News from UIC members
  

Amtrak narrows the search for a Chicago Master Developer

Strong response to Request for Qualifications leads to four teams

Amtrak has narrowed the field to four teams that will compete to be selected as Master Developer for commercial elements of Chicago Union Station (CUS) and other neighboring properties, all owned by Amtrak.

Several firms responded to a Request for Qualification (RFQ) and those who are “short-listed” are the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Chicago Union Station Partners: Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty, Ltd, Golub & Company LLC, and Walsh Investors, LLC. Primary General Contractor: Walsh Construction Company II, LLC; Master Plan and Architect: Gensler Architecture, Planning & Design P.C.; Engineering: Arup; Operations & Maintenance: Golub & Company LLC.
  • JLL Consortium: Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., John Buck Company Fund V, Chicago Union Station Development Company, LLC, LaSalle Investment Management, Inc.; Design & Engineering: Pelli Clarke Pelli, Arup, Studio Gang; Operations & Maintenance: John Buck Co.; Property Management: Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc.
  • Riverside: Riverside Investment & Development; Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Rail Operations Interface Manager & Civil Engineer: WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff; Construction Management: Clark Construction Group; Operations, Maintenance & Retail Concession Manager: CBRE Inc.; MEP and Technology Engineer: ESD Global.
  • Sterling Bay LLC: SB Capital Partners II, LP, SBCP II Qualified Purchasers, LP; Design–Build Contractor: James McHugh Construction Co.; Design & Engineering: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Operations & Maintenance: Sterling Bay LLC.

The Amtrak-owned area within the RFQ is 14.07 acres, which includes 613,075 square feet of total land area and 1,328,804 total square feet of building area, in addition to 1,679 parking spaces and approximately 3,000,000 total buildable square feet of excess air-rights.

Amtrak leaders, working closely with the City of Chicago, Metra commuter rail and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), assisted by KPMG, reviewed the RFQ’s to select those teams considered capable of all aspects of project delivery including an implementable Master Development Plan, design, construction, financing the potential operation and maintenance of non-rail assets, as well as identification of expansion opportunities and commercial development in the surrounding West Loop neighborhood.

“We are excited to be a step closer to securing a master developer to assist us in realizing the full potential of Chicago Union Station and our other Chicago properties,” said Bart Bush, Amtrak Vice President, Asset and Real Estate Development. “The firms selected to advance to the next phase of the process represent some of the best developers in the business, complete with the financial capacity to dream big for Amtrak and the city of Chicago.”

“By transforming Union Station into a modern transit hub we are creating economic opportunities that will reach every part of the city of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Today we are taking a major step that will move this transformation forward and help Chicago continue to grow and succeed in the 21st-century economy with 21st-century infrastructure.”

“We look forward to working with our partners at Chicago Union Station to review each proposal and choose the right developer to transform this historic facility for the benefit of Chicago and Metra customers,” said Don Orseno, Metra Executive Director/CEO.

“The RTA is proud to be a partner in this work to return this iconic landmark to its original glory,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director. “Further, as a daily Metra rider, and frequent user of Union Station, I personally understand how these improvements will benefit regional public transportation riders every day.”

Eleven months ago, Amtrak sought local, regional and national developers interested in the opportunity to redevelop the Amtrak-owned station and surrounding land parcels, as well as improvements to both passenger and employee facilities. Industry response helped to craft the RFQ, with responses submitted in July. The next step in the process will be a Request for Proposals from the four teams, with a Master Developer decision by Amtrak this winter.

The designated developer must harmonize commercial development with growing passenger volumes at CUS that are being addressed in a Master Plan, the first phase of which is underway, as well as integrate successfully with the surrounding West Loop neighborhood. The Master Developer will also engage the community and incorporate feedback from West Loop stakeholders into any development plan.

This Master Development process is part of a larger corporate program to leverage the substantial Amtrak asset portfolio.

(Source: Amtrak)

2 Votes

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members
  

China: Track-laying for Shaanxi Section of Xi’an-Chengdu passenger-dedicated line begins

At 9:00 on 1 September 2016, the first set of 500-metre long rail was laid on the track slab on Hanjiang River Grand Bridge of Xi’an-Chengdu PDL (passenger-dedicated line), marking the official launch of track laying for Shaanxi Section of the PDL.

Engineering tasks for the section includes track-laying for 670-kilometre main line and 14.24-kilometre station tracks, and laying of 36 sets of turnouts. Tracks will be laid in 32 tunnels, including Qinling Tianhuashan Double-Track Tunnel, currently the longest high-speed railway double-track tunnel in Asia. Also, tracks will be laid on a 61.53-kilometre continuous downgrade with a gradient of 25‰. Track-laying for the section is therefore extremely difficult.

(Source: Chinese Railways)

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members
  

China/Germany: DB Cargo and Chinese city of Hefei to collaborate on rail transports from China to Germany

Memorandum of understanding signed • Initial weekly freight train from Hefei to Hamburg • Service to start in October

At the beginning of September, DB Cargo and the Hefei municipal government signed a memorandum of understanding. Both partners pledge to initiate rail freight transport from Hefei to Hamburg and then expand operations along the route. The initial plan foresees one train per week starting at the beginning of October.

Dr Jürgen Wilder, CEO of DB Cargo, said, “We are thrilled that we can continue to expand rail transport with Hefei along the traditional Silk Road route. The constantly rising transport volumes of the trans-Eurasian land bridge demonstrate that railway has established itself as a competitive alternative to other modes of freight transport. I firmly believe that more customers will use rail services to transport their goods to and from China in the future.”

Running via Dostyk in Kazakhstan, Moscow and Warsaw, the route to Germany covers a total of 10,600 km and each freight train requires 15 days to complete the trip. Due to its nodal position in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, Hefei is a freight hub for customers from eastern and southern Chinese regions. Freight is varied, including goods such as photovoltaic components, computers and textiles. The transport is organised by Trans Eurasia Logistics, a joint venture between Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways. Trans Eurasia Logistics has been offering viable train connections between Europe and a host of Chinese regions for several years.

Hefei’s municipal government wants the undertaking to be its contribution to Beijing’s Silk Road project of One Belt – One Road. China intends to use the project as an opportunity to shape infrastructure activities in other countries and thus play an active role in over 65 different national markets.

(Source: DB Cargo)

4 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Russia: RZD Holding, Gazprombank and MasterCard implement joint project for students

The Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, has signed a cooperation agreement with Gazprombank as part of the RZD Bonus development programme.
The aim of the joint project is to attract students to the programme by issuing special bank cards using the MasterCard payment system and contactless payment technology.
This is the first banking product for students in Russia and no similar scheme currently exists in the country.

Student cardholders can take advantage of a year-round 25% discount for travel in compartment carriages of the Federal Passenger Company on domestic routes.
Gazprombank has already started making available cards under the “payroll” (campus) contracts concluded between educational institutions and Gazprombank. The cards are issued by the students’ educational institutions.

The card design uses standardised elements from the International Student Identity Card, better known as ISIC, which ensures its recognition throughout the world and guarantees the provision of benefits and discounts for students in the ISIC programme. These include several thousand offers in Russia and abroad, such as discounts for training, leisure, air travel, hotel accommodation and cafe visits, free access to museums, theatres and cultural centres all over the world and much more besides.

The RZD Bonus loyalty programme began in July 2012 and allows passengers to earn points for travel on trains and in carriages of the Federal Passenger Company and Sapsan and Allegro trains. More than 1.9 million people are registered in the programme. According to forecasts, the number of participants will exceed 2 million by the end of 2016.

In December 2015, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Federal Passenger Company, the Professional Union of Public Education and Science Workers of the Russian Federation and the Russian Union of Rectors.

Thanks to this agreement, students and graduates of more than 300 Russian higher educational institutions taking part in the RZD Bonus programme are now able to obtain a 25% discount for travel in the compartment carriages of Federal Passenger Company trains on domestic routes.

At present, more than 35,000 students and graduates are registered in the programme and eligible for discounts.

To obtain a discount, students must undergo an identification procedure at their educational institution. Thanks to an agreement with Gazprombank, all students studying at educational institutions with which Gazprombank has an agreement on issuing student cards automatically receive discount.

In the future, the loyalty programme intends to expand the list of privileges for members of RZD Bonus, as well as develop the partner network, which now includes more than 20 companies offering discounts to the programme participants, such as hotels, banks, theatres, restaurants and tour companies.

RZD Bonus was declared the winner of the Russia Loyalty Awards in the category Best Loyalty Programme of a Transport Company in 2015 and 2016 organised by the National Competition for Marketing Loyalty.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the world’s largest community of students and combines a card system and a loyalty programme. The International Student Identity Card is the only certificate that confirms student status at international level.
The ISIC project has been officially approved by UNESCO. The cards are recognised by national governments and ministries of education, universities, educational institutions and student organisations in various countries.
Cardholders have access to special offers for students, such as special air fares, privileges in museums, theatres and cultural centres and discount stores, restaurants and hotels. More than 42,000 discounts and special offers are available to ISIC Card Holders all over the world.
The ISIC Partner Network is being active developed in Russia.
The ISIC programme has been operating all over the world since 1953.

(Source: RZD)

3 Votes

Average rating: 2.67 / 5

Reporting
  

International Heavy Haul Association Board meeting held from 7 – 9 September 2016 in Beijing

The International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Board meeting took place from 7 – 9 September 2016 in Beijing and Datong in China.

The host, director of the China Railway Society Mr Ma Fuhai, welcomed the representatives, directors and officers from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Russia, US and South Africa. UIC as an associate member was represented by project manager Bernard Schmitt.

The plenary board meeting tackled various issues such as:

  • Comprehensive feedback from IHHA Perth 2015, which was a successful conference with approximately 1000 participants in five parallel workshops.
  • The next IHHA conference in 2017 will take place in Johannesburg from 5 – 7 September.
  • Set up of a technology and implementation advisory group (leader Transnet, Indian Railways, Cars and UIC).
  • Presentation of the UIC Heavy haul and long train platform, chaired by Oleg Nazarov VNIIZhT.
  • Current status and development by the members.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to the visit of the Daqin line and its yard in Datong.

This heavy haul electrified double track line from 660 km serves as a major conduit for moving coal produced in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia to Qinhuangdao, China’s largest coal-exporting seaport

With an average of 97 trains/day, a wagon fleet of 40,000 wagons (25 T axle load) and 270 locomotives (latest models HXD1 and HXD2, with 9.6 MW and 10 MW power output) is a world leader regarding capacity management and volume.

This line constructed in the late 1980s only, through continuous upgrade (75 kg/m rails, wagons with 100T capacity and top speed, longer trains and stronger locomotives, radio operation and centralised traffic control, automatic train inspection) carries more coal than any other rail line with 400MT/year!

For further information please contact Bernard Schmitt: schmitt@uic.org

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Kazakhstan: Operational locomotive depot opens rest house in Mangystau for locomotive crews

A new rest house for locomotive crews has opened in Mangystau, Kazakhstan for drivers and their assistants. There is a room with ten beds, a shower, dining room and WC.

Following structural reorganisation – the integration of JSC “Locomotive service centre” and JSC “Locomotive” – the building was renovated and opened a rest house for locomotive crews.

“Holiday homes are intended to ensure proper rest, nutrition and functional rehabilitation of locomotive brigades of workers while waiting for the return trip and complete rest is the key to traffic safety”, said the chairman of the Trade Union Committee of Mangystau operational locomotive depot Abilseit Nabihanov.

According to him, the rest houses for locomotive crews will be improved in future at the Beineu and Say-Utes stations, where there are plans to open gyms.

(Source: KTZ)

2 Votes

Average rating: 1 / 5

Reporting
  

UIC attends European Shippers Council (ESC) workshop on rail freight competitiveness and attractiveness

The European Shippers Council organised a workshop on Rail freight competitiveness and attractiveness on 14 September as part of its first Railway Transport Council Shippers Day.

This workshop brought together shippers (Renault, Total, Nestlé etc.), the sector association members of the ESC, railway undertakings and rail associations. UIC was represented by Mrs Sandra Géhénot, Senior Freight Advisor.

The workshop aim was to help shippers and railway undertakings better understand their respective needs and constraints in order to identify practical ways of increasing rail freight’s competitiveness and attractiveness for shippers.

The message from the shippers was clear: “We need rail but competitive rail”.

To kick start this first workshop, participants brainstormed on two core themes:

  • Cost competitiveness: How to increase rail freight’s competitiveness through reduction of costs?
  • Capacity and flexibility: How to increase available capacity on the rail network and the quality of capacity reserved for freight trains, while increasing flexibility?

Various aspects of rail were discussed and explained. These ranged from cost factors such as track access charges or last mile operation to more operational issues such as possibilities to bundle freight in order to optimise capacity and resources.

The issues of reliability and flexibility also featured high on the agenda and participants engaged in a concrete discussion on the need for increased flexibility towards the entire booking process.

The next steps will focus on identifying concrete joint action to progress priorities.

All participants warmly thanked Pauline Bastidon, Head of European Policy at FTA, who led this initiative.

For further information please contact Sandra Géhénot: gehenot@uic.org

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members
  

SNCF offers a pre-launch glimpse of the TGV Océane

On Wednesday 14 September 2016, SNCF Executive Board Chairman Guillaume Pepy unveiled the new interiors of the TGV Océane at Paris-Montparnasse Vaugirard station, accompanied by SNCF Voyageurs CEO Florence Parly and Voyages SNCF Managing Director Rachel Picard.

The new TGV Océane has a total of 556 seats, 158 in first class and 398 in standard - 22% more than a TGV Atlantique - and a maximum speed of 320 km/h.
The new seats in both first and standard class have been designed to meet our travellers’ changing needs and habits, whatever their shape and size, and offer a cosy, secluded space in which to travel.
The first thing that strikes the traveller upon boarding the swish new trains is the lighting, which has been revamped for a natural, restful ambiance. Meanwhile, warm, muted colours and materials such as wood and leather round off the mellow, welcoming atmosphere, making comfort a reality at all levels: visual, thermal, acoustic, and physical.

There is greater customer focus in the shape of new onboard services:

  • Revamped under-seat luggage space allows travellers to keep cases or bags close at hand.
  • New bicycle facility accommodating up to two travellers plus bicycle.
  • Dedicated nursery (baby-changing) area.
  • Improved access for passengers with reduced mobility: four wheelchair spaces (two transferrable), each equipped with a call button to summon assistance if need be.
  • Waste separation bins for travellers to dispose of and recycle rubbish.
  • Wi-Fi will be available on the new trains from 2017. A contract has been signed with Orange to fit all TGV Océane trains with a next-generation onboard fibre-optic backbone and lineside 4G coverage. Customers will be able to use the internet for free by connecting to “Wi-Fi SNCF”.
  • The bar area has been restyled using natural light wood, creating an attractive setting which makes the traveller want to linger.
  • The onboard passenger information system will display on-screen details of the journey in real time, both in normal circumstances (stops, speed, travel time remaining) and in disrupted situations (causes and consequences of the disruption).
  • Moreover, an “information point” with two seats will be available for customers to consult the train manager during the journey.

Four trainsets are planned to be delivered by December 2016. The first TGV Océane trainset will begin operating to Bordeaux and Toulouse as of 11 December 2016, with the fleet growing gradually thereafter to a total of 17 trainsets by 2 July 2017, when the new high speed line opens for service. 33 trainsets are planned by the end of 2018, with the fleet growing to 40 trainsets by the end of 2019 (with SNCF providing 1.2 billion euros in financing).

(Source: SNCF)

5 Votes

Average rating: 4.8 / 5

Promoting
  

International Next Station Conference (Madrid, 19 – 20 October 2017): Benefit from the latest developments in the Railway Station field

From 19 – 20 October 2017, the Spanish Rail Infrastructure Manager, Adif, together with the International Union of Railways, UIC, will be hosting in Madrid the 6th edition of the UIC NextStation conference, the global reference for leaders and decision-makers to share the latest experiences and best practices regarding the design, financing and operation of railway stations.

The 6th NextStation conference will tackle the key issues under the main theme “Smart Stations in Smart Cities”. The latest developments applicable to railway stations design and operation and also the integration of the station in the city will be presented by high-level speakers, including decision-makers, representatives of leading industries as well as stakeholders involved in the city issue.

As part of the city, the future of railway stations needs to be discussed with a systemic approach. Well connected and open to the city as one of possible centres of gravity of the daily life of citizens, railway stations foster commercial and social ties, with the need to develop the feeling of security. During this 6th NextStation conference, all these related themes will be addressed and discussed between participants coming from the five continents in a fully interactive conference.

The NextStation conference will also be a privileged venue for all technological companies interested in finding new business opportunities within the booming digitalisation process currently underway in the railway station sector at the global level.

The conference will be composed of:

  • Plenary sessions, round tables and technical sessions on specific themes
  • A stand/exhibition area
  • A programme of technical visits

This international event will follow the successful high-profile railway conferences held previously in Rome (2005), Paris (2007), Brussels (2011) Moscow (2013) and Marrakech (2015).

For further information please contact Inaki Barron: barron@uic.org and Marc Guigon: guigon@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

Next Station Steering Committee held in Madrid on 12 September 2016

The next International NextStation Conference will be held in Madrid on 19 and 20 October 2017. It is being co-organised by the International Union of Railways and ADIF, the Spanish Rail Infrastructure Manager.
The Organising Committee members met in Madrid on 12 September to establish, in a first phase, the main outlines of the conference. The event will take place at Chamartin Station, downtown Madrid.

The conference will be composed of:

  • Plenary sessions, round tables and technical sessions on specific themes
  • A professional exhibition
  • A programme of technical visits

This 6th NextStation conference will tackle the key issues under the main theme “Smart Stations in Smart Cities”. The latest developments applicable to railway stations design and operation and also the integration of the station in the city will be presented by high-level speakers, including decision-makers, representatives of leading industries as well as stakeholders involved in the city issue.

For further information please contact Iñaki Barrón de Angoiti: barron@uic.org

Or Marc Guigon: guigon@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 1 / 5

Promoting
  

REMINDER: Secure your place and register – Capacity4Rail Second Dissemination Workshop and NeTIRail-INFRA Mid-Term Conference, 3 and 4 November 2016 in Brussels!

The topics of both projects are closely linked therefore you are warmly invited to attend both events!

If you want to attend both events please register online for BOTH events by clicking on the links below:

For the Capacity4Rail 2nd Dissemination Workshop, Brussels, 3 November 2016:
http://capacity4rail.eu/-news-#collapse2

For the NeTIRail-INFRA Mid-Term conference, Brussels, 4 November 2016:
http://netirail.eu/News-and-Events

Capacity4Rail

Towards an affordable, resilient, innovative and high-capacity European Railway System for 2030/2050

2nd dissemination Workshop:

To be held on 3 November 2016, this second dissemination workshop will be an opportunity to promote the achievements of the project after 36 months.

By this stage, most of the work on innovation development will be completed and the project will be entering the demonstration and assessment phase.

Workshop highlights:

  • New concepts for high speed
  • Materials and monitoring for innovative Switches and Crossings
  • Innovative wagons for freight
  • Optimisation of terminal operations
  • Ubiquitous data for railway operations
  • Innovative sensors and monitoring strategies
  • Multi-criteria assessment strategy

Ample time will be reserved for discussions and exchanges with the project partners.

Online registration and useful information

Register online in order to secure your place at this event and find more information on how to access the venue by clicking here: http://capacity4rail.eu/-news-#collapse2

The draft programme will soon published be on the online registration page http://capacity4rail.eu/-news-#collapse2

For further information about Capacity4Rail please contact Laurent Schmitt, Project Coordinator: lschmitt@uic.org or Isabelle De Keyzer, WP Leader dissemination: dekeyzer@uic.org

NeTIRail-INFRA

Needs Tailored Interoperable Railway Infrastructure

Mid-term conference:

The conference will update partners on the progress made during the first 18 months of the project, presenting some of the early results and the plans for the remainder of the project, as well as holding discussions regarding future developments and collaboration.

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • Sensing and measurement technology – on-vehicle, track side and overhead line monitoring systems in Romania, Turkey and Slovenia
  • The results of the GIS mapping of track and overhead line failures and costs
  • Track models to minimise corrugation development and transition zone maintenance
  • Lean improvement of S&C maintenance operations and installation
  • Overhead line models to minimise life cycle costs applied to different railway systems
  • SATLOC use for data transmission from on-vehicle monitoring systems
  • An update on the decision support tool
  • Commonalities with the Shift2Rail programme
  • Areas for further collaboration

Online registration and useful information:

Register online in order to secure your place at this event and find more information on how to access the venue by clicking here: http://netirail.eu/News-and-Events

The draft programme will soon published be on the online registration page http://netirail.eu/News-and-Events

For further information about Capacity4Rail please contact Laurent Schmitt, Project Coordinator: lschmitt@uic.org or Isabelle De Keyzer: dekeyzer@uic.org

For further information about NeTIRail-INFRA please contact:
David Fletcher, Project Coordinator: d.i.fletcher@sheffield.ac.uk; Jon Paragreen, Project Manager: j.paragreen@sheffield.ac.uk; Isabelle De Keyzer, Dissemination Leader: dekeyzer@uic.org

Or visit the dedicated websites: www.capacity4rail.eu, www.netirail.eu

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

  

UIC participates in ISO General Assembly in Beijing

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:

It is my pleasure and true honour to address this ISO General Assembly in this prestigious great hall in Beijing.

I represent UIC, which is the world association of the railway operating community.

In a few figures, UIC is 200 members in 100 countries, one million kilometres of rail lines, and seven million railway men and women working to help serve the mobility of seven billion people on earth. UIC is also on average 85 conferences every year in 50 cities.
Our values our Unity, Solidarity and Universality. Our philosophy is to share, open and connect.
This is why we are not working alone and we are developing many synergies with other international associations and bodies. We cooperate as you can see with 100 partner institutions, among which the most important is our consultative status at the UN – ECOSOC, and my personal role as member of the High-Level Group on Sustainable Transport and Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UN.

Since its creation in 1922 UIC has been and is primarily a technical and business platform developing for and with its members and partners from the industry specifications, technical documents and processes, which are all international solutions for operation, design, construction, maintenance, management, commercial services of the railway system.

UIC has also been a pioneer in the domains of railway research and innovation across the world, and the promotion of four fundamental values: safety, security, sustainability and the transmission of knowledge of good and best practices to younger generations.

As I said, we are not doing this alone, and I’m happy to say here how precious our open and sincere collaboration is with some of the technical committees of ISO, in particular TC269.
UIC, through its members, is present in 23 technical committees or working groups, with an effective contribution through a liaison A. This collaboration for UIC is pragmatic complementarity between different stakeholders. This is already demonstrated through the interesting work performed through the cooperation agreements that we signed back in June 2014 with IEC, mainly in rolling stock and energy functionalities today.

This complementarity between the user requirements of the system and its components, between the processes and the products, can bring added value and optimisation of time and resources, therefore avoiding useless duplication or potential misunderstandings.

We are looking for a “win-win” approach, so that operating solutions are preserving safety, security and productivity, and are combining the standards developed by ISO or other standardisation bodies – and this in a comprehensive and coherent way, and above all in the ultimate interest of the customers.
I will therefore be very happy to see the experts from UIC and its members cooperate and work within TC269 and vice versa, in order to prepare and combine future UIC processes and ISO standards, in the domain of railways and according to our respective roles and expertise.

This is my wish and that of the UIC members of course, some of whom are common members of UIC and ISO, to develop this partnership further. We have, for instance, identified other topics addressed within TC269 or other technical committees of mutual and topical interest such as asset management and a common framework to include environmental issues in the procurement processes; such as the management of energy for international traffic or power related information protocols; such as the standardisation of processes in the domain of security or cyber-security with the Internet of Things; for prevention and precaution or for investigations.

These are just a few examples to illustrate our goodwill and our determination to share, open and connect with you. And I am happy to confirm that in the spirit of reciprocity, and in our agreement to cooperate, I am in my turn inviting the President of ISO, Dr Tong, to be our guest at the UIC General Assembly on the 1 December in Saint-Petersburg – probably in a climate of -30 instead of +30 degrees, but we certainly will have, and share, the same heat in our hearts.

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5

Cooperation

UIC and the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI), Australia, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation

The International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI), Australia, signed in Berlin a Memorandum of Cooperation on 19 September 2016 which will substantially boost industry and government access to rail research on a global level. The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) has been a UIC Member since 2014 and participates in all the work done in the framework of the UIC Asian-Pacific region.

The agreement was signed by the Director-General of UIC, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and the Executive Director of ACRI, Vicki Brown.

The organisations will share information about research being undertaken by both organisations, including detailed synopses of projects. This cooperation will help prevent duplication and provide opportunities for co-operation. Where intellectual property rights permit, the two will also share the results of their research.

Mr Loubinoux said: “The cooperation between the UIC and ACRI is not based on financial contribution from one to the other but relies on in-kind contributions.” He followed by saying: “UIC and ACRI members will no doubt face similar problems and challenges in the future even if there will be some inevitable differences in research application.”

Under the agreement, the UIC will provide ACRI non-confidential research and innovation-related content, after permission from the member(s) concerned, and also full details of research where possible. This will be added to the ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank. The Knowledge Bank is a well-used and easy-to-navigate database for rail professionals and industry, which has annually more than 31,000 visits and 21,000 file downloads. It contains research reports, conference papers, presentations and other relevant material. UIC will provide a link to the ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank site from its site.

Both parties will facilitate contact and collaboration between researchers. ACRI and UIC have many shared objectives.

Ms Brown said: “Part of ACRI mission is to provide innovative solutions to improve productivity and support the competitive position of the Australian and New Zealand rail industry. Adding past, present and future UIC research to ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank will enhance the already information-rich website, which covers every aspect of rail (and related wider transport).

Providing this access will be of enormous economic value to rail operators, suppliers and customers, managers, and transport economists, to name a few.”
Mr Loubinoux added: “UIC promotes interoperability, the creation of new world standards for railways, and international cooperation among its members as well as sustainable transport development.”

Both agree that the organisations have a shared vision to propose new ways to improve technical and environmental performance of rail transport.

For further information please contact the UIC Communications Department: com@uic.org

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5

Promoting
  

UIC HIGHPSEED 2017: Save the Date!


For further information please contact Hervé Aubert, UIC Communication Dpt: aubert@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

UIC & CCTT regional cooperation

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux was represented at the XXV Plenary Session of the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT) by UIC Coordinator for East/West relations Mr Vytautas Kinderis, following a personal invitation of CCTT Chairman & President of Russian Railways Mr Oleg Belozerov.

The session was held in the Mongolian capital Ulan-Bator on 14-15 September 2016 and was attended by 180 representatives from 18 countries, including the heads and plenipotentiary representatives of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, CIS, Baltic, European and Asian railways, sea ports of Germany, Latvia and Estonia, sea shipping companies, international transport organisations: the Organization for Railways Cooperation (OSJD), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the European Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Transport Division of ESCAP, the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR), national and international associations of freight forwarders, leading transport and logistics companies.

The plenary session addressed matters related to the operation of the Trans-Siberian Transport Corridor, and discussed the prospects of further harmonisation of legal regulation for international freight transport and feasible measures to improve the efficiency of container transport between Europe, the Baltic States, Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region using the Trans-Siberian Mainline amid global competition.

“Thanks to the active work of the CCTT’s members, the Trans-Siberian’s competitiveness as a transit bridge linking the Asia-Pacific region and Europe is increasing. Particularly pleasing is that many of those present, including our foreign colleagues and partners, consider the CCTT as one of the key areas for strengthening business relations,” said Oleg Belozerov RZD President & UIC Chairman in his welcoming speech to the session.

“UIC is progressively developing its activities within Asia-Pacific region which includes sub-regions having different technical regulations like EU, EAEU, CCTT, CAREC bridged by Trans-Siberian Corridor. Therefore UIC is always looking for any opportunity to support members of UIC & CCTT by providing the efficient technical tools (like permanently improved Leaflets, newly developed International Railway Standards, Feasibility studies and high priority projects) to be used in day-to-day activities for strategic goals to be achieved by railways in sound cooperation with strong international organisations like CCTT and OSJD,” on behalf of Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, said Mr Kinderis.

Heads of CCTT members and leading forwarding and operator companies presented the results of their work on intermodal transport services on the Trans-Siberian Route and shared information on the development trends of integrated Euro-Asian logistic chains as well as prospects for integrated logistics development.

A wide range of highly competent experts allowed a thorough analysis of the key issues of Trans-Siberian freight transport, including those related to rail and sea transport interaction, integration of the Trans-Siberian Corridor into the Euro-Asian transport network and development of Trans-Siberian services in the present economic situation.

CCTT Secretary general Gennady Bessonov underlined, that decisions taken at the XXV CCTT Plenary Session will provide the basis for further improvement of Trans-Siberian transport services and TSR development.

For further information please contact Vytautas Kinderis: kinderis@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Promoting
  

IRHA is organising with UIC and TCDD the 7th International Conference on Railway History from 2 – 5 November 2016 in Istanbul

Conference theme is “Rail Routes from the Baghdad Railway to the New Silk Road – 19th to 21st Centuries”

The International Railway History Association (IRHA-AIHC) is organising with the support of UIC and Turkish State Railways (TCDD) the 7th International Conference on Railway History in the historic station of Sirkeci in Istanbul (former station of the Orient-Express, now a railway museum) from 2 – 5 November 2016.

The general theme of this International IRHA historic conference is "Rail Routes from the Baghdad Railway to the New Silk Road, 19th to 21st Centuries – Utopian Dreams, Past Achievements and Future Prospects for Rail Transport between Europe and the Middle and Far East".

This 7th IRHA conference on Railway History follows successful editions successively held in Semmering, Austria (2004), Lisbon (2006), Bratislava (2009), Mechelen, Belgium (2010), Lviv, Ukraine (2011) and Santiago de Chile (2013).

Provisional programme

The programme will start with welcome addresses by the high level representatives of IRHA, TCDD and UIC followed by a get-together on Wednesday 2 November, 17:00 to 20:00 hours. The conference will take place until noon on Saturday 5 November.

Presentations by historians, academicians and researchers, representatives of railways (including railway companies from Turkey, Iran, China) and railway organisations will address among others the following issues:

Section A (19th and first half of the 20th century)

  • “First suggestions and connections”
  • “The Balkans and the Ottoman Empire”
  • “Transport corridors Europe-Asia in a wider perspective”

Section B (Present - Second half of the 20th century)

  • “The Modern Debate after World War II”
    Section C (Future - 21st century)
  • “What the Future might bring”
  • “The Future of Railway Networks between Asia and Europe”
  • “Conclusions of the conference”.

The International Railway History Association (IRHA)

The International Railway History Association IRHA is chaired by Mr Henry Jacolin, diplomat, former Ambassador of France. The Vice Chairmen are Professor Javier Vidal Olivares, Historian, University of Alicante, Spain, and Paul Véron, Director of Communications and Coordinator for the Middle-East at UIC. The Secretary General is Dr Ralf Roth, Professor, Historisches Seminar, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The Treasurer is Andrea Giuntini, Historian, Associate Professor, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The IRHA association welcomes historians, curators of railway archives, academics, railway history societies, representatives of railway companies as well as individual (researchers, etc.). The current membership represents 18 countries.

Activities of the association include:

  • Organisation of international conferences on specific themes of railway history and development,
  • Peer-reviewed publication of proceedings (conference books)
  • Participation in international events, developing projects, establishing partnerships to strengthen relationships with railway heritage associations and railway museums internationally.

Participation in the 7th IRHA-UIC-TCDD International conference on Railway History is free of charge, however registration is required.

For further information, or to register, please contact Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East, IRHA Vice Chairman:

veron@uic.org

5 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Germany: ICE 4 launches at Berlin premiere

On 14 September, Deutsche Bahn (DB) Chairman and CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube and German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt unveiled DB’s new ICE 4 intercity train.

“The ICE 4 represents the start of a new era, and will serve as the mainstay of DB’s future intercity services. Between now and 2030 we intend to expand intercity routes by 25 per cent, offering connections between ever more cities and regions. Our new flagship train will make a lasting contribution to the sustainability of DB Group”, said Dr Grube, who was accompanied by DB Management Board Member for Traffic and Transport Berthold Huber, DB Fernverkehr AG Management Board Chairwoman Birgit Bohle, and Siemens AG Management Board Member Dr Roland Busch.

Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said: “25 years ago, the ICE ushered in a new era of mobility and has since become an export success story. Now, with free Wi-Fi in all classes of travel, the ICE 4 represents the most up-to-date, customer-friendly high speed train on the market, and is another demonstration of railways’ ability to lead on innovation. The ICE 4 is a major step towards the ’digital railway’, and is a modern means of transport fit for the gigabit society.”

Birgit Bohle added that “The ICE 4 sets new standards as regards the passenger experience: ergonomic seats, plenty of space for luggage, a stylish dining area, and an innovative lighting concept together offer a high level of comfort. And for the first time on an ICE, passengers can travel with bicycles. The revamped family and nursery areas further facilitate travel for families.”

Dr Roland Busch commented that “The ICE 4 is the new benchmark for rail travel in Germany, and represents a distillation of our engineers’ talent and energy. The train offers a range of technical innovations: it has a totally new propulsion system, consumes markedly less energy, and offers improved passenger comfort. Not only that, we and Deutsche Bahn worked hard to ensure that it was delivered on time.”

The 12-car ICE 4 is 346 metres long and has a top speed of 250 kilometres per hour. It can seat up to 830, with 205 in first class and 625 in standard. Its low weight and optimised aerodynamic design reduce energy consumption per seat by 22 per cent compared to the ICE 1, whilst the innovative propulsion system and power cars enable flexible train formation.

DB has placed a firm order for 130 of the 300 trains foreseen by the framework contract concluded in May 2011. At around 5.3 billion Euros, the train represents DB’s biggest-ever investment in rolling stock.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

4 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

  

Dr Rüdiger Grube, President of Deutsche Bahn, elected new CER Chairman

The President of the Board of Deutsche Bahn (DB AG), Dr Rüdiger Grube, was elected new Chairman of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) during the CER General Assembly held on 19 September in Berlin. He succeeds former CEO of Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB Mr Christian Kern, who became Chancellor of the Republic of Austria. Mr Andreas Meyer, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways SBB/CFF, had acted as Ad Interim Chairman until the CER General Assembly in Berlin. During the Assembly, Dr Grube warmly thanked Mr Meyer for the good interim chairmanship. The new mandates run in 2016 and until the end of 2017.

Dr Rüdiger Grube said: “I am particularly honoured to be able to act at the highest level of responsibility for European railways as CER Chairman. In close cooperation with all railway companies, small or large ones, we will continue to act in order to speak with one strong single voice, to cooperate in full trust with the EU institutions, and strengthen the rail sector”.

And he said further: “Our objective consists in enabling railways to participate more fully in transport growth all over Europe. Rail can be the transport mode of the 21st century, a reliable, comfortable and climate-friendly transport mode. Rail transport is every day part of the people’s life for many millions of citizens, and an indispensible partner for economy and goods transport. In the future we must take advantage from the opportunities connected with digitalisation and promote innovation. We all share one conviction: in the digital era rail transport has huge perspectives for growth”.

Guillaume Pepy, President of the Board of SNCF, and Andreas Meyer, CEO of Swiss Federal Railways SBB/CFF, were elected CER Vice-Chairmen for the period 2016 and 2017.

UIC warmly congratulates Dr Rüdiger Grube on his election as the new CER Chairman and looks forward to continuing and reinforcing good cooperation between UIC and CER on European issues.

(Sources: Deutsche Bahn DB AG and CER)

4 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5

Products & Services
  

2nd UIC Asia-Pacific photo contest

For the second time, UIC is organising a photo contest for the Asia-Pacific members.

Prizes will be awarded to the best, most attractive or most amazing pictures of stations, rolling-stock, infrastructure, passengers or staff, to be voted by 5,200 e-News readers.

A calendar will be printed for the year 2017 with the twelve best photos.

The gallery will be published in the UIC e-News on 30 September 2016 for the voting process.

The award ceremony for the photo contest will take place at the UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly in New Delhi, India on 8 November 2016.

Do not hesitate to apply and send the participation form available on the UIC Asia Pacific webpage http://events.uic.org/2nd-uic-asia-pacific-photo-contest with your picture, format JPG, minimum definition of 300 dpi and copyright-free to Mrs. Béatrice Ségéral by 20 September 2016.

Have a look at the album of the first Photo Contest and participate here: http://events.uic.org/2nd-uic-asia-pacific-photo-contest

For further information please contact Béatrice Ségéral: segeral@uic.org

4 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

Reporting
  

Integrated Reservation Ticketing (IRT) Working Group meeting held from 14 – 15 September 2016 in Antwerp

The IRT (Integrated Reservation Ticketing) working group held his meeting in Antwerp, on 14 and 15 September, at NMBS/ SNCB offices in Antwerp Central Station. Representatives from NMBS/SNCB, MAV START, SBB, TRENITALIA, SNCF, CD, DB, ÖBB, THALYS, LINKON, NS, PKP and the CIT were present. Laurent Pollet, president of the group chaired the meeting. UIC was represented by Mr Luis Casado.

The meeting started with a presentation from LINKON about the situation of railways in Sweden, a liberalised market based on IRT ticketing with international connections. This was followed by the presentation of the new Special Conditions for International Carriage: a document had been prepared previously during an editorial meeting, and it was presented to the group to make the definitive modifications so it could be approved. Vivid debates took place regarding the most controversial aspects of this document, but finally a definitive version was approved. It is planned to have the appendixes with all the relevant information supplied by companies during the next weeks, so the document can be finalised.

Finally, the chairman went through the provisions of UIC Leaflet 106 that affect the IRT systems. This leaflet is being revised by the different working groups affected, and the definitive provisions were approved. The new version of the leaflet will be presented at the next Commercial Group Meeting.

The second session began with a presentation from the CIT regarding several topics starting with the common glossary for IRT, NRT and EWT, SCIC documents and the new Manual for International Rail Tickets (MIRT). Finally, Mr Peter Maleux gave a presentation about the PRISM project and the state of the art of the three pilot projects that are taking place at the moment.

The next IRT meeting will take place on 14 and 15 September 2017 in Frankfurt.

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

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

  

UIC participates in a MERMEC event during Innotrans

An event organised last night by MERMEC at Innotrans in Berlin brought together several actors to discuss Digitalisation in the Rail sector. Among them were Andrea Certo, MERMEC Chief Executive Officer, Renato Mazzoncini, Chief Executive Officer Italian Railways FSi, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC General Director, Graziano Delrio, Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport and Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport.
During the event, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux gave a speech in which he said:

In a few figures, UIC is 200 members in 100 countries, one million kilometres of rail lines, and seven million railway men and women working to help serve the mobility of seven billion people on earth. UIC also holds on average 85 conferences every year in 50 cities.
Our values our Unity, Solidarity and Universality. Our philosophy is to share, open and connect.
This is why we are not working alone and we are developing many synergies with other international associations and bodies. We cooperate as you can see with 100 partner institutions, among which the most important is our consultative status at the UN – ECOSOC, and my personal role as member of the High-Level Group on Sustainable Transport and Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UN.

Since its creation in 1922 UIC has been and is primarily a technical and business platform developing for and with its members and partners from the industry specifications, technical documents and processes, which are all international solutions for operation, design, construction, maintenance, management, commercial services of the railway system.

UIC has also been a pioneer in the domains of railway research and innovation across the world, and the promotion of four fundamental values: safety, security, sustainability and the transmission of knowledge of good and best practices to younger generations.

One of my predecessors at UIC said that rail would be the mode of transport of the 21st century. It does not act alone but as part of the backbone of a new optimised transport mix in a globalised and growing need for the mobility of goods and people.

Rail has indeed lived through three main revolutions: nearly two centuries ago the first industrial revolution, transforming a world based on agriculture to an industrial and commercial world. Rail with the steam engine and metallic structures was an actor and vector of this development. Then the middle of the 20th century electric power and innovative technology survived with the birth of high speed and European networks.

Now with the emergence of new technology we have entered what Jeremy Rifkin calls the third industrial revolution: the Digital Era. Transport modes and railways as the backbone must take advantage of this new opening. After technical and administrative interoperability we must carry out the standardisation work of integration between informationisation and industrialisation. CDOs (Chief Data Officers) are appointed among most of our members and UIC on behalf of the railway community decided at the last General Assembly to create a digital platform. This platform aims to share creative ideas, to ensure harmonisation, to support new developments and to boost innovation. It has identified three main areas of potential interest: security, services and productivity. More specifically, three workshops have been organised this year: in Washington in June on Security; in Paris in the next few weeks on Passenger and Freight; and in Beijing next March on IoT input in Services and Infrastructure.

In addition, a Digital Awards campaign has been launched with the thousands of start-ups that can boost the traditional creative process of rail companies with crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing, open sources and open data.

UIC has also initiated the development of several prototypes known as Proof of Concepts: concrete answers to concrete questions such as the detection of shunting defects on track circuits. These prototypes, presented to our members, will be the basis for new IRSs (International Railway Solutions) which will then be passed on to industry.

The second edition of our digital conference will be held during our General Assembly in Saint-Petersburg on the theme of more capacity and more and better connectivity – and a mission is planned next year in Silicon Valley.

So to conclude this quick overview, if we know that by 2030 two billion people will be urbanised; two billion people have no access to any means of transport; two billion people live on less than one dollar a day; and that there will be two billion more people on earth if we realise that by 2030 the Internet of Things (IoT) will add 10 – 15 trillion dollars to global GDP; if we agree that transport is the mobility of goods and people and is therefore the key to social economic growth; if we share the opinion that rail is the backbone of a new optimised transport modal mix, then the question is not if or when we survive this third digital revolution, but how fast we catch up with it and become a vector and driver of it.

UIC, on behalf of all its members around the world – some more advanced or developed than others – but all with the same concern and determination to be developing together, has already started to share, to open and to connect.

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

Reporting
  

Visit of the Chairman of the UIC African Region on 7 September 2016

A meeting to summarise the UIC African region projects until the end of this year was held at UIC Headquarters on 7 September in the presence of Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chairman of the UIC African region and CEO of ONCF (Moroccan National Railways).

Mr Khlie acknowledged the progress made within the African region, including the following events for the months to come:

  • A seminar on Crossing Railway Tracks, organised in Tunis from 19 – 21 October 2016 – with SNCFT (Tunisian railways)
  • The third training course on Track Maintenance in Rabat – from 24 October to 4 November 2016

Regarding the actions for the UIC African region, the Chairman suggested and encouraged developing the commitment of Members for the region by creating and developing partnerships with fundraisers and sponsors to promote the projects related to railways in Africa, particularly to support training courses.

Other major projects were highlighted during the meeting such as the African Regional Assembly in Casablanca on 4 November.

The Assembly will be held following the event co-organised by UIC and ONCF on 3 November, in the presence of many African Members in Casablanca: “Les Assises de la Mobilité Durable” – Congress on sustainable mobility.

This event will be a great occasion to start the month of November in Morocco as the country will be hosting the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech from 7 – 18 November 2016. UIC and ONCF are currently working together to set up events in the frame of this international conference, following the success of COP21 in Paris, leading to the ambitious Paris Agreement.

For further information please contact Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of Fundamental Values and Coordinator of the African Region:

wisniewski@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 5 December 2018 Africa Regional Assembly UIC HA Paris
  • 6 December 2018 4th UIC Digital Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 6 December 2018 European Management committee Paris
  • 6 December 2018 27th European Regional Assembly Paris
  • 7 December 2018 Executive Board Paris
  • 7 December 2018 93rd General Assembly Paris
  • 27 March 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 4-5 April 2019 Talent and Expertise Development Platform Vienna, Austria
  • 17-19 April 2019 Asset Management Global Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 8-9 May 2019 Freight Forum Vienna
  • 16-18 May 2019 TopRail Forum Naples
  • 26 June 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting DB AG BERLIN
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco
  • 5 November 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 6 November 2019 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 20 September 2016

  Contact the UIC e-News team