News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak offers more bike service on the Crescent

Traveling with bikes now more convenient

Amtrak is expanding the availability of bike service on the Crescent to provide passengers with a way to travel with their bicycles. The enhanced service is now available only at staffed stations that offer checked baggage.

The Amtrak Crescent (Trains 19 & 20) travels daily between New York City and New Orleans, with a stop in Atlanta.

Passengers will be able to hand their bikes to an Amtrak crew member, who will then hang the bike on a rack in the baggage car. The service is only available in staffed stations in New Orleans, Meridian, Miss., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Greenville, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Greensboro, N.C., Lynchburg, Va., Charlottesville, Va., Alexandria, Va., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia, Newark and New York City with advance reservation only.

Passengers checking their bikes must arrive at the station 45 minutes prior to the train departure to allow time to purchase a ticket, obtain a baggage tag, and transport the bike to the baggage car. Only standard bikes will be permitted. If equipped with large seat/saddle bags, handlebar bags or panniers, the items must be removed from the bike, consolidated, and checked or carried on the train.

Reservations are required and passengers must have a travel document (ticket) for their bikes. There is a $20 bike service fee. Passengers can reserve their bikes by selecting “add bike” when they book their train travel on, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, or by visiting any staffed ticket office.

Amtrak stations with ticketing and baggage service that currently provide boxed bike service will continue to offer this service. Standard bike policy and charges apply on trains where applicable.

(Source: Amtrak)

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Interview with Lutz Bertling, President of Bombardier Transportation

As a railway supplier, what impact does COP21 have on your strategy?

COP21 is exemplary to the fact that governments are taking climate change and environmental protection seriously. Given the high contribution of the transport segment on environmental matters, COP21 will emphasize the importance of sustainable modes of transport to respond to the challenges of global climate change – and rail transport as a real provider of e-mobility will be in the focus. The discussions at COP21 will impact transportation policies and regulations, as governments and cities are facing increased public pressure to take action. As a consequence, we expect support for a modal shift towards rail combined with incentives for all railway suppliers to continue to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Bombardier, as a global leader in rail technology, has put a clear emphasis on these two areas and has been leading the way for many years. So, I clearly see COP21 confirming and possibly accelerating our strategy.

It is indeed our utmost priority to support our customers and other stakeholders reaching global climate goals and increasing the attractiveness of rail. We are committed to delivering the most environmentally friendly mobility solutions in order to connect people while preserving our planet. We are increasingly investing in innovative and eco-friendly technologies to reach our ambitious target. This is embedded in our ECO4 initiative – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy and ecology – which aims to reduce overall energy consumption by up to 50% compared to current solutions and to lower emissions by up to 80%.

In your research and development strategy, what actions are specifically influenced by the objectives of sustainable development and climate change?

At Bombardier, we are continuously pushing the boundaries. Environmental sustainability is a competitive differentiator for us and therefore an integral part of our product development and EcoDesign approach. As mentioned earlier, we significantly invest in research and technology to implement increasingly performing eco-friendly solutions throughout the rail sector. Close collaboration along the whole value chain is needed to reach global climate goals. From the early stages of our product development, we are working closely with public authorities, cities and rail operators to fulfil their demands and provide the most eco-efficient and sustainable products. More than ever, we work hand in hand with all our stakeholders to drive the modal shift from road to rail.

We also play a key role in Railsponsible, an industry initiative focusing on sustainable procurement practices. To meet our ambitious environmental targets, we will continue to strengthen our long-term partnerships with suppliers as well as universities to foster intensive research and successful collaboration in support of our innovation strategy. Already today, more than 95% of the materials in our rail vehicles are recoverable while recyclability of our products amounts to 93%. We will continue to use renewable resources and materials that are easier to separate and disassemble for a second life, as specified in our EcoDesign approach. Let me give you a few concrete examples:

Bombardier is the driving force in developing intermodal e-mobility solutions, helping operators to eliminate CO2 emissions and reduce operating costs. Our PRIMOVE inductive charging and energy storage technology, which has been developed for trams and light rail vehicles, is now being successfully implemented in buses and is about to become a standard in the car industry.

We are also setting new standards in reducing energy consumption for locomotives. Take our multi-engine diesel locomotives. Instead of one big engine and generator, we are using four smaller ones, but we are using only as many engines in operation as needed at a certain point in time, which brings energy consumption down to a totally different level. Our highly innovative generation of TRAXX AC locomotives features both a traction battery and a support diesel engine as part of its ‘Last Mile’ capability. This innovative technology enables the locomotive to run on non-electrified sections, completely independent of catenary or the support of diesel shunting locomotives, which means greater efficiency due to time and cost savings.

With our FLEXXTronic Bogie family, we increase the capacity of existing infrastructure and reduce noise, vibration and particle emissions while ensuring 30% reduction in mass compared with a conventional bogie.

So, thinking out of the box and questioning existing concepts are essential in making gradual changes in environmental friendliness combined with economic advantages.

What cooperation do you expect from rail operators in this context to ensure the success of trains in the future?

Ensuring the success of trains in the future, or ‘The Evolution of Mobility’ as we say at Bombardier, is about innovation and technology, but also about partnership and collaboration.

Rail operators are expecting value for their money, and they all have specific needs. At Bombardier, we are committed to delivering innovative products that are based on proven platforms and can be tailored to perfectly suit the individual needs of each of our customers. We build and maintain efficient mobility solutions that lower overall lifecycle costs and offer our customers the most competitive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach. The more the customers employ a TCO approach in selecting their products for the future, the more environmentally friendly solutions will find their way into operation. Environmental friendliness and economic operations can be brought together perfectly in a TCO approach.

The future of mobility clearly needs thought leadership to properly address tomorrow’s challenges. Digitalisation will definitely help our industry to become more efficient and more eco-friendly. It requires an increased cooperation between rail operators and rail manufacturers.

For several years now, we have shifted our business proposal to rail operators from a pure train manufacturer into a solutions provider, engaging in long-term partnerships to drive together the improvements that are expected in terms of performance and eco-friendliness. Digitalisation, shared real-time access to data generated by the train in operation, and a resulting transformation of this data into information by data pattern recognition will allow us to continue to make significant progress in these areas.

Digitalisation will further allow us to move more towards automated train operation, thus increasing capacity significantly based on the existing infrastructure.

It is also key that we start our cooperation with rail operators, city planners, public authorities and other stakeholders at the earliest stages possible in order to identify and create the most sustainable mobility solutions.


Lutz Bertling has been President of Bombardier Transportation since June 2013 when he joined the company. He is also Chairman of the European Rail Industry Association UNIFE.

Prior to joining Bombardier, Mr Bertling accumulated a wealth of experience working for global aerospace and transportation businesses. Between 2006 and 2013, he held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters). Mr Bertling moved to Eurocopter in 2003 as Executive Vice President Governmental Helicopters. Before and since 1999, he has been Vice President Augsburg Plant and Aerostructure Programs in EADS’ Military Aircraft Business Unit (now part of Airbus Defence and Space).

Between 1993 and 1999, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Adtranz and DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems GmbH, today part of Bombardier Transportation, finally as Vice President System Development and Production Unit Carbody.

Mr Bertling studied Mechanical Engineering at Technical University (TU) Braunschweig, Germany. Upon completion of his studies in 1988, he joined the academic staff until he received his doctorate in 1993.

Mr Bertling is a member of the Presiding Board of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, Senator of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and a member of the Atlantik Brücke association. Furthermore he is a Chevalier of the French Légion d’Honneur, honorary professor of the Tongji University Shanghai and a fellow of the Royal British Aeronautical Society.

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UIC African Regional Assembly held in Paris on 30 November 2015

The 12th African Assembly was held at UIC HQ under the chairmanship of the CEO of Moroccan Railways Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie.

During the session, the members were informed about the results achieved throughout 2015. There were 12 principal actions foreseen and carried out. The main actions focused on the training of African managers in “safety and security” and “maintenance of the railway track” organised at the ONCF training centre. Around 40 managers from 16 African countries were trained by local and international experts in these areas. We have received very positive feedback from trainees, and so the Regional Assembly (ARA) decided to continue these activities in 2016. “Next Station”, the global event on railway stations hosted by Moroccan Railways under the patronage of His Majesty King of Morocco, was a flagship event supported by UIC this year. Over 300 participants discussed the future of railway stations, as well as the issues of connectivity, intermodality and security challenges. Against a background of innovations, the subject of new technology in the railway system was also discussed.

The members of the ARA were informed about the others actions completed in 2015 such as the participation of African members in the International Conference in Interoperability and Standardisation in Doha, Qatar; the World Congress on Rail Training in Lisbon, Portugal, the joint action during international ILCAD events and several publications including “Focus on Africa, “Appeal of Tangier” and several bilateral meetings on the Regional Presidency initiative to raise awareness among the members on the international activities conducted within the UIC African region.

For 2016 the members agreed on a budget, and underlined the needs to strengthen the Regional Representative Office in Rabat. The ambitious programme of activities for 2016 was also accepted.

At the end of the ARA session, the Sustainable Development issues were presented by the UIC team to members in view of the COP21 events such as “Train to Paris” and the COP22 to be held in Marrakech next year.

A dedicated newsletter focused on African activities was recently released and is available below:

For further information please contact Jerzy Wisniewski:

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Crossrail surface works reach halfway point

£2.3bn works to prepare the existing railway for Crossrail being delivered by Network Rail on time and to budget

Network Rail announced on 18 November 2015 that it is halfway through the delivery of the £2.3bn investment programme to improve the existing railway for the Crossrail programme.

Three quarters of the Crossrail route runs above ground on the existing rail network through outer London, Berkshire and Essex. To deliver the Crossrail service on these sections of the route, Network Rail is undertaking a £2.3bn investment programme to:

  • Add capacity on key parts of the network, including more than 30 miles of new track, the delivery of a new flyover in Hillingdon and a new diveunder tunnel beneath the railway at Acton
  • Improve 29 stations, including the delivery of more than 40 lifts, platform extensions at 16 locations to accommodate longer trains and a complete rebuild of nine stations to provide new, spacious, bright ticket halls
  • Electrify the Great Western Main Line in west London and Berkshire to allow for the introduction of new, quiet, greener and more reliable electric trains
  • Install modernised signalling systems to allow for more services to run more reliably
  • Construct new sidings to stable Crossrail trains overnight.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “These works are a vital part of delivering Crossrail, and the half way point is a real milestone in Europe’s largest infrastructure project. The vast improvements on the existing rail network go hand-in-hand with the impressive tunnelled sections. Together they will create a transformational rail link that will bring better and faster journeys for passengers across London and beyond from 2018, boosting jobs and economic growth.”

Mark Carne, Network Rail Chief Executive, said: “As part of our railway upgrade plan, we are delivering this vital component of the Crossrail programme on time and on budget. There is still a huge amount of work to do but we are on schedule to provide passengers in London and the South East with better connections, quicker, easier journeys and vastly improved stations.”

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “While much of the focus has been on the tunnels and new stations in central London, Network Rail has been working hard to make sure that the existing railway is ready for Crossrail. This crucial work on Crossrail’s surface section will deliver major benefits for passengers and help to transform many of the areas through which the route will run.”

Work carried out to date includes:

West London and Berkshire

  • The completion of the first section of the Stockley Flyover, a huge new rail bridge at the junction to Heathrow
  • The excavation of a new diveunder at Acton, a short tunnel beneath the railway to remove a bottleneck on the Great Western Main Line
  • Upgrades underway at stations to the west of London, including major overhauls at Ealing Broadway, Hayes & Harlington and West Ealing
  • Work to electrify the Great Western Main Line including the demolition and replacement of six bridges over the railway in Slough and South Bucks
  • The implementation of a new, modern signalling system between Heathrow Junction and Reading which will improve reliability and support the future operation of Crossrail and Great Western services

East London and Essex

  • At Abbey Wood, an interim station has been opened and the old station demolished. Work has begun to construct a new station and more than a mile of new track has been installed
  • Improvement works are underway at a number of stations in east London and Essex, including the provision of new lifts and longer platforms
  • Track upgrades carried out at Brentwood and Chadwell Heath will help to provide for a more reliable service for passengers

The new TfL-run Crossrail service will provide passengers across London and the South East with quicker and more reliable journeys, new trains and better stations. Crossrail will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London and help to transform many of the areas through which the route runs, creating jobs, business opportunities and driving regeneration.

About Crossrail

Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network.

The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will serve 40 stations and run more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

(Source: Network Rail)

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News from UIC members

Australia: Linking common sense Badgerys Creek Airport

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is pleased to see consideration by the Federal Government in planning to build Sydney’s second Airport at Badgerys Creek with a rail line linking to the CBD.

“The rail industry cannot stress enough the importance of including a rail line from the start of the construction of the Airport; it is critical to the future viability of the entire project. A rail plan presenting options is a common sense approach - rail is the vital link, enabling people to move in and out of the Airport safely and efficiently,” said Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association.

“It’s pleasing to see the Federal Government now considering rail options for Badgerys Creek Airport, while establishing a new partnership with the NSW Government. Government must collaborate with industry to ensure the long term viability of the Airport, namely through a robust and efficient transport system.

“The Australasian Railway Association is supportive of the construction of a second airport for Sydney to not only cater for its population, which is expected to grow by almost 6 million by 2031, but also for the millions of tourists visiting the city every year. Planning of a project of such significance must include rail options to support not only the Airport, but the surrounding growth areas,” said Mr Broad.

(Source: Australasian Railway Association)

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News from UIC members

United States: U.S. DOT announces $10 million TIGER grant for Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access in Willmar, MN

Projects target future needs in rural and urban communities nationwide

Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg announced on 13 November 2015 that the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide $10 million for the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access project in Willmar, Minn. The project is one of 39 federally funded transportation projects in 34 states selected to receive a total of nearly $500 million under the Department’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2015 program. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced project selections for this round of TIGER grants on October 29.

The Department received 627 eligible applications from 50 states and several U.S. territories, including Tribal governments, requesting 20 times the $500 million available for the program, or $10.1 billion for needed transportation projects.

“Transportation is always about the future. If we’re just fixing today’s problems, we’ll fall further and further behind. We already know that a growing population and increasing freight traffic will require our system to do more,” said Secretary Foxx. “In this round of TIGER, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future; ever safer, ever more innovative, and ever more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America.”

This TIGER grant will support construction of a direct connection between the Marshall and Morris Subdivisions of the BNSF rail network eliminating the need for seven to 10 trains daily to pull into the railyard in downtown Willmar. The project also includes a new railroad spur west of Willmar, providing rail access to the city’s industrial park. The project is the last element of a long-standing local effort to improve the quality of life of Willmar residents and open up opportunities for economic growth. The funding provided today, as well as the release earlier this month of the draft National Freight Strategic Plan available here, demonstrates the Obama Administration’s commitment to increasing and improving the movement of freight, while reducing costs and increasing economic competitiveness.

Currently trains moving north-south on the rail network must pull into the Willmar yard, reverse direction, and reposition locomotives and crews. In the process, trains create excess emissions and noise, block crossings, impede the flow of traffic in Willmar, and consume yard and mainline capacity. This project will address these problems and enhance quality of life by reducing train traffic in downtown Willmar. This investment also creates both rail capacity and operational flexibility, and enhances the efficiency of the rail network.

With this latest round of funding, TIGER continues to invest in transformative projects that will provide significant and measurable improvements over existing conditions. The awards recognize projects nationwide that will advance key transportation goals such as safety, innovation, and opportunity.

“Blocked crossings are a significant safety concern – and one we hear about frequently from the communities affected,” said Administrator Feinberg. “This grant will build the infrastructure necessary to move train traffic out of downtown and reduce blocked crossings that threaten the safety of the people who live and work in this community.”

This is the seventh TIGER round since 2009, bringing the total grant amount to $4.6 billion provided to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including 134 projects to support rural and tribal communities. Demand for the program has been overwhelming; to date, the Department of Transportation has received more than 6,700 applications requesting more than $134 billion for transportation projects across the country.

The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation legislative proposal, would keep TIGER roaring with $7.5 billion over six years for future TIGER grants.

(Source: Federal Railroad Administration)

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News from UIC members

Croatia: 10th electric multiple unit completed at Končar – Električna vozila manufacturing plant

Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure visited Končar – Električna vozila manufacturing plant, where the 10th EMU was manufactured.

The 10th electric multiple unit for regional transport was developed and manufactured at KONČAR – Električna vozila manufacturing plant. It is the last train for regional transport from the first stage of the implementation of the contract concluded between KONČAR and HŽ Putnički prijevoz. Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, inspected a new train.

On this occasion the minister said: “It is the last train from the regional train set. Ten local and intercity trains are to be delivered next. Diesel trains will be delivered subsequently. This is the project of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. HŽ Putnički prijevoz commissioned trains from a domestic manufacturer, which guarantees jobs. It will also be possible to place those trains on other markets in the future. This proves, along with statistical data, that Croatia is growing, and working hard, too.

Electric multiple units for regional transport run on the Zagreb main station-Koprivnica, Zagreb main station-Sisak-Sunja-Novska, Zagreb main station-Novska and Zagreb main station-Ogulin-Moravice route. The first train from that set went into service on 9 April. Since then, the trains have covered over 200,000 km. By the end of 2015, ten trains for regional transport will cover another approx. 800,000 km. The introduction of these new trains will mean better service for passengers.

Dražen Ratković, CEO of HŽ Putnički prijevoz, said: “I am very pleased that HŽ Putnički prijevoz acquired the 10th electric multiple units for regional transport from KONČAR – Električna vozila on this day, which will go into service in a few days. These new trains will provide our passengers with a high quality service. These new trains are reliable and the operating cost is lower. By implementing new technologies, the work performed by engine drivers and train staff is facilitated.

The train (EMU) itself and its main parts (electronic transformers, transformers, drive and electric powered towing motors) are being developed and produced by KONČAR Group branches, in collaboration with numerous Croatian and foreign companies. In compliance with the obligations arising from the contract, KONČAR is delivering two trains per month to HŽ Putnički prijevoz, and the implementation of such production dynamics confirms once again that the domestic industry is capable of carrying out even the most demanding projects.

Darinko Bago, the Chairman of the Management Board of KONČAR – Elektroindustrija, said: “This is a state-of-the-art low-floor train, which can travel at 160 km/h. The train complies with all European standards. On this day, we are showing you three trains joined together to form one train in a very simple way, which will enable the train set to carry approx. 1,200 passengers all at once. This train represents the pinnacle in technological achievement in terms of this train category.

Ivan Bahun, CEO at KONČAR – Električna vozila commented on the possibility of producing these trains on the foreign market: “The contracting process for this product is very long and it takes three to five years. So far we have established many contacts in the region and beyond. We believe that trains will be present in the market of the region for a longer period. This relies on the fact that we offer a high quality product and acceptable prices. Such production guarantees new jobs as well. Around 50 major subcontractors were engaged in this project.

Following the production of trains for regional transport at KONČAR´s plants, the production of Electric Multiple Units for local and intercity traffic continues at KONČAR’s plants. The first train from that set will be going into service at the beginning of October 2015. As a part of the first stage of the contract, 10 electric multiple units for local and intercity transport are going to be made, along with a diesel electric train that will be delivered by the end of 2015.

HŽ Putnički prijevoz concluded a contract with the company KONČAR – Električna vozila on the production of 44 new trains in January 2014, that is, 32 electric multiple units (16 for local and intercity transport and 16 for regional transport) and 12 diesel electric multiple units. The total value of acquisition is HRK 1.63bn. Trains will be going into service during the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

(Source: HZ Passenger)

2 Votes

Average rating: 2.5 / 5


Negotiators arrive in Paris by train as part of the “Train to Paris” international campaign in view of COP21

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivers a message to the railway sector

The international rail sector hands over the “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge” signed by 66 railways as an initial contribution to the COP 21 negotiation process

On 28 November several trains carrying representatives and special guests to the COP21 Climate Conference arrived in Paris from several countries including China, Mongolia, Russia and various European countries that were part of the international “Train to Paris” campaign coordinated by UIC on behalf of the worldwide railway community.

This campaign, backed by UNFCCC and UNEP, is personally supported by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who delivered a video message to the worldwide railway community, saying that:

I commend the organisers of the Train to Paris project for bringing government representatives, and business and civil society leaders to Paris using sustainable, low carbon rail transport. We have come across Asia and Europe for one common purpose: to forge a meaningful, durable agreement to limit climate change and strengthen resilience to this impact."

The “Train to Paris” campaign marks the contribution of the railway sector to the issue of climate change. This initiative is to publicly demonstrate that rail transport is a solution for a sustainable and carbon free mobility.
On the same day, a high level panel was held at the Paris headquarters of the International Union of Railways with a number of participants and speakers representing international organisations and institutions, UIC Member Railways, associations, the rail supply industry, media,...

The main aim of the event was the handing over of the “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge”, as a concrete commitment from the railway community signed by 66 railways worldwide. The Pledge was handed over by UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux to Mr Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy to the President of the French Republic for the Protection of the Planet, as an initial contribution by the railway sector, prior to the start of the negotiations of the United Nations COP21 Climate Conference.

The “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge”

COP 21 presents the rail sector with an important opportunity, to highlight rail as an energy efficient transport mode and also to demonstrate how investing in rail and increasing rail market share are an essential part of the solution to climate change.

At COP 21, UIC will build upon its success at the UN Climate Summit in 2014 where it was launched the UIC Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge. In a message to the 86th UIC General Assembly, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon applauded the contribution of UIC Members to the Climate Summit, acknowledged that sector actions can make a measurable difference and urged to accelerate efforts.

I challenge all railways, especially the major ones, to commit to reporting your progress in an open, transparent manner. The UIC’s systems are ideally placed to take this step toward creating a better future"

said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge refers to the “UIC Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge”, approved by Members in the UIC 2014 General Assembly, and presented in New York UN Climate Summit in September 2014, highlighted by Ban Ki-moon as one of the 3 “key “initiatives for transport”.

The Pledge will represent a practical step of the Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge and show the real commitment of railway companies towards the climate targets.

All technical aspects related to the effectiveness and feasibility of the Challenge have been investigated in the document “Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge – Technical Report” that can be downloaded at

Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge

On the low carbon track!

The worldwide railway community is aware that a shift towards sustainable transport is essential to achieve the internationally agreed goal of limiting climate change to a rise in average global temperature of no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

The rail sector is the most emissions efficient transport mode, but as a major transport mode we acknowledge our responsibility and that further improvement is needed. This pledge sets out ambitious but achievable goals for the sectors contribution towards the solution to climate change.

As a member of the worldwide community of railway operators and infrastructure managers, I commit to take a leading role in the actions to prevent climate change, by reducing my company’s carbon footprint and supporting a shift towards a more sustain¬able balance of transport modes.

In order to achieve this, I pledge to:

  1. reduce my company’s specific energy consumption and CO2 emission, and through this contribute to the “UIC Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge” and its global 2030/2050 targets, pre¬sented in 2014 at the UN Climate Summit;
  2. stimulate modal shift to rail in national and international markets, by working in partnership with key stakeholders;
  3. actively communicate climate friendly initiatives undertaken by my company during the year 2016 and beyond, in order to raise awareness, acceptance and recognition of the role of sustainable transport as a part of the solution to climate change;
  4. report data on my company’s specific energy consumption and CO2 emissions to UIC on a regular basis, in order to promote and demonstrate the continuous improvement of railway sector at international level.

High Level Panel on Rail as a solution to climate change

The high-level panel was welcomed by UIC Director General and was composed of speakers representing the United Nations, governments, international and European institutions, UIC Member Railways, the railway supply industry. Mrs Sharon Dijksma, Secretary of State of Infrastructure and Environment, the Netherlands, Mr Jean-Daniel Tordjman, representing International Diplomacy in France, Mr Mikil Akulov, CEO Federal Passenger Company, Russian Railways, Mr José Viégas, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, ITF, OECD, Mr. Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director, European Railway Agency, ERA, Mr Andy Doherty, ERRAC Chairman, Director Network Rail, Mr Alberto Mazzola, International Affairs Senior Vice President, FS Italian Railways, Mr Henry Marty-Gauquié, Director in France of EIB Group (European Investment Bank), Mrs Sabiha Derbel, President Director General of SNCFT (Tunisian Railways), Mr Henri Poupart-Lafarge, President of ALSTOM Transport and Member of the Board of the Supply industry UNIFE.

In his opening address, UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:

UIC born in 1922, has been involved for a quite long time in the history of climate change negotiations starting with an Earth Summit in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the COP 15 in 2009, where UIC organized the “Train to Copenhagen” and the UN Rio+20 Summit in 2012 where the UIC family broadened its commitment with the Declaration of Sustainable Mobility and finally, in 2014, appointment of UIC to UN High Level Advisory Group for Sustainable Transport and in the same year the new commitment announced by UIC at the UN Climate Summit of Low carbon transport challenge."

To finish he mentioned Montesquieu:

To be successful in life, you have to think big, to dream far, and to act quickly."

He followed by a Chinese proverb:

To get out of the dark, we just need to light up one candle."

And then

We hope that with “Train to Paris” we have modestly contributed to think, dream, act and to light up one candle in the world."

Mr Niclas Svenningsen, Head of the Sustainable United Nations (SUN) Programme at the United Nations, representing Mrs Chistiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, as a keynote speaker, said:

Christiana Figueres asked me to convey to you the spirit that she would like to bring to all of you and that we are trying to being to COP21. Today, something fantastic happened. Trains from all over Europe brought people to COP21 safely, soundly and climate neutrally. And that is a fantastic thing because Train to Paris is climate neutral, it has a zero carbon footprint, and that is a fundamental objective of COP21. One figure that we need to remember for COP21 is two – two degrees Celsius – that is what we are trying to keep climate change below."

Mr Nicolas Hulot said:

We could rest on our laurels – but the fact is that railway companies are making the commitment to sign the pledge. We can consider Paris a success already because the Heads of State will be here from tomorrow which shows the great importance of this issue. Climate is an issue that conditions all issues and I congratulate you on this commitment. Paris has paved the way for this commitment. Things are moving forward."

This panel provided an opportunity for all high level speakers to convey their messages to the worldwide railway community on how to make the most of the advantages of Rail transport for the benefit of society.

This “Train to Paris” campaign is part of long term cooperation strategy between UIC and the United Nations and its specialist bodies. This cooperation is part of UIC’s commitment and work within the UN High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport and other bodies dealing with sustainable development.

Main highlights and main messages from the several speakers are available on the Train to Paris website:

For more information, please contact the UIC Communications Department:, the Sustainable Development Unit:

5 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


ILCAD 2010 video “Just in time” awarded second at the European Road Safety Film festival “Life in the city” on 14 September 2015 in Brussels

Each year hundreds of people across Europe die in accidents at level crossings, which account for one third of all rail fatalities and 1-2% of all road deaths. On 22 June 2010, road and rail stakeholders launched the International Level Crossing Awareness Campaign (ILCAD), the first ever international campaign dedicated to reducing the number of fatalities at level crossings. ILCAD builds on the success of the first European campaign, which was implemented in 27 countries in 2009. The international version was carried out in 43 countries in 2015. Level crossings belong to both the rail and road network, but most accidents there result from misbehaviour by road users. As part of this campaign, the European Commission produced, with the support of UIC, a video clip to raise awareness of the issue

Laser Europe, “Road safety actions in Europe”, is an NGO, head of a road safety organisations network, which pursues educational, social and cultural aims. Its goal is the development of road safety through the creation and application of innovative, attractive and motivating programmes and actions. Laser Europe is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC)

The film festival, springboard for the launch of the European Mobility Week, was organised by Laser International Foundation (LIFE), under the aegis of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the European Union, the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and the partnership of PRI.
Twenty different countries were registered to take part in the 1st European Road Safety Film Festival, among them Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Benin, Canada, Congo, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxemburg, Morocco, Norway, Quebec, Spain, Switzerland, Senegal, and the Netherlands.

The event was attended by a number of prominent personalities:

  • Mr Dominique Riqué, Vice President of the European Parliament Transport Committee – Vice-Président de la Commission des Transports du Parlement européen
  • Mr Charles Piqué, President of the Parliament of the Brussels Capital Region – Président du Parlement de la Région de Bruxelles Capitale
  • Mrs Jacqueline Galant, Federal Minister of Mobility – Ministre fédérale de la Mobilité
  • Mr Maxime Prévot, Vice-President and Minister of the Walloon Government, in charge of road safety – Vice-président et Ministre du Gouvernement wallon en charge de la sécurité routière
  • Mrs Bianca Debaets, Secretary of State of the Brussels Capital Region, in charge of road safety – Secrétaire d’Etat de la Région de Bruxelles Capitale en charge de la sécurité routière
  • Mrs Luciana Iorio, President of the UNECE Road Safety Forum – Présidente du Forum de la sécurité routière de la Commission Economique pour l’Europe des Nations Unies
  • Mrs Awa Sarr, President of the UNRSC Committee on Work-Related Road Safety – Présidente du Groupe Sécurité routière en milieu professionnels du Groupe de collaboration des Nations Unies pour la sécurité routière
  • Mr Joop Goos, President of the International Road Safety Organisation – Président de la Prévention Routière Internationale
  • Ms Sophie Corret, President of the European Youth Forum for Road Safety – Présidente du Forum européen des jeunes pour la sécurité routière

The objectives of the festival are to promote the best productions, promote meetings between stakeholders in the area of road safety and facilitate the implementation of national and local programs.

We are very proud to share that the film “Save lives at level crossings” produced jointly by UIC, UNECE and BAV (Swiss Federal Office of Transport) for ILCAD 2014 is the most viewed film on the UNECE website according to UNECE. To watch the video on the UIC website visit:

ILCAD video 2015:;

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne:

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5


WCRR 2016 EXE and ORG meeting held in San Luigi, Italy from 30 September – 2 October 2015

The 11th WCRR

The 11th edition of the World Congress on Railway Research will take place in Milan, Italy from 29 May – 2 June 2016. It is being hosted and organised by Ferrovie della Stato Italiane and Trenitalia and supported by an EXE and ORG Committee, which consists of representatives of TTCI, RTRI, RSSB, DB, SNCF, the UIC and Trenitalia.

The “Marathon” meeting

One of the most time-consuming meetings took place in San Luigi in Italy, close to Siena, between 29 September and 2 October. The aim of this so-called “Marathon” meeting was to review all submitted abstracts and the ratings given by the expert evaluators, to decide on their acceptance as a full paper presentation or poster presentation or their rejection. A rejection does not always mean that the abstract is of lower quality than the others, but it does not always fit the session topic. Another issue the WCRR team had to consider was the right balance between the countries of origin. Countries ‘over-represented’ at submissions did not have to be over-represented in the programming as well. A good international and even global spread is preferred. Looking at the number of submissions: the highest number of scientific abstracts was received from Italy – which is not so surprising as it is the organising country – followed by Japan, France China, UK and Germany, but also there were excellent abstracts from Finland, Colombia, Australia, United Emirates, Iran and many other countries.

In addition to these expert evaluations, the members of the WCRR EXE Committee had also reviewed most of the abstracts in preparation for the “Marathon” meeting.

Abstract submissions and session themes

For the 11th WCRR, 936 abstracts were received from 38 countries. The 2016 WCRR programme will be built around the following theme: “Research and Innovation from Today Towards 2050”. The six main topics chosen as building blocks for the programme are: Rolling Stock, Infrastructure, Railway System, Passenger Mobility door to door, Freight Logistics, Sustainability, Economics and Policy and finally Operations and Safety.

Based on these topics, three types of sessions have been arranged: “Vision & Future’, Today’s Research’ and ‘Proof of Concept” (POC). From the 936 abstracts 312 full paper presentations were selected. 72 were chosen for ‘Vision & Future” and 240 for ‘Today’s Research’. There will be 55 POC’s – demonstrations of practical use of the results of research. Besides this, there will be 252 electronic posters, each consisting of a set of four downloadable slides containing multi-media content, which is something new for the 11th WCRR edition. Also new is the concept of the POC. These Proof of Concept sessions are much more than just paper presentations, more than ‘words’ but actual demonstrations of the practical use of results!

Depending on the number of high quality abstracts, sometimes there was more than one session needed for abstracts covering the same topic but sometimes there was a need to combine two or three topics into one interesting session.
During the three days of WCRR 2016, there will be 64 different sessions, usually eight in parallel. Besides that, there will be a good choice of highly interesting technical visits as part of the programme on 2 June. Finally the EXE Committee proposed and agreed on a list of 64 potential session chairs which will be confirmed during the next few weeks.

Combined EXE & ORG meeting

After all the “Marathon” work was completed, the WCRR EXE Committee was joined by the senior members of the ORG Committee for a joint EXE & ORG meeting on 2 October. During this meeting the ORG members were informed about the results of the work carried by the EXE Committee. Furthermore, the content of the three plenary sessions was discussed and some ideas were exchanged about the organisation and content of the opening and closing ceremonies. The plenary sessions will each have a very interesting theme and a very special character reflecting the topics to be discussed as well as in the speakers to be invited. The topics will not only be confined to rail issues but some will look ‘across the fence’.

In conclusion it can be said that the Marathon session – which had been extremely well prepared by the Italian organising committee – has led to very satisfying results which are bound to contribute to yet another very interesting World Congress on Rail Research. One small piece of advice: register while the registration fees are still in the early bird category and while there is still a large choice of hotel rooms within a short distance of the venue.

Sponsors of WCRR 2016 are still welcome and there is also still a limited number of exhibition slots available. For exhibitors of Rolling Stock there are 12 tracks available for trains, wagons and locomotives! Transportfrom Italy’s borders will organised and arranged by FS Trenitalia.

For further information please contact Dennis Schut:

Or visit

3 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


RZD International signs contract to electrify railway line in Iran

Russian Railways subsidiary RZD International signed a contract with Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) to electrify the 495 km route from Garmsar to Incheh Borun during Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran on 23 November. The contract was signed by Mr Segei Pavlov, CEO of RZD International, and Mr Mohsen Pur Seyed Agayi, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and City Planning, Chairman of the Board and CEO of RAI.

The contract is worth in excess of €1.2bn and is financed by a Russian Federation government credit allocation to the government of Iran.

The scope of the project includes the electrification of the existing 495 km railway between Garmsar and Incheboron, 203 km of which runs through the Alborz Mountains. Under the contract RZD will develop, supply, equip and construct electrification on the line which serves 32 stations and operates through 95 tunnels. RZD says the project, which will take three years to complete, will significantly increase capacity on the line and maximum speeds on certain stretches. Completion is expected to take three years.

(Source: press release, Russian Railways)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


EcoPassenger calculator widget now available for implementation on other websites

From this week, the recently re-launched version of the EcoPassenger tool contains the possibility to implement a widget on other websites. This tool is currently available in four different languages: English, French, German and Spanish. The new functionality allows UIC pages and rail members to include a basic form of the tool to perform calculations for their clients and web visitors.

This new functionality allows the tool to be included in other websites, extending the possibilities to perform calculations with EcoPassenger, showing the relevancy of the personal choices on energy consumption, carbon emissions and local air pollution.
The addresses required to implement the widgets, depending on the language, can be extracted from the four following websites:

In addition, the new version of EcoPassenger has improved usability for smart phones and tablets with a new mobile version completely compatible with all the operative systems.

UIC invites you to check the emissions of your journeys at

For further information please contact Aymeric Boniou, Webmaster:

UIC Communications Department:

Or Gabriel Castañares Hernández, Senior Advisor on Energy and CO2:

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.75 / 5


Message of thanks from the “Train to Paris” team

Last Saturday, “Train to Paris” climaxed at UIC HQ and throughout Europe as trains arrived bringing delegations to the COP21 negotiations.

Numerous stakeholders have been involved and UIC would like to thank in particular the organisational team, the UIC staff, speakers involved in the high-level event discussions, our sponsors ERA and UNIFE.
This campaign would not have been possible without the support and hard work of the railways involved: DB, NS, Thalys, FS, CP, RZD as well as major French transport actors, SNCF and RATP.

The high-level event at UIC was a success thanks to the contribution of various providers: Mahola, Digital Essence, Images Pro, EV Corp, Antoine Jézéquel et Philippe Fraysseix, Julie Boileau, Marc Fauvelle, Axiom-Graphic, Arum, Thierry Marx and Cuisine mode d’emploi, the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower hotel.

Special thanks to our media partners and journalists: Neoplanète, Eurailmag, Jura, la Vie du Rail, Minirex AG, Railway Gazette international, Railway Pro, The RZD partner international, The Verb, Think railways, Via Libre, For Jernbane, Valeurs vertes, IRJ, as well as Pierre Tessier who embarked on the Transsiberian journey.

We wish the COP21 negotiations every success and take this opportunity to express our deepest thanks to UNFCCC and UNEP for their role in this campaign that continues with COP21 and beyond. We wish to continue acting together in the future, to promote rail as a one of the solutions to fight climate change.

Let’s continue our journey, let’s build a more sustainable future! On the low carbon track!

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 3 September 2019 UIC Asia-Pacific Preparatory Meeting (Web Conference) UIC HQ, Paris
  • 11-12 September 2019 TEG Plenary Meeting Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 12 September 2019 European Management committee Assistants
  • 17-19 September 2019 UIC PoSE Meeting Vienna
  • 17 September 2019 Plenary meeting and Standardisation international Conf Paris UIC
  • 23-28 September 2019 UIC-KORAIL Training Session 2019 on Railway Accessibility for the Public Seoul, Korea
  • 24-25 September 2019 Rail System Forum Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 27 September 2019 UIC Asia-Pacific Preparatory Meeting (Web Conference) UIC HQ, Paris
  • 30 September 2019 UIC security platform - Steering committee Warsaw, Poland
  • 3-4 October 2019 UIC Digital Days Paris
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th UIC World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco
  • 16-19 October 2019 UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly Rome- Italy
  • 28-29 October 2019 28th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Tokyo, JAPAN
  • 28 October 2019 - 1 November 2019 WCRR 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
  • 6 November 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 6 November 2019 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2019 95th General Assembly Preparatory Group Paris
  • 11-14 November 2019 7th NEXTSTATION Tehran
  • 12 November 2019 TTI Sector Meeting Paris, UIC HQ
  • 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
  • 10 December 2019 European Management committee Paris
  • 10 December 2019 29 European Regional Assembly Paris
  • 11 December 2019 Executive Board Paris
  • 11 December 2019 95th General Assembly Paris
  • 23-24 April 2020 Talent and Expertise Development Platform Valencia, Spain
  • 2-5 June 2020 6th UIC Security Week Paris, UIC HQ
  • 25-28 November 2020 16th UIC Global Security Congress Vienna, Austria

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 1 December 2015

  Contact the UIC e-News team