On 15 and 16 January the members of WCRR – World Congress on rail research met in Rome at the headquarters of Italian Railways (FSI) for the third WCRR EXE meeting followed by a combined ORG & EXE Committee meeting. The meeting was hosted by the WCRR 2016 organisers Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Trenitalia.
The meetings were planned in preparation for the 11th WCRR conference which will be held from 29 May until 2 June in Milan, Italy at the modern and spacious Stella Polare Congress Centre – Fiera Milano.
This conference presents an opportunity for the international community of railway companies, researchers and other interested stakeholders to come together to share knowledge and experiences. Railway research and innovation, that involves operators, infrastructure managers and industry planners, relates not just to technical areas, but all processes needed to build and offer a higher-capacity, better-performing and more cost-effective railway service to customers. All the founding members were represented, including UIC. Items featured on the agenda included:
• The WCRR 2016 project plan which includes among others all dates for meetings and deadlines. The WCRR programme outline: the number of sessions per day and the programme set-up was proposed, explained and discussed. It includes three plenary sessions and two Future & Vision sessions. There will be a maximum of 32 oral session presentations, no more than eight in parallel etc. There will also be 160 “electronic posters” on each of the eight so-called “totems” where each of the posters can be viewed on demand through a big interactive touch screen. In addition there will 20 desks for 20 different “proof of concepts”. See the draft programme online for more information. The final programme will be online by early April 2015. Pre-registration will be possible by 1 May.
• Besides the programming details, many other issues were discussed, such as the registration, fees and accommodation, the sponsorship schemes which offer many possibilities to interested sponsors. Even the welcome reception (in the national museum of science & technology – in a former convent – which includes a splendid railway pavilion!) can be sponsored and sponsors will also be able to speak: a good opportunity for promotion and networking! There will be a very affordable rate for students!
• Other issues on the agenda were: the WCRR 2016 website demonstration, the international marketing strategy, a sponsorship and exhibition update, the proposal for the location of the welcome reception and gala dinner ( in the former Royal Palace Villa Royale in Monza) as well as the ideas for the technical visits and the accompanying persons programme proposal. Many interesting options will be on offer!
• Exhibition space is available and can be booked from now. Space can be rented by the square metre as well as by “shell” with measurements such as 2 x 3 metres or 3 x 3 metres. Companies interested in being represented at this important global rail event should inquire about prices and options.