The 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling organised with FS Group, focussing on “The Evolution of ERTMS” opened successfully in Milan

500 participants, from all five continents, and 20 exhibitors discuss the evolution of ERTMS

Following the long, successful history of ERTMS Conferences (Brussels February-March 2016, Istanbul April 2014, Stockholm March 2012, Malaga March-April 2009, etc.), the 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling jointly organised by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS Group) successfully opened today at the Fiera Milano Congressi (MiCo), Milan, in the presence of 500 delegates from more than 25 countries and 20 exhibitors.

During two days, this international event will be a worldwide forum for stakeholders, professionals, local authorities, research institutes and anyone interested in understanding the current trends of modern railway signalling and how the ERTMS system is evolving around the world.

The Opening Ceremony took place in front of Mr Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, who highlighted the theme of the mobility in Europe and the need to develop connexions, together with the participation of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, Renato Mazzoncini, Chairman of UIC and CEO of FS Group, Mr Karel Vinck, EU Coordinator for the ERTMS overall program, Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), Mr Philippe Citroën, Director General of the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE), Mr Libor Lochman, Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), as well as Mr Massimiliano Salini, Member of the European Parliament.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, gave his introductory speech: “I’m pleased to welcome all of you at the 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling, with a focus on the Evolution of ERTMS. As I announced in Brussels in 2016, this conference is the first one to address, on a worldwide scale, the convergence between the European ERTMS and its worldwide “cousins”. I’m pleased to welcome, and thank for their participation and support,first of all FS and Renato Mazzoncini, and also the total of more than 500 delegates, from more than 25 countries, 20 exhibitors and our sponsors. We will all have the opportunity in a great setting to exchange our views on this key topic, at a time when the cost effectiveness and the sustainable performance of the railway system are being debated so intensively”.

He then said: “The railway is a system of systems and signalling is the very heart of this functionally and technically integrated railway system.
“CCS signalling” is the heart of this system.
Signalling infrastructure and equipment enable us:

to manage traffic on a meshed network to operate and control traffic by type of train, and in future to allow trains to run autonomously;
to manage five risk scenarios: Clashing, Convergence, Shearing, Divergence and Succession, thanks to three kinds of systems: centralised traffic control, signal boxes/interlockings and finally headway and speed control systems.

The choice of technology at each of these three levels must take account of the “system” goals of the network and must be sustainable.
The modernisation of a signalling system must meet systemic goals. It may take different shapes and forms from one network to another but must not simply follow the latest fashion as concerns equipment.

Signalling, as the interface between trains and tracks,

  • should no longer be a barrier between regions, countries or continents,
  • should no longer be a source of high expenditure.

We have all to share our worldwide experiences, to work together and give rail transport the unique chance to be the cost-effective backbone for the expected growth of sustainable transport of goods and people.
It’s our task, responsibility and honour to achieve the best for tomorrow with the network given by our parents.
Yes, better compatibility between rolling stock, track layout, operation, signalling and telecom performances should make it possible to interconnect the railways all over the world”.

Finally: “ERTMS has a positive global benchmark, perhaps more outside than inside Europe, regarding the number of kilometres of track equipped, mainly new high-speed lines, through many different national interlocking and control centres, like a kind of Esperanto between countries, increasing the fluidity and capacity of the exchanges.

Meanwhile other systems are also very highly developed throughout the world, such as PTC (USA), ATACS (Japan) and KLUB (Russia) among the most important ones.
We have to understand the reasons and expectations behind these developments, and the possible convergences for railways to become the backbone of mobility on international corridors.

Of course, there are many different ecosystems around the world and different legal and normative constraints (such as radio frequency), but still there are five essential common targets: safety, customer care, cost effectiveness, environmental protection and asset management.

The safety and cost effectiveness of CCS give rise to common trends in innovation worldwide, such as the

  • use of a continuous CCS approach and radio link for the transmission of safety data;
  • integration of satellite geo-localization, already a reality with projects like SATLOC and ERSAT among others, which will also improve the transmission of data.

Signalling and Telecom must work together more closely.
In this respect, UIC was the basis for GSM-R and is now the basis for the current development of the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS).
For the setting of this new radio system, UIC works closely with the European Union Agency for Railways, in particular to guarantee the radio bearer for ERTMS Levels 2 and 3.
The FRMCS “User Requirements Specification” is downloadable for free from a new section on the UIC website. UIC is also working as a catalyst to support the development, deployment and the different migration phases of ERTMS in the world transparently and in full coordination with all our members.

However, once again UIC is working on all the components of an integrated system, for which the rapid input of digital technologies, and IOT in particular, should boost our technical and economical performances. Given that CCS Signalling and Telecom are the heart of this living system, I hope you will have a very lively conference”.

Mr Renato Mazzoncini, Chairman of UIC and CEO of FS Group said: “It is a great pleasure for me to be here with all of you, and to open the 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling, whose main theme is the “Evolution of ERTMS”.
As Jean-Pierre Loubinoux has already explained, the signalling system is at the core of the rail system and I might add of the railway digital technological evolution too. We are grateful to UIC and its former and well-known European Rail Research Institute (ERRI) who decided to start the development of the European Rail Traffic Management System in the early 1990s more than 25 years ago, in order to promote interoperability through the railway corridors and increase capacity, safety and efficiency. Since the early 2000s, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane has chosen ERTMS as the breakthrough signalling project to develop our high-speed lines.
We took on the challenge to test and deploy the ERTMS Level 2 on our first high-speed lines Roma-Napoli, that was opened for commercial operation as early as December 2005 and is still continuing service without any fall-back signalling system and with great satisfaction. Yes, we can confirm today that it was the right choice in terms of both performance and safety. An efficient and good transport infrastructure, as well as service, are vital for the growth and competitiveness of every region.

Nowadays, the pioneering phase is over and ERTMS has become an industrial product, stable and well adapted to our current needs, also including freight corridors and classic/regional lines. We firmly believe in the development of intercontinental corridors to boost competitiveness and connect regions (mostly Europe and Asia) for the benefits of citizens and companies who want to move smoothly between countries and in the countries.
Large-scale transport horizontal projects, as ERTMS, will further integrate and modernize transport infrastructures worldwide. In Europe, we are deploying ERTMS on all TEN-T Networks. We need to boost this deployment, gathering all the resources available with grants and financial instruments. We are investing more than 500 billion euros in physical infrastructure, and we must be able to afford 20 billion euros for ERTMS. We believe that the Rhine – Alpine corridor could be the pilot project to test the ERTMS implementation scheme on the whole TEN-T Core Network, taking into account the rolling stock equipment. The development of corridors has to be seen as the starting point to spread the benefits of standardised solutions that are now available not only for the high-speed lines but also to solve issues on high density or to cover regional lines with low traffic levels. ERTMS has so far been deployed along more than 750 km on the Italian high-speed network and we have further planned to complete 1250 km by 2020, 4000 km by 2026 and 6000 km by 2030”.

He added: “Looking at the other corridors around the world, it is important to take into consideration the potential of a proven system such as the standardised signalling system developed in Europe. ERTMS has been designed to be fully interoperable and the new on-board systems (Baseline 3MR2) will be backward compatible with old infrastructures (Baseline 2.3.0d). Infrastructure managers all over the world are adopting this standard to increase traffic efficiency and raise safety standards to address the increasing passenger and freight demand. Projects such as the One Belt One Road initiative can benefit through this proven technology in terms of performance and reliability. In Australia, satellite applications combined with ERTMS started to operate last year and successful test activities were carried out in Europe and particularly in Sardinia in order to provide sustainable solutions on secondary lines and urban nodes”.

He concluded: “More investments are needed to succeed with the challenges we are facing, to better cooperate with the EIB and the World Bank, to promote agreement with the Chinese Investment Bank and other institutions willing to boost rail transport.
All together, we must cope with the reduction of CO2 emissions and we know very well the high potential of rail transport to help reduce climate change in our little planet. Let me also say, as the railway sector, it is important to continue to develop and sustain our relationship with the United Nations.
The FS Group and UIC, in collaboration with rail representative organisations all over the world and suppliers as well as the system authority for ERTMS in Europe (ERA) and other authorities for the main advanced CCS systems in the world, will always live up to this challenge.
In substance, full digital signalling will bring us new models for running railways more efficiently, more safely, closer to our customers and in ways that are easier to integrate into a transport chain.

Mr Karel Vinck, EU Coordinator for the ERTMS overall program, gave a keynote speech: “Why is this not going faster? Next time: this is going to be the same question. We have huge importance with regard to mobility and the European deployment. If we can do so, we are prepared to accelerate the European program. From a financial point of view, we have everything in place now. The ERTMS program is very important. The interoperability will create 1.5% growth in the European Union. This technology can evolve, it can be better. The basis of the digitalisation of the railways is complex but also very crucial. Migration is the big problem – we are not efficient enough. We can go faster. We need a technical qualification to support this program. The financial means are huge.
We have to change our mentalities. We need to be flexible and to be prepared for change.

Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) said: “The ETRMS has the potential to remove the technical barriers in the path towards enabling cross-efficient operation. ERTMS is the global reference for signalling. The deployment in various countries is not centralised. We still have problems. The migration for ERTMS is clear. The new signalling system has to be more reliable.

We have not yet deployed an operable ERTMS. We have a complete system but we need to mature the system. We still have to achieve a fully industrialised and standardised system. Compatibility is mandatory.
We have the basis and now we have a methodology for insurance.
There are 3 key processes:

  • Vehicle authorization
  • Route compatibility
  • RINF “types” of ETCS networks.

The Agency will be the strong system authority. We still have more than 20 signalling systems in Europe and we have still not deployed an interoperable ERTMS system.

Mr Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, gave his keynote speech: “Today, I would like to take stock with you of the most important recent ERTMS developments and to discuss the way forward. I will start with a brief report on the latest developments related to ERTMS from the industry perspective. Then I would like to discuss the future challenges facing ERTMS and the industry vision, especially with regard to the ERTMS game-changers. Finally, I will conclude my presentation by addressing the topic of competition and market rules in Europe”.
He then spoke about the latest developments related to ERTMS, the future challenges and the ERTMS development strategy/industry vision and the competition and market rules in Europe.
He concluded by saying: “To conclude, let me just personally thank Commissioner Violeta Bulc for her strong commitment in recognising ERTMS as a cornerstone of digitalising the rail sector and a key step towards achieving a single and safe European Railway Area. I trust the rail community will work constructively to deliver ERTMS and a genuinely interoperable rail network, as she has requested several times.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that a new UNIFE committee has been established recently: UNITEL, bringing together the main European GSM-R suppliers, will support future ERTMS and other railway telecom activities, such as the next transition from GSM-R to the Future Rail Mobile Communications System (FRMCS)
Mr Libor Lochman, Executive Director CER, said: “ERTMS is the essential SERA pillar and it must succeed but is it succeeding in reality?
The “E” is essential. First message: let’s accelerate. The deployment has to be fixed. We have the business cases, but we have to address the business cases for the individual actors of the system (the infrastructure managers, the railway undertakings…)
He talked about the progress since the ERTMS Conference in Stockholm in 2012, pointing out that some results have been achieved:

  • A compatible B3 release 2 and principles for stability and evolution of the system are agreed
  • 4th railway package could support efficiency and interoperability
  • Updated deployment plan and first national implementation plans
  • Audit of the EU Court, deployment action plan
  • Shift²rail is being launched and should boost research

He highlighted the need to accelerate and that the EU ERTMS program needs coordination, commitment and a clear funding program to make rail competitive and attractive for customers.

Mr Massimiliano Salini, Member of the European Parliament said: “Thank you, Mr Loubinoux and Mr Mazzoncini, for speaking about the ERTMS. Italy is very keen to push forward the ERTMS. We have to discuss the development of the ERTMS. Since the 1980s, when the railway sector started to develop, the ERTMS system has been fully supported by the European Institutions. The ERTMS system is still very expensive. The European system has to be supported and promoted by every single actor at national and European level. The EU and the railway sector should promote the research.”
And he added: “We should aim to promote the ERTMS as the only global signalling standard worldwide.”

And do not hesitate to watch “Signalling is an essential cornerstone of the railway system”:


Marc Antoni, Director of the UIC Rail System Department:

Barbara Mouchel, UIC Communications Department:

1 vote

Average rating: 2 / 5


All actors and stakeholders involved in high-speed rail will meet at the 10th World Congress and Exhibition organised by UIC and TCDD from 8 to 11 May 2018 in Ankara

The Scientific Committee and Organising Committees met in Ankara on 21 March 2018, at the kind invitation of TCDD.

UIC was represented by Marc Guigon, Director of UIC’s Passenger department, Paul Véron, Director, Hervé Aubert, Communications department, and Michel Leboeuf, Advisor for High-Speed Rail. TCDD and CMS Project representatives also participated in the meetings.

The following points were discussed during the Scientific Committee meeting:

  • Presentation of the IT tool planned for use by all participants via app or website
  • Opening and closing ceremony scenarios, which have been adjusted to take timings for speeches into account
  • A special slot during the closing ceremony has been dedicated to the Universities Alliance, whose aims are to open and promote high-speed rail to the academic world and to boost research in high-speed rail
  • The digital session has been organised
  • Awards for students have been discussed, taking into account that many students have responded the call launched by TCDD

The following points were discussed during the Organising Committee meeting:

  • Congress website
  • Opening video
  • Launch of a 5th flyer in one month’s time, to include more specific information
  • Point of registration. Follow the link:
  • General programme, including training sessions for moderators
  • Update on information received from speakers
  • Logistical issues at the Congress Centre. A visit to the Congress Centre facilitated decisions
  • Congress bag
  • Communication plan
  • Exhibition area
  • Technical visits

The next Scientific and Organising Committee meetings are planned for 12 April 2018 in Ankara.

Contact: Marc Guigon:

4 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5


UIC participates in European Rolling Stock Forum held on 21 March 2018 in Warsaw

On 21 March in Warsaw, Poland, TOR Group, together with the Railway Business Forum association and CEE Railway Market media, organised the 2018 edition of the 5th European Rolling Stock Forum. The event was supported by PKP Group, IK (Polish Railway Research Institute) and several rolling stock suppliers.

The Forum is the largest and most prestigious event in the CEE devoted to the matters of modern rolling stock, discussing issues such as: modern driver technologies used in rolling stock and future perspectives in this part of the railway sector (including such areas such as purchasing plans, financing, rolling stock pool etc.).

This year the event brought together around 200 experts and top-level managers representing companies and institutions active in the rolling stock market in Central and Eastern Europe and the total number of participants registered exceeded 800. UIC was invited and represented by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General and Mr Marc Antoni, Railway System Department Director. UNIFE was represented by Mr Philippe Citroen, Director General.

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Transport Mr Andrzej Bittel, who opened the conference said: Polish railways are changing in our eyes thanks to EU funds, but - which cannot be forgotten - also domestic ones. Rolling stock is being replaced and renewed. Poles want the railway to be safer, faster and more customer-friendly. For this, we need a good, modern fleet and investments in the back office of carriers. The minister recalled the PKP Intercity investment programme worth around eight billion PLN (2 BN EUR) and 90% of this amount will be spent on the purchase and modernisation of the rolling stock.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, a keynote speaker of the event, presented the role of the organisation in the area of railway standardisation on the continent. He emphasised that issues of energy consumption and service life cost of rolling stock are becoming increasingly important for contracting rolling stock and transport operators. However, to have a successful rail sector, railway infrastructure, stations and rolling stock must have high standards that meet the expectations of customers regarding availability, intramodality and comfort. Not only are the customers’ needs important, but also issues related to safety/security and reliability of transport. UIC proposes uniform technical solutions (IRS) in the rail sector and calls for a systemic approach to investment. UIC takes a holistic approach, keeping in view the effects of each measure considering the railway system as the whole, preparing the different workable solutions to reach the future innovative digital railway.

Its research and innovation activities, the running of multi-disciplined, cross-functional projects and the publication of technical guidelines, technical specifications and our IRSs, places UIC at the very core of the development of the railway system of tomorrow.

Philippe Citroen, Director General of UNIFE, presented his contribution to the implementation of the single European railway area. Both emphasised the importance of the public-private partnership initiative Shift2Rail, which is currently one of the most important topics during the talks on the new EU perspective in Brussels. He also declared the close cooperation with rail sector, namely with UIC.

Marc Antoni, Rail System Department Director of UIC, presented the railway standardisation process by UIC and recent developments of the IRS (International Railway Solutions) and cooperation with several standardisation organisations. He also was invited to the ‘round table” on the electromobility, renewable energy sources – trends in energetic affect the rolling stock market in Europe.

For further information please contact Marc Antoni, Director of the UIC Rail System Department:

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5


UIC APRA-RUT (MIIT)Training Session 2018 on Best HR & Training Practices for Railways, Moscow, Russia, 21-23 March 2018

The UIC Asia-Pacific Training Session 2018 on Best Human Resources & Training Practices for Railways, kindly hosted by the Russian University of Transport (RUT), took place in Moscow from 21 to 23 March 2018. 35 participants from Korea (KORAIL), Vietnam (VNR), Azerbaijan (AZ-ADY), Kazakhstan (KTZ), Mongolia (UBTZ), Russia (RZD, NIIAS, RUT), Italy (RFI), Serbia (Infrastructure of Serbian Railways), Austria (ÖBB), Germany (DB Engineering & Consulting), Portugal (Infraestruturas de Portugal), CPCS, etc., attended the training session, while speakers from Morocco (French-Moroccan IFF) and Germany (DB) contributed via videoconference. The attendees were hosted by Boris Lyovin, rector of the RUT.

The session offered an opportunity for participants to share their knowledge and experience in many subject areas. As mentioned by Mr Evgeny Zarechkin, Director of the Centre of Strategic Programs at the Russian University of Transport, technology is developing so rapidly that railways will need a larger set of skills and competences to face the challenges of the future, and at a higher level. In this context, all of the participants expressed their desire to continue to share knowledge and best practice, and to develop best-in-class strategies for:

  • Organisation of training in specific technical fields (such as locomotive driving, infrastructure maintenance, signalling, etc.), taking into account two prevailing approaches on training management via corporate HRM departments and via relevant technical departments,
  • Training employees for high-speed rail
  • Assessment of HR training in term of costs and efficiency
  • Involvement of corporate and outsourced instructors and trainers in technical training
  • Developing international forms of rail training
  • Qualification frameworks and relevant terms.

The participants were given the opportunity to become acquainted with training facilities at the RUT, its lyceum and technical college, as well as a training centre for professional qualifications at the Russian Railways, which also participated actively in organising the session.
Taking into account the various projects and initiatives developed by UIC, the participants and all APRA members may wish to consider:

  • Participating in the next APNRTC in Chengdu (China), 25-26 April 2018 (
  • Participating in the APRA project on core rail job profiles (please contact Mr Zarechkin:
  • Participating in the UIC-KORAIL training session on railway maintenance and operation in the digital era in Seoul (Korea) from 18 to 22 June 2018 (please contact Ms Beatrice Segeral:
  • Participating in the WCRT 2019 in Morocco (please contact Ms Nathalie Amirault:
  • Joining RailUniNet (an initiative within the framework of the UIC Talent project), once it is available in a new format (
  • Participating in the Transport of the Future contest for youth projects announced for 2018-2019
  • Participating in the development of rail competences as appropriate as part of the WorldSkills movement.

For further information, please contact Ms Béatrice Ségéral:

3 Votes

Average rating: 4.67 / 5

Promoting Representing

UIC and its work in the standardisation domain - the challenges as seen by Laurent Schmitt, chair of the Standardisation Platform

The UIC has played a key role in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of today’s railways through the standardisation programme that has been at the core of its work for the very nearly 100 years of its life.
The documents produced by the UIC are a high value common asset for the whole railway community, ensuring interoperability and safety, sharing of best practice, and providing guidelines for optimised operation and for the efficient implementation of innovative practices.
The former UIC leaflets and now the emerging IRSs, allow rail stakeholders worldwide to speak a common language and have always been a major factor for strengthening the UIC values of unity, universality and solidarity.

Previously deeply involved in UIC activities through a five-year secondment, I could measure from inside the important role that the UIC plays for the development of the railway system of tomorrow and I feel especially honoured to be able to engage my energy and skills in playing a small part in the future direction of rail. I want to thank Jean-Pierre Loubinoux for his confidence in appointing me as Chair of the Standardisation Platform.

Standardisation is of course of worldwide interest although each region of the railway world has its specific needs. The considerable work undertaken by my predecessor Stefano Guidi and the UIC standardisation team has successfully recalibrated the pendulum of standardisation work and, in Europe in particular, has brought the strengths that that the UIC can bring to the sector, back to the fore.
With the implementation of the European 4th Railway Package, the opening up of markets, the increasing use of new technologies and digitalisation in railway operations and the evolution of mobility, the need for standardisation is stronger than ever, especially in some very new subject areas.

Together with the Representative Bodies and the Standards Organisations, the UIC has a major standards-setting role to play in highlighting the operational requirements of the railway operating community and providing state-of-the-art solutions for the good not only of its member companies but of all railway stakeholders.
It goes without saying that the work undertaken by the UIC is stakeholder driven. This has resulted in a series of challenging objectives that have become our mantra:
• The first of these is to keep on reinforcing our relationships with our partners of the European and International standardisation ecosystems.
For many years it was the UIC that was the unique standards setter in the global railway domain, aiming at harmonising the large diversity of non-interoperable European networks.

The establishment of the European Union, the development of European Directives and Regulations and the growing position of standardisation bodies had the risk of being seen as a competitive threat, challenging the very essence of the foundation that the railway forefathers had built up through the UIC.
The important work done by the previous team and more recently by Simon Fletcher, Célia Levy and the standardisation team, has considerably helped to improve the relationships between UIC and the other stakeholders and to clarify the scope of our respective responsibilities, allowing progress with better complementarity and understanding in a constructive partnership.
In Europe, UIC is a member of the Sector Forum Rail (also known as JPCR), the sector body for the programming and coordination of standardisation within the scope of work undertaken by the European Standardisation Bodies (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI). It is also a member of the European Commission’s RASCOP platform, ensuring that the strengths and the foundational heritage are being brought to a different and even more efficient level.
There are also well-developed interfaces with the international standardisation bodies such as ISO and IEC with whom an emerging programme of joint initiatives is being developed.

It is in the emerging areas such as digitalisation, information technologies, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, to only mention the most crucial ones, that coordination will be the most challenging. It is important that the standards published in these areas are able to cover not only the risks to the rail system but that they are identifying user-friendly solutions that will drive the sector forward.
At European level, the recently negotiated Technical Agreement with CEN and CENELEC will contribute to this good understanding and efficient cooperation, but since IT technologies issues have a worldwide impact and are addressed at a global scale, we also need to reinforce similar liaisons and coordination with the standardisation bodies at world level.
• Enhancing the connections with our standardisation partners and highlighting UIC’s contribution to the regulatory and standardisation framework results in much greater visibility and brings with it a second challenge: quality.
The migratory process from leaflets to IRSs, under the supervision of Stefano Guidi, has given a strong push towards a higher quality in the revision and development of our leaflets, taking into account regional particularities and offering solutions that are fit for all.

It is vital that we continue to progress towards the objective of producing high value and meaningful documents. This means working in the framework of the UIC Quality Management System, regularly questioning the relevance and validity of our IRSs and leaflets, withdrawing the obsolete and unnecessary ones, involving more experts in the revisions and new developments, and ensuring that there is a truly system approach across all the topic areas of the railway sector.
The creation of a dedicated Standardisation Unit, acting as a cross-functional team dedicated to enable IRS developments in a totally transverse fashion, is a major evolution to achieve a higher quality and to express the ROC requirements in an optimised manner.

  • The lack of resources in terms of available experts is probably the main challenge we have to overcome.
    In my opinion, the first lever to arouse the mobilisation of our expert resources is quality. Experts will commit to IRS projects that make sense, that are fully integrated in the global standardisation framework they are already involved in, providing solutions for what the railway operating community needs and is responsible for, with no overlap but with an optimal complementarity and coherence with the global standardisation effort.

In some cases, opening up the working groups of the UIC to the technical inputs of some experts from the supply industry or other relevant non-UIC members such as universities (UIC maintaining full responsibility for the document of course), could and will improve the technical value of our IRSs and their coherence with outside standardisation activities. This has been done successfully in the past and I intend that the Standardisation Platform encourages that further.

It is essential, and I know that it the guiding star for the |UIC’s Standardisation Unit, that the development of IRSs brings value to the results of research, providing visibility, stability and helps to turn those deliverables into useful results for the good of the future railway system. Associating ‘pre-standardisation’ to the UIC projects work programme is an excellent way to draw benefit from the research workforce and develop totally up to date IRSs and maximising the limited resources available.
We certainly need to extend this principle, and place UIC in a position to better obtain external research outputs. Thanks to its dual identity of technical platform and standard setting organisation, UIC can play a major role in bridging the gap between research and standardisation. Already with Shift2Rail, and certainly even more in the future with Shift2Rail-2, many opportunities exist or will exist for UIC (as well as for all standardisation bodies) to intelligently exploit the project outputs in a seamless and efficient research-to-standard trajectory.

For further information please contact Célia Lévy:

Or Liesbeth de Jong

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5


SBB Infrastructure’s management team welcomed to UIC headquarters in Paris

UIC was very pleased to welcome the management team from SBB Infrastructure, the infrastructure branch of Swiss Federal Railways SBB, to its headquarters in Paris on 19 March.

The delegation was led by Mr Philippe Gauderon, Member of the Board of the SBB Group, Responsible of SBB Infrastructure, and comprised the heads of the various sectors within SBB Infrastructure: Mr Nicolas Germanier (Timetable and Network Design), Mr Michel Kunz (Installations and Technology), Mr Stephan Grötzinger (Projects), Mr Charles Rinderknecht (Maintenance), Mr Ruedi Büchi (Operations), Mr Gian-Marco Caggia (Purchasing, Supply Chain and Production), Mr Marco Dirren (Finance), Mr Rainer Ducrey (Human Resources) and Ms Elena Luzio (Chief of Staff).

The delegation from Swiss Federal Railways was welcomed to UIC by Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, along with UIC Directors Marc Antoni (Rail System department), Vincent Vu (Institutional Relations) and Paul Véron (Relations with Members and Partner Organisations).
This meeting provided an opportunity for a comprehensive overview of projects and cooperation activities currently coordinated by UIC in technical fields, as well as in other disciplines (including security, digital, education, etc.) at European and global level.
An open exchange and Q&A session also took place, with discussion of a number of issues of high priority for the SBB Infrastructure management team.

UIC is particulary keen to welcome its members and their executives or experts to its Paris headquarters to learn more about their companies’ specific needs and expectations, and to be able to provide tailor-made solutions and feedback.

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


International Conference on Railway Safety and Security Risks and Challenges – Cooperation and common approaches to be held from 28 – 29 March 2018 in Djibouti

From 28 – 29 March the UIC Africa region will organise an International Conference on Railway Safety and Security Risks and Challenges – Cooperation and common approaches together with the Society of Railway of Djibouti (SDCF), under the patronage of the Djibouti Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The seminar will be held over two days, led by internationally renowned experts in the field and focus on the Trans-African Djibouti/Dakar railway making its way via the new Djibouti-Addis Abeba railway line and the return of rail in a world affected by the harmful effects of climate change.

The objectives of the seminar dedicated to security threats, safety risks, and how to cope them, include: making the stakeholders adhere to the specific issues and risks associated with level crossings or intrusions on railway property; further develop safety and security culture at the level of the general public; the methods of analysis of the threats and risks related to the crossings: evaluation, measures, highlighting the importance of organisational and human factors; share the changes in the regulatory system – better understand the risk behaviour of citizens.

The conference is aimed at public authorities: ministries, representatives and elected officials, town planners, local authorities, institutions and public bodies; the media, insurers, suppliers, heads of railway networks; organisations specialised in rail: UIC, OTIF, etc.

The presentations will be delivered on the subjects of identification of risks and threats of all kinds; presentation of the railway system and its complexity; focus on strategic elements to ensure sustainability of activity and industrial tools in a world of change; regional priorities as well as a round table on the definition of an action programme of the UIC Africa Region and grouping toegther the main priorities.

For further information please contact Thierry Béra, UIC Finance Director and Coordinator of Africa Region:

0 vote

1st UIC Forum on Tourism Opportunities for Railways – One Month to Go!

The 1st UIC TopRail Forum, jointly organised by UIC and FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) under the theme “The Business of Rail Tourism”, will be held at the Fira de Barcelona congress centre within the framework of the B-Travel Fair

TopRail is a project of UIC dedicated to the field of Rail&Tourism at international level. It intends to put together all the stakeholders in order to raise awareness of this market potential and contribute to the growth of existing and new tourist offers. The approach is very broad encompassing different areas: train-cruises, panoramic trains, railway heritage, etc.

The TopRail Forum was created with the aim of establishing itself as the ultimate benchmark for professionals in the area of Railway Tourism in its broadest sense. The business vision will be very present and is intended to be the meeting point of all the stakeholders involved: from the railway industry (operators, manufacturers) and the tourism industry (tour operators, wholesalers) to international, national and regional policy makers, international organisations and academia, to the final customer.

Welcome and opening delivered by:

  • Pere Calvet, CEO of FGC and President of UITP
  • Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General

Presentations by the following guest speakers, among others:

  • Peter Haxton, Policy Analyst, OECD
  • Tim Fairhurst, Director of Policy, ETOA
  • Supinder Singh, President, Palace Tours
  • Jordi Tresserras, Director, LABPATC, Barcelona University and President of Ibertour
  • Urs Wieser, Sales Manager, Stadler Rail

With the collaboration of our partners and sponsors:

Renfe; Stadler; OECD; ETOA; OBB; Rodalies; Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles


Registration & Programme:

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

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10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail to be held from 8 – 11 May 2018 in Ankara, Republic of Turkey

The 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail, jointly organised by UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, and Turkish State Railways TCDD together with CMS Project, will take place from 8 – 11 May 2018 2018 in Ankara, Republic of Turkey.

To register please visit the dedicated conference webiste:

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

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News from UIC members

Iranian President Rouhani inaugurates Astara – Astara rail line

The Astara – Astara border rail line is to be inaugurated in Baku on 29 March in the presence of the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan

The Astara – Astara border rail line is to be inaugurated in Baku on 29 March in the presence of the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Republic of Azerbaijan.

The border line links the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Azerbaijan with the new 1.3 km of rail and was funded by Azerbaijan. The total cost of construction for the line and for Astara rail freight terminal was around 60 million dollars, according to Iranian Railways (RAI).

Hassan Rouhani and Ilham Aliyev, Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, will inaugurate the Astara - Astara route and the freight terminal in Astara (Iran) on 29 March.
“Some cargo from Azerbaijan and Russia has entered the rail docks in Astara in Iran in the past month, and the total weight of this cargo was around 7,600 tonnes of goods, carried by 122 freight wagons”, according to RAI.

The right to operate the Astara freight terminal in Iran has been granted to the Republic of Azerbaijan for 25 years, following Baku’s investment in the construction of the rail freight terminal.

The total area of the Astara rail dock is about 60 hectares and includes official buildings alongside required facilities such as silos and oil depots along terminals for general cargo and containers, according to Hossein Ashouri, former Head of RAI’s international transport committee.
“At least five foreign companies have declared that they are ready to invest in the Astara rail freight terminal. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to accept foreign investors to expand the Astara rail freight terminal”, Ashouri said.

(Source: Iranian Railways (RAI) )

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News from UIC members

Croatia: Changes in the Management Board of HŽ Cargo – new appointment

Pursuant to the decision of the Assembly of HŽ Cargo d.o.o. of 15 March 2018, Mr Gordan Žurga has been named as Management Board Director, while Mr Željko Pokrovac, dipl.oec., has been revoked from the position of Management Board Director.
Gordan Žurga is a successful electrical engineer with a masters in economics, with over 14 years of work experience in the technical and humanities field, electrical engineering, traffic technology and transport, economy. Since the beginning of his career, he has worked in management and highly responsible positions in the following companies: HŽ Cargo d.o.o, Agit d.o.o., Podravska banka d.d., Lječilište Topusko, Top Terme d.o.o., RPL Airports Rijeka d.o.o., Zračna luka Rijeka d.o.o., Končar- Kućanski aparati d.o.o. and Končar – Trgovina i zastupstva d.d.

In all his previous positions Mr Žurga has successfully developed business strategy and improved the profit of the company through the implementation of efficient sales strategies. He is a successful negotiator with excellent communication skills. He is a generator of new ideas, he is proactive and professional.

(Source: HŽ Cargo)

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News from UIC members

Greece: OSE announces changes in management

OSE (Greek Railways) has announced the following changes in its management board:

  • Chairman of OSE Board of Directors: Mr George Kakoulakis
  • CEO of OSE: Mr Panagiotis Theocharis

UIC congratulates Mr Kakoulakis and Mr Theocharis on their recent appointments and wishes them every success in their new roles.

(Source: OSE)

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: New alliances to be formed as £5bn railway track work tender issued

The infrastructure company, which owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway, has begun the process to let the next generation of track infrastructure contracts.
Network Rail has today issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) via The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process for its tender exercise to let the next generation of track works contracts, valued up to £5bn over 10 years, starting 2019.
Network Rail is spending £130m every single week on improvements for passengers through the Railway Upgrade Plan, including maintaining and renewing Britain’s 20,000 miles of track. As a result, by 2019 there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every single day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. Journeys will be quicker, trains will run more frequently and it will be more comfortable on board under the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era.

The contracts within this PIN will cover the development, design and delivery of plain line and switches & crossings, as well as associated infrastructure works using the alliancing contract form. Three alliances will be formed between Network Rail and consortia comprising a minimum of one construction contractor and one designer. The alliances will cover the following geographic areas:

  • Alliance 1: North (Scotland Route)
  • Alliance 2: Central (London North West, and London North East & East Midland Routes)
  • Alliance 3: South (Anglia, Southeast, Wessex, Western, and Wales Routes)
    The pre-qualification period for the tender is expected to start in May, and will be preceded by a supplier engagement briefing for interested suppliers on Monday 23 April.

A significant infrastructure investment programme will be undertaken by Network Rail during the next five-year funding period, 2019-2024, known as Control Period 6 (CP6). With this in mind, Network Rail invites bids from a wide range of suppliers who can illustrate relevant expertise. Given the large scale and long-term nature of the contracts, it will be essential for prospective bidders to exhibit their commitment to delivering value through the relentless pursuit of excellence, highly innovative approaches, and a demonstrable track record of success in collaborative environments.

The implementation of these alliances aligns with Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects CP6 procurement strategy. This strategy promotes entering into collaborative style arrangements with the supply chain to offer better value for money for our devolved route customers.

Steve Featherstone, Network Rail’s director for track said: “This tender represents a major milestone in the development of our strategy for our track infrastructure investment programme. It also represents a significant commitment by Network Rail to the rail industry and we are expecting high levels of interest in these contracts from the supply chain. In return, we will be looking for clear and firm commitments from the supply chain to deliver value for Network Rail.”
The published Track Works PIN contains full details on the tender and information of where suppliers can register their interest.

(Source: Network Rail)

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Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members

Belgium: New destination in Green Xpress Network with Lyon Xpress

Given the growing success of the Green Xpress Network, Lineas, one of Europe’s largest private freight forwarders, is expanding this network further.

This week, the company launched the Lyon Xpress, a new, direct rail product with high frequency and reliability between Lyon and Antwerp. Thanks to a combination of products from the GXN network, cargo from Lyon can be rapidly sent on its way to the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, etc. and vice-versa. The Lyon Xpress also benefits from a connection with the area Fos/Marseille; this enables an improved access to the industrial sites located around the “Etang de Berre”. This new product will undoubtedly constitute a further step towards the modal shift – the mission of Lineas.

Rapid connection between chemical clusters in Europe the Lyon Xpress, the 12th branch in the network, links Lyon, an economic hub with a river port, with other
centres in Europe. The region around Lyon is famous for its commercial dynamism, particularly in the chemical sector. The rapid connection with other chemical clusters in Antwerp, Germany and the Netherlands means real added value for the sector.

Green Xpress Network: A unique concept for an efficient, interconnected network
The innovative principle of an Xpress product consists of combining different types of cargo, from steel, chemicals and consumer goods, to pallets and containers, thereby capitalising on the winning assets of rail, namely transporting large volumes over (medium) long distances. The GXN product is extremely reliable, flexible and rapid because the number of re-marshalling operations is limited to a minimum and the end-to-end transport is controlled by the same operator.

Lyon Xpress, the details
The Lyon Xpress runs twice a week at present, departing from Lyon on Thursday and Saturday with conventional cargo only. The frequency will be increased to three round trips as of April. The aim is to switch over to five round trips as rapidly as possible. As of June, the Lyon Xpress will also accept intermodal cargo to and from Port Edouard Herriot. The trip between Antwerp and Lyon takes 16 hours. This Xpress product is carried out in cooperation with the partner Europorte.

Sam Bruynseels, CCO of Lineas: “Our Xpress products offer a competitive and sustainable alternative. These are services with short transit times, high reliability and flexibility, and we can make the difference more and more on that front in France too. The end-to-end Xpress connections address real customer needs and are consequently convincing more and more companies to opt for rail, with a
positive impact on mobility and the environment to boot. The unique characteristics of the GXN network underpin steady growth of our volumes.”

(Source: Lineas)

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Average rating: 4.5 / 5


Instagram account of the week

Today we are putting the spotlight on Trenitalia, member of the UIC Europe Region

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UIC Terminology: Word of the Week

Onboard Unit (OBU)

Onboard equipment for ETCS and the ETCS-related GSM-R.

FR: Unité embarquée

DE: Fahrzeuggerät

  • Read our Tuesday’s edition of eNews to find out the meaning of the next “Word of the Week”: System Failure Mode

For further information about UIC terminology please contact:

And visit:

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Next meetings scheduled

  • 22 January 2019 SHERPA WS1 - Terrorist risk assessment and management Brussels
  • 22-23 January 2019 TEG Plenary Meeting SNCF Réseau HQs Rue de Dunkerque 18 F-75010 Paris (Gare du Nord)
  • 22-23 January 2019 TEG Plenary Meeting SNCF Réseau HQs Rue de Dunkerque 18 F-75010 Paris (Gare du Nord)
  • 23-24 January 2019 UIC PoSE Meeting Paris, UIC HQ
  • 11 February 2019 First Energy Efficiency & CO2 Workshop of 2019 - The role of IMs in energy transition regarding traction Rotterdam
  • 14 February 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 14 February 2019 UIC security platform - Steering committee Paris, UIC HQ
  • 13 March 2019 European Management committee Riga
  • 27 March 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 4-5 April 2019 Talent and Expertise Development Platform Vienna, Austria
  • 12 April 2019 SHERPA WS2 - Emerging threats Paris, UIC HQ
  • 17-19 April 2019 Asset Management Global Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 25 April 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 8 May 2019 Freight Forum RCA Vienna
  • 14-16 May 2019 UIC Global FRMCS Conference Paris, UIC HQ
  • 14-16 May 2019 UIC Global FRMCS Conference Paris, UIC HQ
  • 15-17 May 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting Poznan, PL (PKP)
  • 16-18 May 2019 TopRail Forum Naples
  • 22 May 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 23 May 2019 Preparatory Group 94th General Assembly Paris
  • 3-5 June 2019 1st Digital Conference Brussels
  • 18-20 June 2019 UIC Security Week Paris, UIC HQ
  • 24 June 2019 28th European Regional Assembly Budapest
  • 25 June 2019 Executive Board Budapest
  • 25 June 2019 94 General Assembly Budapest
  • 26 June 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting DB AG BERLIN
  • 2-4 July 2019 SET 7 Meeting Paris
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco
  • 5 November 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 5 November 2019 Freight Forum RCA Vienna
  • 6 November 2019 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 11-14 November 2019 7th NEXTSTATION Tehran
  • 26 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 27 November 2019 Statistics Plenary Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 28 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 27 March 2018

  Contact the UIC e-News team