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The 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail is postponed to 8 – 11 May 2018 in Ankara

90th UIC General Assembly UIC will take place on 10 July 2017 in Istanbul

Following close consultation and with the full agreement of Mr. Isa Apaydin, Chairman of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and Vice-Chairman of UIC, and of UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, the decision has been made to postpone “UIC HIGHSPEED”, the 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail, initially scheduled to take place from 11 – 14 July 2017, to the new date of 8 – 11 May 2018 in Ankara.

This decision was taken on the occasion of the Organising Committee meeting, held in Ankara on 31 January. It notably takes into consideration political milestones and key facts, both at national and international level, which should be more favourable in 2018 regarding the organisation of such an international event.

The preparatory work for this World Congress on High Speed Rail will be continued and broadened, in an excellent climate of cooperation between the teams of UIC and Turkish railways, with the aim of taking advantage of this postponement, to increase the quality and the added-value of this international congress dedicated to all the major challenges and opportunities linked to the development of high speed.

The Congress will still be organised around 3 main blocks: sessions, professional exhibition and technical visits. Numerous plenary and parallel sessions will revolve around the most significant technical, economic and social streams. In addition, two round tables will give participants the opportunity to interact and exchange knowledge.
The Opening Ceremony, plenary and parallel sessions and the professional exhibition will be held at Ankara Chamber of Commerce Convention Centre in Ankara. This Convention Centre is closely surrounded by several hotels of different categories.

The next Organizing Committee meeting will be held on 3 March during Eurasia Rail in Istanbul, and will focus on the new Communication’s plan 2017-2018.
A new call for papers will be launched, probably in September 2017. Obviously we will keep all the abstracts that potential speakers already sent us. When the new call for papers is launched, these potential speakers will be asked to either keep their abstracts as they are currently or make changes or updates.
The procedure will continue as planned, in accordance with the new calendar that will be issued.

The new website will be available soon

For further information please contact Mr. Ignacio Barron de Angoiti, Director of the UIC Passenger and High Speed Department:

5 Votes

Average rating: 4.4 / 5


Intercity and High Speed Committee Technical Meeting held on 7 February 2017 in Warsaw

On 7 February, the Intercity and High Speed Committee Technical Meeting was held in Warsaw, Poland, at the kind invitation of Instytut Kolejnictwa (IK), the Railway Research Institute of the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction. The meeting was chaired by Mr Andrew McNaughton (HS2), chairman of the UIC Intercity and High Speed Committee. Mr Andrzej Żurkowski, director of IK, welcomed all the participants and presented the activities of his institute. UIC was represented by Mr Ignacio Barrón, Director of the UIC Passenger and High Speed Department, Mr Takumi Ishii and Mr Zhangshan Zhao. Around 35 participants from UIC members and consultants of the studies attended the meeting.

The aim of the technical meeting is to update the development of high speed around the world, and most importantly, to review the progress of the ongoing studies of the committee. The UIC high speed team presented the news from UIC headquarters, high speed progress in the world and other permanent activities related to high speed.

The committee also discussed the next steps for the preparation of the World Congress on High Speed Rail, which has been postponed from July 2017 to May 2018.

The committee then reviewed the status of the ongoing studies. Mr Huo Baoshi (Vice Chairman) from CR presented the related activities on behalf of the working group on the IRS High Speed Cluster. The working group is now in charge of eight IRSs, three of which have been finalised and the other five under preparation in different phases. He stressed that the working ground is always open to members. Mr Eduardo Romo (also Vice Chairman) from FCH presented the study on “New technologies for access and egresses in long distance passenger travel”. The study was finished and the final report will be ready by the next meeting. The status of ongoing studies on “Risk analysis of Earthquake issues”, which is part of the series study of “HS under extreme natural conditions”, “New modes of competition”, etc. was presented.

The committee also went through other ongoing studies and new proposals including:

  • Extension of the study on new modes of competition on long distance trips
  • Commissioning and starting operation. Handbook on HS Lines start-up
  • Benchmarking on mix traffic HS lines
  • “Charges4Rail” (infrastructure cost for railways)
  • Comparison of air prices before and after commissioning a new HS line
  • Boosting technological innovations for a more competitive HSR operation
  • Door-to-door travel times
  • Reliability benchmarking across high speed railways
  • Procurement strategies and regulations for high speed trains

The next plenary meeting of the Intercity and High Speed Committee will be held on 11 April 2017 in Rennes, France, along with other events in cooperation with SNCF and the regional authorities.

For further information please contact Mr Ignacio Barron, Director of the UIC Passenger and High Speed Department:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


International Railway Summit – setting the stage for future mobility needs

The home of the world’s railways plays host to a key event considering a range of challenges for the future of the railway system

During an intensive series of seminar sessions, round table discussions and one to one meetings in the form of a matchmaking space for rail-sector buyers and experts, senior executives representing the global community of rail transport operators (RUs and IMs), customer representatives, conceptual developers and manufacturers of rolling stock, signalling, infrastructure and other railway system components, along with national and local governments, shared their perspective of the future railway system on 16 and 17 February in Paris.

Welcoming the delegates to Paris and in opening the 4th such event organised by International Railway Journal, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, highlighted the importance of the event as a stage setter for future mobility needs, identifying customer aspirations, recognising the huge challenges that the rail transport mode has to face.

“Now, more than ever” he said, “we must collectively and collaboratively strive to ensure that rail is the customer’s land transport mode of choice.”
“A key model for the development of the railway system of tomorrow”, said Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, “is that there is no infrastructure without investment, no investment without innovation, no innovation without intelligence and no intelligence without integration”. He added: “for the years and decades to come, the rail sector has to face five main challenges in order to be successful and to be the backbone of the mobility system: developing a genuine multi-modal mobility system, taking into account a determining trend which is the perspective of transcontinental and intercontinental corridors for freight, taking benefit from the technological revolution, and especially the digital one, offering sustainable transport solutions and optimising environmental-friendliness of railway operations, without forgetting railway research, to be considered as key to ensure the innovation needed to construct a successful future for rail transport”.

Amongst the keynote speakers at the event, Guillaume Pepy, CEO of France’s SNCF, set out the multi-modal approach that SNCF is adopting in transforming mobility. During various sessions of the event, Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways, Alain Flausch, Director General of UITP, Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, Professor Andy Doherty, Chief Technical Officer, Network Rail (UK) and Simon Fletcher, Coordinator Europe (UIC) each highlighted the importance of all railway sector stakeholders collaborating in order to deliver focused innovation so as to foster maximum mobility.

There was an excellent overview of current developments in the Gulf States and in particular the exciting news that SAR will be starting operating trains on the North Line at the end of this month.

The prevailing message from all the speakers is that there is a need for a genuine multimodal system that maximises funding opportunities in order to develop a truly seamless offer for the end users.

There must be a focus on developing the transcontinental corridors for freight. Recent trials have shown that journey times can be cut by half for the same freight load when the use of rail is maximised.

The end user is now already far more a part of the overall journey due in no small measure to the growing connectivity offered by rail companies. Customers already feel much more engaged as a result and this technological revolution will also increase safety, performance, capacity and speed, this contributing to the attractiveness of rail as the land transport mode of choice.

Sustainable rail transport is a system with low or no carbon. Rail already has the advantage of being the lowest emitter of carbon amongst the land transport modes. This level of performance needs to continue and performance improved so as to deliver the COP 21 objectives and maintain rail’s leadership position.

0 vote

“Rail Safety Day” held in Tehran with the cooperation of Iranian Railways (RAI)

In order to improve safety culture and sustainable development, the “Safety Day” event was held at the Iran University of Science and Technology on 18 February 2016, hosted by the School of Railway Engineering with the cooperation of Iranian Railways (RAI). High ranking officials and managers of RAI, in particular the President of RAI, safety managers and experts from RAI and also rail industry representatives as well as the students of the school of Railway Engineering attended this special ceremony.

In his opening speech, Dr. Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Vice-Minister for Road and Urban Development, and President of RAI, stated that the Iranian Government has allocated a special and separate budget for the development of rail transport in 2017 which shows the importance and high capacity of rail transport in the development of the country. He mentioned some specials plans which have been considered and approved at the sixth country five-year development plan (2016-2020) for investment in rail transport and many advantages allocated for this area.

The main topics discussed during the event were railway accident analysis, focus on experiences about safety at level crossings, crisis management and its role in rail accidents, safety management and risk identification in the rail transport of dangerous goods and the students of the school of railway engineering presented the results of their thesis and research about railway safety in various fields. He added that if we want to have a safe railway we should think, consider, observe and plan all our activities according to safety culture.

It should be mentioned that due to the importance of safety culture this was the third consecutive year that a special safety day was assigned for rail safety and Iranian Railways places great importance on promoting rail safety and culture in the rail industry and community of the country.

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


Project Workshop & Training: Innovations for Increasing Track Performance & Capacity to be held on 15 March 2017 in Paris

Workshop & Training “Operations for enhanced capacity to achieve an automated, resilient, robust, adaptable and affordable railway system”, Olomouc (Czech Republic), 27-28 April 2017

On behalf of the project partners we would like to invite you to the Capacity4Rail Project Workshop & Training to be held on 15th March 2017 at FNTP/EFRTC meeting facilities, 3 rue de Berri, 75008 Paris

This event is open for experts from across Europe’s rail infrastructure industry.
The workshop will be used to showcase the key track infrastructure outputs of the CAPACITY4RAIL Project (New Concepts for railway infrastructure and operation: adaptable, automated, resilient and high-capacity) in the context of potential take up of innovative solutions by the railway infrastructure industry.

It will offer an excellent opportunity to hear about the latest developments in slab track, switches & crossings, predictive track maintenance, migration strategies for innovative track solutions 2030/2050 and provide a fantastic opportunity for networking.

You can register online here:

Workshop & Training “Operations for enhanced capacity to achieve an automated, resilient, robust, adaptable and affordable railway system”, Olomouc (Czech Republic), 27-28 April 2017

If you are a practitioner or an expert coming from both railway industry and academia involved in one or more of the following areas:

  • Operation and capacity planning
  • Timetable design
  • Traffic Management
  • Strategic operation and infrastructure development
  • Strategic investment planners
  • Information systems and data management
  • Control command and signalling
  • Modelling and simulation of railway traffic

The FP7 EU-funded project Capacity4Rail invites you to a Workshop & Training

“Operations for enhanced capacity to achieve an automated, resilient, robust, adaptable and affordable railway system”

on 27 & 28 April 2017 in OLTIS Group Headquarters, Dr. M. Horákové 27A , Olomouc, Czech Republic.

This public event is open for experts from all across Europe’s rail infrastructure industry and academia. It will focus on planning & management of railway operations and will showcase the key outputs from the EC FP7 funded project Capacity4Rail, namely:

It will offer an excellent opportunity to hear about the latest developments in advanced tools for railway planning, simulation of railway operations, railway traffic management and innovative data architectures to enable the digitalisation of railway systems.

Panel discussions with representatives of the main European railway industry and academia will be held in the context of potential take up of these innovative solutions by the railways.

Join us, it will be a fantastic time for looking at the future scenarios of railways in 2030/2050, and of course, to boost networking!

More information and online registration at:

Registration is mandatory and free of charge but only a limited number of participants from the target group listed above can be welcomed on a first-come-first-served basis.

To know more about Capacity4Rail, visit:

For more information on the workshop please contact:

OLTIS Group:
Petr Kroča:

Network Rail:
Egidio Quaglietta:

Isabelle De Keyzer:

To know more about Capacity4Rail please visit:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


RailAdapt Workshop to be held from 19 – 20 June 2017 in Beijing

Hosted by CR – Chinese Railways


RailAdapt is a UIC initiative aimed at keeping UIC Members informed and prepared, in support of national Adaptation Plans, UN agreements and EU encouragement to reduce risks and costs whilst improving railways’ resilience in the face of Climate Change. Building resilience in transport has been given a boost since the United Nations climate negotiations in Paris (COP 21) and Marrakech (COP 22), where all of the world governments agreed to develop adaptation plans. Railways will play no small part in this.

UIC is supporting its members by arranging a series of fact-finding and briefing workshops during 2017. UIC is inviting members and other key stakeholders to share experience and outline what support railways have and will need from governments and investors to help make the case and secure funding for improving the resilience of rail services. The findings of the workshop will provide timely input to the reviewed EU strategy on Adaption and associated EU Staff Working Document due to be published in 2018.

For more details about RailAdapt, see the flyer

Regional asset engineers, local operations managers, senior national directors, responsible for long term planning, economics and finance or those interested in corporate risks.



Do not hesitate to register here

Please know that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

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

Or Marie-Luz Philippe, Advisor for Sustainable Development & UIC African Region:

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5


Third Conference on Rail Telecoms to be held from 17 – 18 May 2017 at Paris Headquarters

The International Union of Railways (UIC) is organising in cooperation with the Railway Operational Communications – Industry Group (ROC-IG) the Third Conference on Rail Telecoms, from 17 – 18 May 2017 at Paris Headquarters.

Over 200 participants from several countries from the areas of telecoms and signalling domains, authorities and standardisation bodies, railways and rail transport experts and strategy decision makers are expected to attend this third international conference.

This edition will be the first to deal with the transition from GSM-R to FRMCS: On track for Evolution and Convergence aims to meet the current needs as well as new features enabling rail to evolve towards digitalisation. It aims at enabling open, relevant and comprehensive exchange of information.

The programme of the Third World GSM-R Conference On Rail Telecoms will be as follows:

  • Session 1: Setting the scene
    with keynote speakers from UIC, EU, ERA, ETSI, ROC IG
  • Session 2: From Network to Applications
    Managing Rail Assets and allowing evolution from vertical to horizontal Rail Transport Applications.
  • Session 3: An Intelligent Transport Ecosystem
    The Smart Transport challenge will address the passenger’s experience through the whole chain of the Transport System.
  • Session 4: At the heart of the technological evolution of the Rail Transport System
    From GSM-R to an IP based Rail Transport System. Rail System will have to support the transition from GSM-R to various Radio Access Technologies while covering the users’ expectations.
  • Session 5: Seeking for Convergence
    Embrace the synergies based on technical as well as Geographical Convergence.
  • Session 6: Managing the Transition
    Introducing new applications as required by the modern Rail Transport System while building on existing interoperability experience and future EU legal framework to achieve it.
  • Session 7: Ensuring Service Continuity
    Guaranteeing the Continuity of Service, ensuring Cybersecurity, allowing Failsafe Redundancies.
  • Session 8: Closing Session

A suppliers’ exhibition with advertising booths will be arranged during the event.

We look forward to meeting you at the conference!

You can find more information on the conference website:
Or contact:

Mouna Bennouna:

Liesbeth de Jong:

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5


RailTopoModel and Industry Foundation Classes: cooperation ahead

The UIC RailTopoModel Expert Group and collaboratively work at providing the railway community with a detailed UML model to support the whole life cycle of the railway systems. The global objective of RailTopoModel (RTM, published as IRS 30100 – see ) is to provide a model capable of supporting simulations for railway systems. The overall objective of is to define a standard data exchange format, based on RTM. It shall support railway business use cases in all operations (Infrastructure Engineering and Maintenance, Interlocking and Route Management, Timetabling, etc.).

On 10 January, the representatives from the RailTopoModel (RTM) - initiatives and buildingSMART International (publisher of the IFC Standard) met in Frankfurt/Main to discuss collaboration in the future development of the railway modelling approaches, so as to ensure efficient exchange of consistent information.
buildingSMART International (bSI) is the home of openBIM, a publicly available and vendor-independent approach to Building Information Modelling. Within bSI, the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) are developed as a standard schema and exchange format for asset information. In 2015 the China Railways BIM Alliance submitted to bSI a first national development of IFC for the railway domain, which has been published as a bSI SPEC. The Chinese proposal could provide a foundation for further bSI developments in the railway domain.

The meeting served to share both project ambitions, deliverables and roadmaps and to discuss collaboration for convergence, consistency and complementarity. An introduction to this discussion is this scientific work of TU Dresden (Germany); it analyses RTM and IFC projects in view of their application to business needs.
The teams of RTM/ and bSI/IFC share the willingness to organise a clear communication to the railway business about the consistency and complementary of both projects. A collaboration in future shall be initiated. A rough technical assessment resulted in the models primarily having different scopes of application, and could most probably complement one another to offer continuity between construction and operation. A linkage of the two models should be possible to ensure consistency in functional and spatial dimensions.

Both parties agreed to formalise cooperation in the coming months, in order to ensure consistency of solutions, and for the benefit of the railway industry. A first step in that direction could be a collaborative data dictionary on railway business objects. Further modeling activities are being considered, also as UIC follow-up projects to RTM.

Further steps will be discussed during the 8th UIC RailTopoModel conference on 4 May 2017, to be held at UIC in Paris.

For further information please contact Airy Magnien, Head of the UIC Data, Statistics and Economics Unit:

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members

Bulgaria: Appointment of new General Director of Bulgaria’s National Railway Infrastructure Company

A new General Director of Bulgaria’s National Railway Infrastructure Company was appointed on 8 February 2017. The position is now held by Mr Krasimir Papukchiyski, who has had a long career within the railway system. Mr Papukchiyski graduated from Todor Kableshkov University of Transport and holds a Master’s degrees specialising in Transport Technology and Management, Economics of Transport Companies and Project Management.

The professional career of Dipl.-Ing Papukchiyski is entirely related to the railway infrastructure. He started his career as traffic manager and train dispatcher within BDZ (Bulgarian State Railways). After the division of BDZ into Railway Undertaking and Infrastructure Manager, he continued his professional path as Director of Management of Train Traffic and Operations at Stations, Head of Central Dispatching Centre and Head of Exploitation and Operations at Stations within the Bulgarian Infrastructure Manager. In the last few years, he worked for the implementation of the project “Modernization of railway section Septemvri-Plovdiv” as Deputy Head of the Unit for Project Management and Implementation and Project Manager of the project “Sofia-Plovdiv”.

UIC congratulates Dipl.-Ing Papukchiyski on his new appointment and wishes him every success in his new position.

(Source: NRIC)

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

China: Construction for new Fuzhou-Xiamen passenger dedicated line begins

Construction for the new Fuzhou-Xiamen PDL began lately.

The new Fuzhou-Xiamen passenger dedicated line is located in the most developed coastal economic belt in Fujian Province. It begins in Fuzhou in the north, passes Putian and Quanzhou, and goes all the way to Xiamen and Zhangzhou in the south.
The line between Fuzhou Station and Zhangzhou Station is 290 km long, with a design speed of 350 km/h.

Located in the core area of fast-developing Haixi Economic Zone, Fuzhou-Xiamen Corridor is looking at continually growing demands for both passenger and freight transport, which cannot be satisfied by the transport capacity of the existing Fuzhou-Xiamen Railway. After the completion of the new Fuzhou-Xiamen passenger dedicated line, it will greatly ease the conflict between supply and rapidly-growing demand of passenger and freight transport, and give play to comprehensive benefits of the railway network.

(Source: CR)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Greece: Gold award for Attica Group at the Transport & Logistics Awards 2017

Attica Holdings SA (Attica Group), member of the Marfin Investment Group, is pleased to announce its Gold award at the Transport & Logistics Awards 2017 by PAEGAE, organised by the Supply Chain Institute and Boussias Communications.

At the ceremony held at the Athinais cultural centre, Attica Group received:

The Gold award in the Innovative Services section of the Passenger Transport category, for Eurail and Interrail Greek Islands Pass products

Attica Group received the Gold award for creating the Eurail and Interrail Greek Islands Pass products. These are Passes that combine train and ferry transportation and allow passengers to travel on consecutive destinations, up to two between Italy-Greece and up to four to the Greek islands, paying a common fare. The railway trip from Patras port to the port of Piraeus is also included. The aim of this innovative service is to provide the holders with the flexibility to combine different means of transport and at the same time to simplify their combined voyage. Eurail and Interrail Greek Islands Pass holders travel with the comfort guaranteed by Attica Group vessels and they contribute to the increase of inbound tourism in Greece.

Attica Group engages in passenger shipping via the Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries and Africa Morocco Link (AML) companies, operating a total of 15 ships that provide modern, high quality transportation services in Greece and abroad. Attica Group is a member of the Marfin Investment Group, the largest Greek business group.

(Source: Attica Group)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

United States: California High-Speed Rail launches new tool to connect businesses to high-speed rail program opportunities

On February 8 the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) launched ConnectHSR, a free online vendor registry that will provide businesses, large and small, with a quick and easy way to get connected to high-speed rail business opportunities.

“With the launch of ConnectHSR, the High-Speed Rail Authority is making it easier for California’s businesses to participate in the nation’s first high-speed rail system,” said Jesse Torres, Deputy Director and Small Business Advocate for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “I encourage businesses of all sizes to sign up for ConnectHSR and learn more about opportunities to do business with high-speed rail.”

Over the next few years, there will be new and exciting opportunities for businesses to participate in the program, including procurements associated with high-speed rail facilities, stations, civil infrastructure, tracks and systems, high-speed trains and many other important services. By registering through ConnectHSR, businesses add their name to a list of interested parties wanting to participate in the program.

Additional benefits include receiving notifications of new procurements, invitations to business-focused events and workshops and opportunities to connect and partner with other interested businesses.

“I have heard from many people throughout the state who have been looking for a tool just like ConnectHSR to help them express their firms’ interest in being part of this historic project and learn more about program opportunities,” said the Authority’s Small Business Advocate Alice Rodriguez. “Launching ConnectHSR also represents another important step for the program to ensure small and disadvantaged businesses have more opportunities than ever to contribute to the nation’s first high-speed rail program and help the program meet its aggressive small business goals.”

The Authority is committed to maximizing small business participation, promoting equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, and providing significant economic and contracting opportunities. To date, there are 327 certified small businesses participating in the high-speed rail program, helping the Authority exceed its 30 percent small business participation goals.

With more than 119 miles of active construction in the Central Valley, construction of a high-speed rail line between the Silicon Valley and Central Valley is planned for passenger service beginning in 2025.

(Source: CHSRA)

0 vote
News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Eurostar unveils its state-of-the-art new business lounge in Paris Gare du Nord

Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking the UK and mainland Europe, opened the doors to its new Business Premier lounge in Paris Gare du Nord on Saturday, 4 February 2017.

With business passengers increasingly choosing high speed rail over plane, valuing the seamless journey and ability to work pre-travel and onboard, the new lounge offers a stylish, comfortable environment for both working and relaxing.

Sleek new design

Designed by global architects, Softroom, the Paris lounge will transform the travel experience for Business Premier passengers.

Situated on the top floor of the original 19th century building, and featuring high ceilings, marble fireplaces, a cocktail bar and intimate snug spaces, the lounge captures the spirit of a Parisian apartment.

Recognising the importance of connectivity for travellers, the lounge is equipped with complimentary wifi, USB sockets and wireless chargers, making it the perfect place to catch up on work or meet with clients and colleagues.

Introducing the new cocktail bar

For customers looking to unwind at the end of the day, the new cocktail bar is the ultimate destination. Situated at the back of the lounge, the circular black and gold bar, provides an atmospheric space for travellers to sample a selection of cocktails designed by London Cocktail Club exclusively for Eurostar.

Showcasing contemporary art

To enhance the overall experience, the lounge will also feature a range of contemporary art, curated by the Hospital Club in London, showcasing French artists. Travellers will be able to admire the artworks on display and for those keen to take a piece of Paris back to London, the art will be on sale.

Flexible new menu

The new lounge embodies a home-from-home feel, with an open kitchen where guests can help themselves to fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner snacks. To complement the stylish interiors, the menu has been refreshed with a range of canapés, healthy salads, juices, and hot and cold seasonal dishes, which will be gradually introduced throughout the year.

Michelin star chef and Eurostar Business Premier Culinary Director, Raymond Blanc OBE, has worked closely with the catering team to advise on seasonal dishes that combine the best of British and French cuisine. Raymond has even designed a bespoke tea exclusively for the lounge created by Tregothnan, Britain’s first and only tea producer.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said:
“The opening of the new business lounge in Paris is part of a wide-reaching programme of investment in our stations and our service. With its elegant design, calm environment and digital connectivity, the lounge will provide an unrivalled level of style and comfort for our business customers.”

Christopher Bagot, Director, Softroom, said:
“Moving the Business Premier lounge to a new location within Paris Gare du Nord has enabled us to transform the travellers journey. Set in the top floor of the station, we’ve re-imagined the striking architecture of the original building, and created a series of different spaces to suit all occasions. From the light-filled working area, to the relaxing cocktail bar, the lounge offers a flexible environment to suit all needs.”

Raymond Blanc OBE, Eurostar Business Premier Culinary Director, Eurostar, said:
“Business travellers are looking for flexibility and a variety of food options when they are on the go. From a light snack before boarding the train to something more substantial. The new lounge features a selection of dishes which we hope will satisfy all appetites. All made with high quality sustainable produce.”

(Source: Eurostar)

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5

News from UIC members

Germany: Investing millions in a digital future – DB Schenker acquires equity interest in global internet marketplace uShip

DB Schenker is investing millions to strengthen its strategic collaboration with the US-based online shipping marketplace uShip and press ahead with the digital transformation of its business model. Following a capital increase, the global logistics company is investing USD 25 million (roughly EUR 24 million) in the online platform for freight forwarding and transport services.

“Expanding our successful partnership will expedite and streamline transport management and help us, as a market leader in European land transport, to handle even larger volumes of freight,” said Jochen Thewes, CEO of Schenker AG. “We also intend to quickly develop and tap new opportunities to grow outside of our traditional business models. This is our largest equity interest in a digital company to date and it shows how serious we are about innovation at DB Schenker. We’re investing in shaping the future of digital logistics,” Thewes continued.

“Unprecedented investment in logistics technology is revolutionising freight transportation,” said Mike Williams, CEO of uShip. “Major players like DB Schenker are wisely embracing innovation to automate and digitise their operations, making them more efficient and profitable. The past year has shown uShip and DB Schenker are a great fit when it comes to taking the lead in this macro transformation, and we’re thrilled to deepen our partnership through its strategic investment.” The minority interest also earns DB Schenker a seat on uShip’s Board of Directors as an owner.

uShip and DB Schenker signed a cooperation agreement in May 2016. The uShip platform, which connects shippers and carriers in over 19 countries, is the industry leader in organising freight transport using mobile devices. For now DB Schenker will use the platform for land transport through an online platform called Drive4Schenker, which will use uShip technology to connect the some 30,000 transport partners in the European land transport network to their freight. The new service launched in Germany this month and will gradually be expanded to other countries.

DB Schenker’s equity interest in uShip is part of the DB Group’s digitalisation campaign. A team from Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures GmbH, which was established as part of the campaign, advised DB Schenker during the transaction.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

Switzerland: Taking stock after 57 days in service – steady traffic through the Gotthard Base Tunnel

Scheduled services have been running through the 57-kilometre-long Gotthard Base Tunnel for 57 days now. No fewer than 2816 passengers and 3980 freight trains have passed through the world’s longest railway tunnel during this time. InterCity and EuroCity services have seen demand increase by some 30 percent compared with the same period last year. Operations have been largely free of disruptions. Punctuality on the Gotthard corridor has improved since early December, with the planned reductions in journey times achieved for both freight and passenger services. Nevertheless, there is still work to do in this regard. This will focus on the delays affecting trains coming from Italy and the availability of rolling stock.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has been placed successfully in service. Following intensive testing, the systems and technical installations have now proved themselves robust during normal operation as well. Stability in the national timetable has essentially been maintained. Journey times on the north-south Gotthard corridor are thus 30 minutes shorter than they used to be. Customer punctuality on passenger services on the Gotthard line has improved from 79.6 to 86.8 percent since early December. Connection punctuality in Arth-Goldau has risen from 94.4 to 97.1 percent. Operations are also running steadily on the Gotthard panorama route, with punctuality nearly at 100 percent. As expected, passenger volumes on the panorama route have fallen sharply since the GBT was placed in service as well as being low due to the time of year. Expressed in a different way, fewer than 500 people are travelling between Göschenen and Airolo every day.

From April to October an extra train will run between Zurich and Bellinzona and back on the Gotthard panoramic route at weekends and on public holidays. The new “Gotthard Panorama Express” will also operate during this period, taking passengers by boat from Lucerne to Flüelen, where they board the train to continue along the Gotthard panorama route into Ticino, or vice versa. The situation regarding services from Italy remains challenging. The EuroCity trains from Milan are often delayed and depart from Chiasso with an average delay of eight minutes. However, the time lost can generally be made up using the journey time reserves factored in between Chiasso and Arth-Goldau. A total of 43 trains have been cancelled since the timetable change on 11 December 2016, mostly due to vehicle breakdowns. Thanks to the replacement train stationed in Ticino specifically for this purpose, however, the impact on national services has been minimal.

Demand along the Gotthard corridor was encouragingly high over the public holidays, with some 8,800 people passing through the GBT every day on average. This is around 30 percent more than in the same period last year. In some cases the capacity was limited over the public holidays because there were not enough trains available or because system restrictions prevented any additional ones from being put on. In a handful of cases, passengers had to be asked to wait for the next train or were diverted via the Gotthard panoramic route.

SBB is working on solving the challenges posed by any more spikes in capacity utilisation. Very high passenger volumes are expected at Easter, particularly on Zurich–Milan EuroCity trains, meaning that people are also advised to reserve seats on journeys to Ticino (reservations for services within Switzerland can be made at the ticket counter or by calling Rail Service on 0900 300 300). The findings gleaned from the first few weeks of operation will facilitate further improvements to services. Extra staff will also be on hand at Bellinzona and Arth-Goldau stations in future to provide customer information and operational support.

Freight services running on time

SBB Cargo began its first scheduled freight services through the Gotthard Base Tunnel on11 December 2016. “WLV 2017”, a regular-interval timetable for wagonload freight, was also launched throughout Switzerland at the same time. SBB Cargo is now adapting in line with the increased speed of logistics operations and is serving some places as many as three times a day rather than just once as previously. Train path capacity for freight services along the Gotthard corridor is not yet fully utilised due to the time of year. Demand for transport by rail will increase during warmer season especially in the construction industry. A hundred trains travel through the GBT each day on average. These transport some 41,000 tons of goods daily, saving the equivalent of 3,600 LGV trips. The GBT is also benefiting SBB Cargo’s customers: the time saving of about 30 minutes, for instance, means that PostLogistics can now wait until later to load its postal trains heading to Ticino from the letter centre in Härkingen in the canton of Solothurn. This enables it to switch a large number of night-time LGV journeys to the railway. Freight services will reach their full potential–260 trains per day in each direction and a train length of 750 metres–when the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the 4-metre corridor open in late 2020.
Freight services are essentially running on time and without any recurring delays.

Breakdowns affecting several railway companies’ locomotives and alarms in train monitoring systems are still restricting services in isolated cases. The causes are being analysed on an ongoing basis and appropriate corrective action is being taken. The specified timings for passing through the Gotthard Base Tunnel are being kept to and the delays that trains can sometimes incur while approaching the tunnel can usually be partially or even completely made up on their way through. Only a few freight services are still using the Gotthard panoramic route. This mainly happens overnight from Monday to Tuesday, when maintenance work in the tunnel limits its capacity to only one tube.

(Source: SBB)

7 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 21 February 2017

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