The 13th UIC Global Railway Security Congress was held from 30 November – 1 December 2017 in Potsdam, Germany

“Railway freight security door to door” was the core topic of this year’s UIC Global Railway Security Congress, which was hosted by Deutsche Bahn AG in Potsdam.

Ronald Pofalla, Member of the Management Board for Infrastructure of Deutsche Bahn AG, opened the 13th global Security congress. He highlighted the importance of security in a constantly changing environment and the need for cooperation with all partners at national and international level. He said that this congress is a great opportunity to discuss different approaches to enhance safety and security of rail freight and procure for our customers a fast, reliable and secure transport system.

During his speech, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, highlighted the importance of the work being done in the area of security within UIC, and thanked DB AG for its involvement in this process – and particularly Prof. Gerd Neubeck, chair of the UIC Security Platform from July 2016 to July 2018.

He said that up to now, freight transport has had minimal exposure to everyday security issues such as terrorism, but who’s to say that freight won’t fall victim to an accident or criminal act at some point in the future? The consequences of such an incident could indeed be very serious. We need to develop an active policy of freight security on the ground; one that meets the needs of stakeholders and that will be of benefit to our companies in the face of intermodal competition, rather than an imposed burden.

Furthermore, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed that the development of communication and digital technologies bring huge opportunities that revolutionise the way to work within railways and to exchange information. These elements are both opportunities and risks, and we need to factor them into our discussions.

Technical sessions:

The congress was organised around four technical sessions where speakers and participants from around 25 countries came together to discuss rail security and door-to-door supply chain security, which involves all of the stakeholders in the chain of transport from the first dispatcher to the final customer, each with its own role and responsibilities. It’s a particularly important subject at a time when rail freight is reshaping its future. The development of international corridors – between Europe and Asia in particular – was one of the subjects presented during the Security Congress and offers an exceptional opportunity for freight both in terms of the economic benefits of reduced transport times compared with maritime transport, and the environmental benefits associated with it – one of the key advantages of rail transport.

Regarding the development of the freight sector, the security of people and property is top priority for the national authorities. The railway companies have a key role to play alongside the authorities in embedding security as an element of service quality, attractiveness and effectiveness. The possibilities and best practices for the collaboration between third parties were also presented and discussed within the UIC Global Railway Security Congress.

During the last session of the UIC Security Congress the participants were informed about on-going EU projects, e. g. security issues and prevention measures at intermodal terminals in Europe or e-Wag as well as the opportunities to improve the exchange of information and communication under consideration of legal and security aspects especially with the explosion of digital and the growing importance of the online world.

Conclusions & next steps:

The presentations and discussions held during the congress were very fruitful. There is a wealth of initiatives on the subject that are often invisible but contribute to the fact that rail is a safe and secure transport mode.

Sandra Géhénot, Director of UIC freight department, concluded by underlying the following aspects:

  • Safety and security are key elements of the quality of the freight logistic chain
  • Cooperation is needed between international organisations and beyond with all the actors of the chain to ensure seamless security from an interoperability and intramodality point of view
  • Digitalisation is an opportunity to improve freight security door to door

In order to extend the work already done and consolidate the information gathered during this event, Sandra Géhénot asked the UIC security division to develop with the freight department a guide of good practices for rail freight security. This guide will be presented during the next GFRC (Global Freight Rail Conference) that will be held on 27 – 29 June 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

Then Gerd Neubeck, Chair of the UIC security platform, outlined some important aspects addressed during the congress, supported the creation of a guide on freight security and announced the next security events to be held:

  • 15 December 2017 in Prague, SZDC HQ: Meeting of the working group on New Technology focussing on the use of drones for rail infrastructure security.
  • 18-22 June 2018 in Paris, UIC HQ: 4th UIC security week
  • 22-26 October 2018 in Slovenia: 14th UIC global security congress focussing on crisis management and resilience.

Marc Beaulieu from Via Rail Canada, Vice-Chair of the UIC security platform, thanked all the participants. He waz very honoured to be the next Chairman of the security platform from July 2018 for two years.

All the presentations given during the congress are available on the private UIC security workspace at:

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard, Head of UIC security division:

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Kick-Off Meeting of the Working Group Sabotage, Intrusions, Attacks took place on 15 November 2017

The Working Group (WG) Sabotage, Intrusions, Attacks is the new topic of the UIC Security Platform WG previously dedicated to metal thefts, according to a decision of the steering committee of the platform (see eNews 559).

Around 20 participants discussed within this Kick-Off meeting their needs and the expectation of the new WG. In 2018, the WG will mainly deal with the topics:

  • System of detection of intrusions and transmission of alert
  • Strategies on preventing sabotage on infrastructure due to political protests, terrorist attacks thefts and illegal migration
  • Security of tunnels
  • Smuggling of illegal goods
  • Insider threats
  • Access controls
  • Protection of property (e. g. installations, objects)

In addition to these topics, the WG-members agreed to create a “lessons learnt group”. This group will come together shortly after a (security) attack/incident and share their experience within this situation.

The WG will be chaired by Susanne Kufeld (Deutsche Bahn AG) and vice-chaired by Andreas Tabor (Nederlandse Spoorwegen), and Miroslav Zeman (Železnice Slovenskej republiky) for the metal theft questions.

The next meeting is planned for February 2018. The WG remains open to UIC members.

If you are interested in participating in the WG or for further information, please contact Kathrin Faber:

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Cooperation Reporting Promoting Monitoring

ILCAD Task Force Group met on 1 December 2017 at SNCF Réseau in Paris

The International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) spearheaded by UIC was established in 2009 at the initiative of the ELCF group (European Level Crossing Forum) composed of actors of different sectors: rail, road, human factors, researchers exchanging their best practices in terms of safety at level crossings, mainly through Engineering, Enforcement and Education measures. ILCAD is part of the Education theme, and has reached a global level with more than 40 participating countries.

9 years later the ILCAD Task Force is preparing the 10th edition of ILCAD to be held on 7 June 2018; the launch international conference will be hosted by HZ INFRA and the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences in Croatia.

On 1 December 2017, the ILCAD task force met in Paris, at SNCF Réseau, for a debriefing meeting of ILCAD 2017 and the preparation of the 2018 edition with more than 30 participants representing 15 countries.

The group had the opportunity to participate in a technical visit at the level crossing of “Deuil-la-Barre” thanks to an invitation of SNCF. Virginie Taillandier, Smart Crossing Project Manager at SNCF presented the most dangerous level crossing in France with the highest rail and road traffic: 188 trains per day (regional & suburban trains), 7100 cars and more than 3500 pedestrians using it a day. The trains run at a speed of 90km/h and cars at 50km/h and is situated between two towns with a lot of buses, shops and high schools in the neighborhood. This automatic level crossing with 4 half barriers, 6 lights and a bell, saw at least 60 collisions (5 with trains) and 1 fatality from 2006 to 2016, due to blocking back road traffic and pedestrians crossing under the barriers.

It was decided through a long term work programme to close the level crossing in 2022, works starting in 2020. An underpass for pedestrians will be constructed and the road traffic will be diverted to a bridge constructed in another part of the town for a total cost of 16 million euros.

There have been a lot of improvements such as a red-light enforcement camera, yellow braces, anti-intrusion panels, police officers posted at the level crossing at peak hours mainly for teenagers going to school or back to the station, and soon the shortening of the platforms. But in a few years this dangerous level crossing will be completely closed.

All the ILCAD partners attending the meeting had then the opportunity to explain their national campaign during ILCAD 2017. LDz (Latvian Railways), that hosted ILCAD 2016 explained that there are no fences along the tracks in Latvia, pedestrians can cross wherever they want, and in this dangerous context, the use of mobile phones is the main cause of accidents. They decided to reach young people through a song interpreted by famous pop music singers. There are 2 million inhabitants in Latvia, according to a survey conducted after the campaign, LDz may confirm that more than 1 million inhabitants know the song, it was in the TOP 10 in the songs of Latvia in 2016 the song is still played today. Consequently they also may say that the number of accidents decreased by 50 % since this campaign.

CFL Cargo, Luxemburg Railways, explained the plan of the company to progressively eliminate level crossings. Meanwhile they use massive awareness communication supports: leaflets distributed, drawing contests, videoclips…

In Austria, ÖBB Infra uses a lot of awareness videos on the following topics: braking distance, car crash simulations between cars and trains, and the encouragement of drivers to break the barriers to save their lives. This year they focused on driving schools with a special train ride organised for them to become more aware of the dangers.

There was a mention to UIC/IRU/OLE that produced the 3 LC safety guidances to raise awareness about level crossing safety amongst transport professionals. The 3 flyers exist now in 12 languages:

Then Lithuanian Railways (LG) presented their campaign with a special focus on suicides and copycat effects. The country has the highest rate of suicide in Europe. They have decided to tackle that issue, and wish to exchange and profit from the experience of other railways. There was a mention to RESTRAIL project and its toolbox offering some best practices on this issue
In the same vein Network Rail presented a video that became very famous in England: “Small talk saves life” based on a real story and filming the live reactions of real passengers:

HZ Infrastructure and the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and road sciences presented the communication means that they are already using such as competitions in schools, workshops in driving schools, virtual reality application, surveys, exhibitions, super heroes and funny characters… And their plan for 2018, as hosts of ILCAD next year in Zagreb on 7 June, dedicated to young level crossing users.

Isabelle Fonverne gave an overview of ILCAD 2017 in other countries that were not represented at the meeting.

She also reported on the prize won by KiwiRail: and the special mention for Tracksafe:, two ILCAD partners, at the UIC rail film festival on 29 November in Lisbon, in the Safety & Security Category.

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Advisor, Safety and Interoperability:

Or visit

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European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) plenary meeting held on 30 November at UIC in Paris

30 participants from 15 different countries participated in the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) plenary meeting at the UIC HQ and the ILCAD Task Force meeting to debrief on ILCAD 2017, and prepare ILCAD 2018, that took place on 1 December 2017 at SNCF Réseau in Gare du Nord, Paris.

Jeroen Nederlof, Chairman, and Isabelle Fonverne, Secretary, welcomed all participants
(specialists in level crossing safety from the railways, communication departments,
research centres, the industry).

Andrew Evans from the Imperial College London and Peter Hughes from the University of Huddersfield presented “Risks to vehicle occupants and pedestrians per traverse at British level crossings”
It showed the importance of the availability of data to better tackle this issue.

Allan Spence, Network Rail: “Helping level crossing users to take safe decisions”
His presentation focused on how NR can help ALL users (young people, elderly persons, impaired persons) using LC safely.

Witold Olpinski, Senior Specialist at IK Poland presented a "Series of Polish domestic LC – related scientific and technical bi-annual conferences – conclusions and recommendations”

Pavlina Skladana, Researcher, CDV Czech Transport Research Centre presented: “the attitudes of children and youth to railway trespassing, results of focus groups”
She presented the issue of young people trespassing on the Czech railways using shortcuts. Some young people concerned were interviewed to know the reasons.

Jan Perutka, Researcher, CDV Czech Transport Research Centre presented the “Analysis of accidents at protected railway level crossings (with lights, with or without barriers) in the Czech Republic”

Jeroen Nederlof, System Manager, ProRail presented “how to make level crossings more visible”. He explained the results of the pilot test they have carried out to make LC more visible to LC users

Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Research Advisor presented the “SAFER-LC project, with a focus on the Human Factor component”

At the request of Maria Hedqvist, Trafikverket, Chairperson of the UIC Occupational Health and Safety Group (OHSG), the Security Division of UIC had sent a questionnaire to its members to know more about “existing abuse of railway agents/maintenance staff”; it was decided at the UIC Safety platform meeting to present this question to ELCF members to know about their experience as far as potiential abuse of maintenance agents working at level crossings in their country.

On behalf of the Security Division, Grigore Havarneanu, gave an overview of the results of the questionnaire.

Virginie Taillandier, Smart crossings Project Manager at SNCF presented the interfaces of TECH4RAIL with smart crossings.

Dale Jones, Business Development Manager, RedWall RVR Division, OPTEX presented their ”Next Generation Obstacle Detection Systems”.

Jeroen Nederlof, ELCF Chairman and Isabelle Fonverne, ELCF Secretary:

  • Informed that the UIC Safety Platform members endorsed the decision to integrate ELCF as a new working group of the UIC Safety Platform from 01/2018. ELCF members symbolically signed the charter 2018 at the end of the meeting
  • They invited members to a “Special event on level crossing safety together with the UIC Safety Platform” at UIC HQ on 14 February 2018

They called on members to host the “GLXS 2018 (Global Level Crossing Symposium) in autumn 2018: date and place tbd.
They also requested ELCF members to host the 2018 autumn meeting.

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Advisor, Safety and Interoperability:

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GCC-SG, UNIFE, ERA and UIC sign Memoranda of Understanding to deepen cooperation on rail development

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf – the Secretariat General (GCC-SG); the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE); the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA); and the International Union of Railways (UIC); have bilaterally signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), in the presence of representatives of the European Commission, on 1 December, 2017 at the head office of the International Union of Railways (UIC) in Paris to further mutual cooperation in different fields of rail transportation.

Messrs.: Khalifa Said Al Abri, Assistant Secretary General for Economic and Development Affairs of the GCC-SG; Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE; Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of ERA; and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC have commented, “GCC-SG, UNIFE, ERA and UIC are delighted to further strengthen the cooperation between the parties and to share railway expertise. The six Gulf Member States constitute a priority region for UNIFE; ERA; and UIC members, with considerable investments foreseen in rail. Today’s MoUs build on a solid and well-established cooperation with the GCC-SG, which started years ago. With this agreement, our organisations will be able to work even closer and exchange on important topics such as the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).”

The MoUs between UNIFE; ERA; UIC and the GCC-SG aim at facilitating exchanges and developing joint activities in order to achieve a favourable context for the development of railway projects in GCC Member States. It includes the exchange of information and expertise, cross-participation at events or joint organisation of events on market developments for freight and passenger transport, international, EU and GCC railway standards, interoperability of rail networks on cross-border corridors, deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) quality scheme, policy and regulations; rail industry and manufacturing; and important institutional and capacity building.

The MoUs also builds on the institutional and regulatory dialogue already established between the GCC-SG and OTIF under the signed MoU between the parties.

For further information please contact the UIC Communications Department:

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Eurasian Corridor Stakeholder Meeting held on 22 November 2017 in Paris

On 22 November, UIC hosted the Eurasian Corridor Stakeholder Meeting. High level participants came from Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and several other European countries.

Jean Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, welcomed the participants and emphasised that even though the market share was still small (around 1%), it was growing very quickly.

The starting point focused on the recommendations and gaps from the UIC Study on Eurasian Corridors. In a first session on Market and Technology Pavel Chistiyakov from the VP Infrastructure Economic Centre in Moscow reported on plans to build high speed freight infrastructure between China and Europe, whereas Jean Pierre Orus from SNCF listed the difficulties of developing high speed freight in Europe.

The second session discussed digital developments along the Eurasian Corridors. Natalya Stepanova from the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation presented IT solutions to improve competitiveness on the Trans-Siberian Route. Inessa Yakovleva Deputy Head of RZD IT Department presented the use of electronic signatures to reduce time and money on document processing. Vladislavs Sidorovs from SIGIS showed how to track containers and wagons from China to the Baltic. Patrick Mantell from UIC showed an existing application in western and central Europe for paperless consignment notes and tracking and tracing those consignments. Erik EVTIMOV recalled the importance of the legal compatibility between COTIF and SMGS.

The third panel stressed the importance of rail terminals along the corridors. Mr Suleymenov reported on the effort of the Kazakh Railways to create high performance terminals. Xavier Perrin from Delta 3 presented this terminal located near Dourges in the North of France. This terminal just welcomed its first direct train from China for Decathlon two days earlier.

Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, closed the successful meeting with the conclusion that higher speed on longer distance supported by IT processes and modern terminals along the corridor will attract higher value goods and improve the corridors’ competitiveness compared to sea and air transport.

For further information please contact Patrick Mantell, UIC Freight Advisor:

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CineRail 2017 – The awards of the 22nd International Railway Film Competition organised by UIC and Portuguese Railways CP were presented on 29 November in Lisbon

The winner of the ‘CineRail 2017 Grand Prix’ is ‘Paris-Bordeaux 2h04” commissioned by French Railways SNCF. The ‘CineRail Grand Prix of the Public’ is attributed to the film “507” (Escola Superior de Tecnologica de Abrantes), the Special Award of the Public to “Infrabel Star” (Belgium).

The CineRail Category Awards went to ADIF, Central Japan Railway Company CJRC, Freightliner, KiwiRail, RSSB, SNCF Gares & Connexions, SNCF, Tracksafe New Zealand, WSB Wuppertal.

The award ceremony of ‘CineRail 2017’, the 22nd edition of the International Railway Film Competition, took place on 29 November in Lisbon, Portugal, in the presence of Mr Carlos Nogueira, President of Portuguese Railways CP, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways UIC, Mrs Mireille Martin, Chairperson of ‘CineRail’, and a number of invited delegates and guests.

“CineRail”, the only international event entirely dedicated to railways and films, established in 1991 in France, was jointly organised by UIC – the worldwide railway organisation – and CP with the support of a large number of partners including the Municipality of Lisbon and its cultural arm EGEAC, Infraestruturas de Portugal IP, UITP, Metro of Lisbon and of Porto, RATP, Trains-Expo SNCF and several Portuguese companies…

The purpose of “CineRail”, every two years, aims to present to the public the newest films and audiovisual productions produced for railways or on the theme of railways all around the world, which are then evaluated by an international jury.

During this 22nd “CineRail” edition in 2017, 65 films from 23 countries were presented to the public as well as to professionals at the Sao Jorge cinema in Lisbon. The international jury was composed of Marta Reis, film director (Portugal), chairperson of the jury, Leonor Teles, film director (Portugal), Clive Lamming, historian of the railways, author, journalist, Pascal Mendive, designer, artistic director.
The jury had to decide on awards in seven categories and the “CineRail 2017” Grand Prix.
The public in Lisbon voted for the “CineRail Grand Prix of the Public”.

Awards of the 22nd “CineRail” International Railway Film Competition

  • ‘CineRail Grand Prix 2017’: ‘Paris-Bordeaux 2h04” , SNCF, France (Producer: Première Fois production, director: K. Chapiron) - awarded by Portuguese Railways (CP) and presented to the winner by President Carlos Nogueira
  • ‘CineRail Grand Prix of the Public’: “507”, Escola Superior de Tecnologica de Abrantes (Dir: A. Oliveira, P. Mourinha) - awarded by UIC and presented to the winner by UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux
  • ‘Special Mention of the Public’: ‘Infrabel Star’, Infrabel, Belgium (Prod.: Motion Makers, Dir.:R. Coppens)

Film awards by category

  • ‘Rail as Sustainable Transport’:
    CineRail Award: ‘RSSB – Our Story’, RSSB, UK (Prod: H. Wilmott, A. Jusic, B. Whipple, Dir.: Creative Connection)
  • ‘Security and Safety’:
    CineRail Award:
    ‘Rail Safety Week 2017’, KiwiRail, New Zealand (Prod: Sylvester Media, Dir.: G. Evans)
    Special Mention: ‘Trackstoppers’, Tracksafe / New Zealand (Prod: Clemengers BBDO, Dir.: Clemengers BBDO)
  • ‘Publicity’:
    CineRail Award: ‘Secrets of a Train Station’, SNCF Gares & Connexions, France (Prod: Gunsmoke, Dir. J. de Gerlache)
  • ‘Innovative Services for Passengers and Freight’:
    CineRail Award: ‘The Suspension Railway in Wuppertal’, WSW Wuppertaler Stadtwerke (Prod.: Frischfilm Agentur für Kommunikation, Dir. P. Kleinert)
  • ‘Corporate Communications’:
    CineRail Award: ‘Almonte Viaduct Timelapse, Reflections of a Camera’, ADIF, Spain (Prod.: ADIF, Dir.: A. Garcia)
  • ‘Internal Communications’:
    CineRailAward: ‘Electroshock’, SNCF, France (Prod. Elephant at Work, Dir: H. Legoff).
    Special Mention: ‘I could Have Saved a Life That Day’, Freightliner, UK ( Prod: Picturascope Ltd, Dir. R. Pendlebury)
  • ‘Railways History and Heritage’:
    CineRail Award: ‘The Establishment of Tokaido Shinkansen’, Central Japan Railway Company CJRC (Prod: Tanseisha Co; Ltd, Dir.: M. Suzuki)

For further information please contact the UIC Communications department:

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Scientific and Organising Committee meetings of the World High Speed Congress held in Ankara on 23 November 2017 at TCDD Headquarters

The Scientific Committee of the 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail jointly organised with Turkish State Railways (TCDD) met in Ankara on 23 November 2017.

An agreement was reached about:

  • The overall programme
  • The scenarios of the opening ceremony, for which the attendance of the Minister of Transport and the First Minister of Turkey is announced by TCDD
  • The scenario of the closing ceremony with a special testimony from an important personality, and information about the alliance with universities, before the announcement of the next venue for the next Congress in 2020
  • The programme of 25 parallel sessions spread over 5 slots of 1 hour 45 mins each
  • The selection of speakers: 336 abstracts from 290 authors have been collected out of which 148 are now selected and 29 are kept on a waiting list, with a gender balance of 112/36 males/females. 21 countries (from Europe, Middle East, Asia and America) have contributed to the call for papers, and among the selected speakers, China and Turkey are providing the highest number of speaker delegations with 47 and 33 authors respectively.

The principle of three Round Tables focus on:

  • New competition and cooperation: what impact on HSR business?
  • How can HSR (re) shape regional and local development?
  • Sustainability of HSR system: experiences and perspectives
  • The creation of a plenary session dedicated to digital breakthroughs for HSR.

All these decisions will be submitted for approval to the Plenary Intercity and High-Speed Committee planned on 23 January 2018.

The Organising Committee of the 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail jointly organised with Turkish State Railways (TCDD) met in Ankara on 23 November 2017.

It focused on logistical aspects, and mainly the general timing of the Congress. The number of participants in this meeting demonstrated the large interest of TCDD, CMS Project and UIC in the preparation of the event, which will be held in Ankara from 08 – 11 May 2018. The general slogan is “Sharing knowledge for sustainable and competitive operations”.

The Congress will be organised around the opening ceremony, three round tables, 25 parallel sessions, and the closing ceremony. The professional exhibition will feature stands of UIC members and the supply industry.

For the parallel sessions, the submissions are now closed. Selected and non-selected applicant speakers will be contacted by email by the end of January 2018.

The topics of the three round tables will allow high ranking speakers, not just from the railway sector, to debate future competition, then about innovation and high speed, and to end on the future, development and innovation. These round tables will be interactive, with questions from the audience. An interactive application (IOS and Android) for smartphones, tablets and laptops will be available to have access to the different stages of the programme, to allow exchanges between participants and to vote during round tables.

The updated programme, venue, accommodation, etc., are being published on the website: In parallel, flyer N°4 will be published on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly to be held on 7 December.
The next Organising and scientific Committee meetings will take place at the UIC Headquarters building, on 22 January 2018.

For further information please contact Mr Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department:

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UIC at the APTA High-Speed Rail Policy Forum in Washington

Over 100 passenger rail professionals met at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) offices in Washington on 29 November to discuss strategies for advancing high-speed and intercity passenger rail in North America.

In a forum titled “Getting to a Tipping Point for High-Performance Passenger Rail,” domestic and international passenger rail service providers described new developments and service improvements. Sessions also covered topics such as Innovative Funding, Finance and P3s, Alternative Service Delivery Models, Strategies for Improving On-Time Performance, and Making the Case through Effective Advocacy.

Attendees heard presentations on pending projects being coordinated through the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, California, Texas, Nevada and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. International developments in Japan, Spain, Germany, and France were highlighted, among others.

The International Union of Railways (UIC), was represented by Vanessa Perez, Advisor of the UIC Passenger Department. Ms Perez presented the work done by the UIC High Speed Committee, as well as a global vision of the high-speed rail systems from around the world. APTA and UIC work closely and envisage different common actions to enhance the exchange of international experience and expertise in this area.

A luncheon presentation by the Heath Hall, Acting Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, emphasised the overarching importance of safety, opportunities to expedite projects via regulatory reform, and the importance of high-performance rail in a balanced transportation system. Attendees also heard from Congressional staff on pending legislative issues, including budget, appropriations, and prospects for a federal infrastructure bill.

In an added side-exhibit, attendees could experience a virtual future trip aboard a California high-speed rail train, and the many destinations that can connect within hours.

The day began with remarks by APTA Chair Nathaniel Ford, Acting President and CEO Richard White, and APTA High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee Chair Anna Barry. Each spoke of the importance of intercity rail in an integrated transportation system that is coordinated and without silos. Speakers also emphasised APTA’s seminal new report “Framework for Assessing the Return on Investment from High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Projects.”

For further information please contact Vanessa Perez Miranda, Advisor for the UIC Passenger Department:

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2nd Training on Commuter and Regional Train Services (CRTS) held from 21 – 23 November 2017 in Rome

The 2nd edition of the “Commuter and Regional Train Services” International Training organised by the Strategic Planning Department and the Regional Transport Division, together with UIC, was held from 21 – 23 November at the Villa Patrizi (Sala Auditorium) in Rome. The aim of this training was to provide insights into the main aspects of regional transport, devoted not only to European railway companies but also to local authorities, for a total of about 40 participants.

Among the speakers, in addition to experts in European and international regional transport, representatives of international associations (UIC, CIT, UITP), professors of the University of Florence there were representatives of the industry such as Alstom, Indra, ASSTRA, as well as Italian Regional Authorities.

The main topics dealt with over the three days were, among others, the integration of services and offers, financing and trust in services, security, technological innovations and initiatives on sustainability. The last day was devoted to a technical visit to the station of Roma Termini.

In particular, the first day was devoted to providing the international panorama of the commuter sector, interoperability with other means of transport, technical design and customer-driven train design, business activities in stations and assistance to PRMs.

The second day covered the regulatory aspects of PSO, tenders, passenger rights in rail and multimodal transport, as well as public transport funding under the double national and European perspective. Another key issue was security, dealt with in several aspects: anti-fraud measures, communication policies and customer information through the use of social networks.

Finally, on the third day, we analysed the experience of Trenitalia in UK, the opportunities for rail tourism and IT developments on the e-ticketing front. The theme of environmental sustainability and BiTiBi ("Bike-train-bike") project was also given as a model for door-to-door sustainable transport.

The training is part of the UIC Commuter and Regional Train Services (CRTS) working group which aim is to enhance international cooperation and exchange of best practices on this concrete subject.

The next CRTS meeting will be held in Paris in February.

For further information or to join the CRTS, please contact: Vanessa Perez Miranda, Advisor for the UIC Passenger Department:

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The Railway Training Institute organised an “open day” in Rabat, Morocco on 24 November 2017

On 24 November 2017, the IFF Railway Training Institute organised an open day for African rail operators, as well as Moroccan companies and universities.
The organisation of this day brought together more than 150 participants representing more than 20 of the world’s railways, industrial and university organisations from different countries (seven African networks: Senegal, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Congo and Burkina Faso).

Mohammed Smouni, Director of the Development Pole (ONCF) opened the day recalling the context of creation of the IFF resulting from a partnership between ONCF and SNCF as part of the LGV Morocco project, while evoking the state of progress of the LGV Maroc project today in its final phase before the start of operations planned for the summer of 2018.

Nathalie Amirault, head of UIC’s Talent & Expertise division, gave a presentation on UIC’s strategy in the field of training with a focus on the Africa region, with a specific reference to the UIC document “Un nouveau souffle pour Destination 2040”.

Said Chandid Director of Strategy and Communications (ONCF) presented the strategic plan for the development of rail networks in Africa adopted by the UIC Africa Region, with a presentation of the regional train project in Senegal (between Dakar and the international airport Blaise Diagne).

Finally, the members of the IFF board, Karim Chennouf and Christophe Martin gave a detailed presentation of the activities of the IFF, followed by explanations and demonstration of the pedagogical methods and didactic material used at the IFF including the simulator of conduct of the seals and virtual reality software applied to train traffic.

The IFF also presented its various training programmes, available on the website

In the afternoon, the participants were able to visit the LGV Morocco work site located in Kenitra (50 km north of Rabat) to see the LGV Maroc line.

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of the UIC Talent & Expertise Division:

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News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak continues next phase of New York Penn Station infrastructure renewal work

Amtrak is announcing a series of track renewal projects in New York Penn Station as part of the Infrastructure Renewal program. While the bulk of the renewal work for 2018 will occur on weekends, there will be a series of continuous single-track closures within the Station from January 5, 2018 through May 28, 2018, which will require minor modifications to Amtrak and commuter train weekday operations at New York Penn Station. Amtrak is working with NJ TRANSIT and Long Island Rail Road on an overall service plan that minimizes the impact to all New York Penn Station customers to the greatest extent possible.

“After a successful summer, it is essential that we continue to upgrade the infrastructure so that we can continue to improve the reliability of service for all the customers that use New York Penn Station,” said Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman.
The following schedule changes will take place during the infrastructure renewal work:

  • Amtrak is cancelling Northeast Regional Trains 110 from Washington, D.C. (WAS) to New York Penn Station (NYP) and 127 from NYP to WAS
  • Northbound Keystone Train 640 will terminate at Newark Penn Station
  • Southbound Keystone Train 643 will originate at Newark Penn Station
  • Southbound Train 173 will stop at Newark Airport
  • Southbound Trains 129, 193 and 653 will all have earlier departure times.
  • Train 170 will also depart WAS early, stop at North Philadelphia and Cornwells Heights and resume its schedule from Trenton
  • Long Island Rail Road and NJ TRANSIT are also expected to announce service schedule adjustments

The projects will occur in the area of Track 15, which requires a section of concrete demolition and replacement (similar to the work on Track 10 during the summer of 2017), and Track 18, which requires localized concrete demolition with complex steel hardware replacement and rail renewal within Penn Station New York. In addition to this work, Amtrak will renew and replace three turnouts in “C” Interlocking, which is at the east end of the station and directs Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road trains to routes heading east and to Sunnyside Yard.

While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required. During the summer of 2017, Amtrak kicked off its Infrastructure Renewal at New York Penn Station, which is one element of Amtrak’s plan to modernize stations, infrastructure, and equipment on the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak’s Penn Station concourse operations improvement study has begun and improvement projects for the restrooms, waiting areas, and ClubAcela Lounge in Amtrak’s concourses are underway.

Amtrak’s reservation systems are currently being updated to reflect these schedule changes and any passenger already booked on a train that has been cancelled or altered will be contacted and accommodated on other scheduled services. Additional information and updates will be posted on and

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

Germany: DB Regio aiming to reduce diesel consumption by 10%

The telematics programme for energy-efficient driving has begun. The goal: savings of 30,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year

Around 1,000 DB Regio diesel rail vehicles are being equipped with telematics systems for energy efficiency. It is expected that 90 per cent of locomotives and railcars will be equipped accordingly by the end of 2018. This could save millions of litres of diesel and more than 30,000 tonnes of CO₂ each year - equivalent to the amount of CO₂ emitted from heating and supplying power to a small city.

The systems record when, where and how much diesel is used during train journeys. The data generated is analysed to provide driving guidelines and is transmitted to display screens in the driver’s cab, so that the driver can operate the train in a more energy-efficient way.

What already works for electrically-powered cars is about to become a reality for diesel trains: easing off the accelerator early, making use of momentum downhill, or letting the train roll along long distances, for example. Such measures can reduce consumption by up to ten per cent.

(Source: DB)

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News from UIC members

Latvia: DHL Global Forwarding – Latvia to become a very important transport hub between China and Europe

An international conference “Latvia – a Meeting Place Connecting Scandinavia and China”, jointly organised by the State Joint Stock Company Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz) and DHL Global Forwarding, was held on 22 November in Riga to discuss opportunities for cooperation and seek solutions for the development of transit routes connecting China and Northern Europe.

Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, stated that the Chinese economy was currently facing significant challenges caused by the rapid economic growth of the recent years. “Dependence on fossil fuels, unequal regional development and a GDP growth based on investments in infrastructure all facilitate a desire to develop economic ties and markets for manufactured goods outside of China, and Latvia could provide a connection to Europe”, said Mr Huang. “Latvia is going to be a very, very important transport hub between China and Europe,” he stressed.

During the event opening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, emphasised the positive impact of the geographic location of Latvia on the cooperation with partners from the Baltic Sea region, as well as other Eastern European and Asian countries, including China. He reminded the audience that, as the presiding country of the European Union, Latvia achieved the approval of the new EU strategy for Central Asia, according to which cooperation in the transport sector is essential. “This conversation is a great opportunity to transition from political and diplomatic methods to a very practical type of cooperation,” said Mr Rinkēvičs.

Latvia already enjoys close links with China and Scandinavia. Besides, as expressed by the Latvian Minister of Transport, Uldis Augulis, although China is a geographically distant cooperation partner, the previous cooperation in the field of transport has proved that distance is not an obstacle to the cooperation. The Minister also stated that the most significant achievement in our cooperation with the Scandinavian countries involved the regular sea transport services allowing shipments to be sent from the ports of Latvia to virtually any port of Scandinavia within 48 hours. At the same time, the current cooperation with China contains a realistic promise of further collaborative projects in the near future. “Our next task is to ensure an equal flow of cargo in both directions. It is not a secret that the amount of cargo coming from China is double that sent from Europe to China. Our challenge is to achieve an increase of cargo flows from Northern Europe to China, making this a more competitive route,” noted Mr Augulis.

(Source: LDz)

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News from UIC members

Czech Republic: SZDC completed the Raspenava Railway Station Interlocking Plant (SIP) Reconstruction

The biggest benefit of the project is an improvement in security and travelling comfort and an increase in speed of railway transport by eliminating drops in line speed at level crossings.

This project’s objective was to provide effective railway transport operation. The new station interlocking plant allowed eliminating drops in line speed at level crossings. Moreover, time savings were achieved at the crossing of trains or during train mergers and demergers in Raspenava Station. Construction improvements in Raspenava and Frýdlant v Čechách Stations increased passenger safety, thanks in particular to the construction of central foot level crossings and platforms. New lighting and an information system was established at these stations as well.
In addition, an improvement of level crossing safety installations formed part of the construction. The level crossings still equipped by St. Andrew’s cross only were supplemented by a flash light crossing protection installation. 17 level crossings were thus secured newly.

The total cost of the construction called Raspenava Railway SIP Reconstruction amounted to CZK 541,552,392 excl. VAT. This project was approved for co-financing by the European Union within the frame of Operational Programme Transport with a planned amount of contribution from the Cohesion Fund amounting to CZK 427,413,682. National financing was provided for by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. The company Společnost rekonstrukce Raspenava (Company of Raspenava reconstruction) consisting of AŽD Praha (leading participant) and GJW Praha was the contractor of work.

(Source: SZDC)

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 5 December 2017

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