, the present situation, and the future challenges. This presentation was followed by a lively discussion in which the BLS model was taken as a starting point to talk about ticketing and interoperability. Mr Antonio Jaraices (Euskotren) explained the different models of ticketing in the Basque Country, the problematic situation due to the different policies developed by the three regions of the Basque Country, and the solutions they are trying to put forward to solve this problem. Mr Zhangshang Zhao (China Academy for Railway Sciences) gave a presentation about the commuter train system in China and its limitations, and talked about the possibilities of a high-speed commuting system around Beijing or Shanghai, given the size of Chinese cities and the increasing amount of passengers. Finally, Mr Luis Casado Presa (UIC) gave a presentation about the different contracts that can be found in the European Union between public authorities and railway undertakings.

On the following day, and following the invitation extended by BLS, the group visited Lötschberg base-tunnel, which opened in 2007, and which is part of the BLS infrastructure. It started with a technical explanation of the management and traffic through the tunnel at the BLS facilities in Frutigen, followed by a visit to the tunnel itself, which is used by many regional trains coming and going from Bern and by other railway services as well.

The next meeting of the CRTS group will take place in Paris in March. The exact date will be determined in the following weeks.

For further information please contact Luis Casado: casado@uic.org

0 vote

40th anniversary of construction of the Baikal Amur Railway Mainline

UIC is very happy and proud to host the photo exhibition dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the beginning of construction of the Baikal-Amur Railway Mainline. Open to the public from 2 – 16 December 2014, the exhibition is truly pleasing to the eye and senses through its wonderful photographs depicting a line running in the extreme east part of Russia, winding through the Siberian Mountains and beautiful landscape of dense and seemingly endless forest. This exhibition underlines the human factor, by showing the joint work between international teams.

As Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General said, “the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway began in 1974 and was fully completed in 1991. It was an ambitious engineering project that would establish a permanent rail link with the Russian Far East across Siberia. Running parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway, one of its objectives was to help divert heavy freight traffic from the other existing rail lines. Developed as an international project, people from four European countries worked hand in hand with Russia in the construction of the railway. It is an international project that symbolises what UIC is promoting and developing.”

Vladimir Yakunin described the importance of this project: “The dimension of the railway line is impressive even today: its total mileage is 4287 kilometres, more than a 1000 of which run through permafrost areas and regions with high seismic activity. The route crossed 11 large rivers and 7 mountain ridges, its constructors built hundreds of major and minor bridges, laid many tunnels. More than 60 towns and settlements, and more than 200 railway stations and railway junctions can consider the beginning of this “Construction Project of the Century” to be their birthday. Only through selfless and tenacious work a nearly impossible task – the building of such a mainline – became achievable.”

He added: “Today BAM helps to solve the most important transport problems of all Siberia and the Far East of Russia, and in the near future the steel mainline will have new strategic missions. A testimony to this is the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to modernise BAM, to increase its carrying capacity and to incorporate it into the unified transport corridor between East and West.

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 2 December 2014

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