International Conference on Railway Safety and Security (Djibouti, 28-29 March 2018)

A two-day international conference on railway safety and security, the first of its kind to be organised in Djibouti, took place on 28-29 March.

The conference was held three months after the opening of the new Djibouti-Addis Ababa standard-gauge railway line. The project, a joint venture between EDR and SDCF, represents a €4 billion investment on a line with 19 stations.

The conference was opened by the Minister of Equipment and Transport of Djibouti, the DG of SDCF, Mr Mahamoud Robleh Dabar, the DG of EDR, Mr Tilahun Sarka, and Mr Thierry Béra, UIC CFO and Africa Region Coordinator.

Mr Loubinoux, unable to attend the meeting, sent a video message which was welcomed by participants. You can watch it here:

The conference brought together over 200 participants from 12 different countries, including representatives of various African countries, members of a number of safety, security and environmental institutions, the University of Djibouti, an association representing nomads, police, port and railway authorities, engineers and new employees of the brand-new railway line, who were particularly interested in the event and played an active role during the Q&A session and discussion.

During the two-day conference, UIC experts Jacques Colliard, Head of Security, and Bernard Penners, Head of Safety, spoke at length about the safety and security of railway systems, risks, health in the workplace, environmental change, and services offered by UIC. A separate panel was devoted to regional priorities, with presentations by representatives from Algeria, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

Three topics were highlighted at the conclusion of the conference: the role of the train station as a factor in regional development, crisis management in parallel with risk and threat prevention, and the impact of railway concessions on safety and security management. The members of UIC Africa will decide on the next steps to ensure that developments in these areas are monitored closely.

The key values necessary for development include engagement on the part of all stakeholders and safety culture developed through recruitment and training, important at all levels of organisations and society. The speakers encouraged the new recruits at EDR and SDCF - the first to benefit from this kind of training - to continue with their work. The DG of EDR expressed a wish to continue working with UIC. The conference concluded with a technical visit to ports and a railway station.

For more information about the work of UIC’s Africa region, please contact Thierry Béra at

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Key messages from the first UIC Global Signalling conference in Milan

The first UIC conference on signalling was held successfully in Milan from 26 to 28 March, with a focus on operational and normative ERTMS developments. More than 500 international participants attended presentations given by more than 50 experts and leaders from the railway signalling and telecoms sector, with participants from many European countries as well as China, the United States and India. Key ERTMS stakeholders including DG Move, ERA, UNIFE and CER shared their vision on the evolution of the market and its technologies.

All of the participants agreed that ERTMS is now considered a stable technology, enabling accelerated investment all over the world. With this in mind, several new plans for financing at national or European level were presented; the aim of such plans is to sustain and increase the pace of ERTMS deployment. It was largely agreed that ERTMS was increasingly becoming a game changer for the rail industry, increasing the interoperability, capacity, maintenance and safety of railway networks, and thus optimising profitability for rolling stock operators.

Positive feedback was also received from major railway companies in Austria, Denmark and China, for example. It was very interesting to learn about the organisation of railway companies in the United States, the rules governing them, and their vision going forward.

On the topic of technical developments, ATO initiatives and initial plans focussing on GoA3 and GoA4, which aim to develop autonomous and driverless trains, were examined in detail and sparked significant general interest.

Another key evolution - the FRMCS programme - was discussed and analysed at length. FRMCS is seen by the Railway community as the way forward after GSM-R, an essential component of the ERTMS system. The objective is to reach the same overall level of interoperability, to increase bandwidth capacity and, more generally, to extend the railway telecom networks to both critical and performance applications, paving the way toward real and concrete digitalisation of the railway industry. The need for spectrum to achieve these objectives was highlighted several times by the various speakers.

ETCS Level 3 was also a key topic at the conference. It is regarded as a cost-effective solution for regional lines, and several innovative approaches were considered, such as new methods of geolocation and use of satellite communications. There was a particular focus on disruptive technologies such as virtual balises and smart systems for train integrity.

Last but not least, part of the conference was dedicated to cybersecurity, with recognised specialists in railway security explaining their vision and their strategies, as well as a number of specific solutions to the problems associated with this multi-sector threat. Regarding rail Cybersecurity, UIC is involved in the EU project CYRAIL funded by Shift2Rail. CYRail aims to have a significant impact on enhancing the operational security level of the different rail segments and the robustness of the railway information, control and signalling sub-systems. The CYRAIL final conference with the presentation of the results will be held at UIC HQ on 18 September 2018.

Closing the conference, Mr Marc Antoni, UIC Rail System Director, said that “Signalling is at the heart of railway systems. We must be economically efficient and – in order to do so - we must work together, making ETCS more successful than it is today. Let’s set a target for signalling to be as interoperable as we are in railway telecoms, particularly in GSM-R. We see the emergence of Level 3 and ATO as clear ways to optimise costs. And we must look for greater convergence between the different systems. This convergence is the ambition of the FRMCS programme: becoming more and more global. And if FRMCS is to be even more global than GSM-R and enable the real digitalisation of the railway industry, the railway community must push to obtain the necessary spectrum. We need this spectrum for interoperability and digitalisation”.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, said “We are very satisfied with the quantity and the quality of the discussions. Thanks to the organisers, analysts and sponsors for having shared our philosophy at UIC, which is summarised in 3 words: open, share, connect.

“We are now going to move towards something else - projects, standards, research, training, but also conferences. We organise 80 of these conferences a year. The biggest ones focus on system components, on the business, but also on fundamental values of railways such as safety, security, digital, sustainability and research.

“As far as sustainability is concerned, I want to make some parallels with what is happening today: we are working a lot with the UN and we are involved in the preparation of the COP, the Climate Conference. In these conferences on sustainable development, we have seen an evolution from a vision to the need for action, from mitigation to adaptation. With CCS, we are in the same situation. The vision we need now is quicker action and better implementation”.

A couple of key words come up regularly:

  • Corridors: corridors between countries/continents
  • Collaboration: between stakeholders, operators and manufacturers, and between members state as well. We work better together.
  • Complementarity/compatibility: between systems. Another key message: signalling and telecoms must work closely together.
  • Connectivity: FRMCS is one of the keys to better connectivity for better security and safety.
  • Cash is needed: there are a lot of investments to be made in rail mobility, probably more than what has already been done. Two trillion dollars are needed every year if we wish to meet the SDGs and respect the two-degree scenario set out in COP 21. But the savings for society, compared to business as usual, for intra-mobility and intermobility projects can offset these investments, making them virtuous and sustainable. Investing in the most sustainable mode of transport to increase its capacity with CCS and FRMCS has an excellent eco-scoring”.

He also said: “The interest invites us to imagine the next steps. We feel the fresh air of FRMCS, of ATO, of satellite. These three concepts, together with ERTMS, will certainly be introduced at the World Congress on Research that will be held in Japan next year. After the positive success of this first Global Conference on Signalling, there will surely be a second global conference in 2020. There is a high probability that this second conference will be held in Russia. Thanks to everyone again for the excellent collaboration between all.”

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

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Promoting Representing

Development of the UIC Standardisation Platform

The platform was created 5 years ago and in this interview, its former chair, Stefano Guidi, discusses its successes and challenges.

You have been chairman of the Standardisation Platform since its creation five years ago.

How do you look back on this period?

I started my participation in the UIC expert groups in 1985. Representing FS (Italian Railways), I was involved in the study of the technical issues related to rolling stock and in the definition and in the update of many UIC Leaflets. Then I became team leader of the expert groups on combined transport, wagons and passenger vehicles.
From 2011 to 2012 I chaired the Standardisation Working Group (SWG): a panel of experts from different countries in Europe and in Asia in charge of evaluating all UIC Leaflets to define those that could be maintained without changes, those that needed to be modified and those that could be considered as obsolete and no longer usable in the future.
In the last five years I had the honour of being nominated by the General Assembly as chairman of the new Standardisation Platform. It was an exciting period for which I drew heavily on my professional experience at FS, in the UIC expert groups and in the SWG.

What about the recently created and developed IRS?

Following the definition by the Standardisation Platform of the documents for its governance and of the IRS layout, UIC Forums started their activity in drafting IRS in 2014. IRS 50561 “Railway application - Rolling stock, Interconnection systems of walkways between vehicles” was the first IRS published in May 2016.
Since the beginning, the Standardisation Platform pushed, with some success, for an acceleration of IRSs produced and for the support of the members at various regional and general assemblies.
At the end of 2017, I am proud to say that 33 IRSs were approved, 13 IRS are in the approval process and 23 are being drafted.

What about the cooperation with the Standardisation Bodies?

The coordination and the development of the cooperation between UIC and IEC, ISO, OSJD and CEN_CENELEC is a fundamental part of the role of the Standardisation Platform. The aim of the cooperation with the Standardisation Bodies is getting coherence in terms of programmes, work and developments with existing standards valid at regional or global level strengthening the position of railway operators and avoiding duplication of work.
The Cooperation Agreement with IEC was signed on 11 June 2014 in Geneva. The cooperation is ongoing on two main topics: Rolling Stock (Trainbus technology) and Fixed Installations (Overhead Contact Line). Two joint groups were created, and they are working on common technical documents on the basis of which the two parties will define their own Standards and IRSs.
The UIC-ISO Cooperation Agreement that was signed on 1 December 2016 in St. Petersburg describes the roles, the scope, the methods and the means of collaboration between UIC and the ISO TC 269 “Railway Application”. Collaboration is ongoing for the definition of the topics of the common work.
In the framework of their cooperation, UIC and OSJD created the Joint UIC/OSJD Working Group (JWG) to boost the development of common standards. JWG agreed the detailed method of working, the concrete actions to implement and set up the list of common leaflets to update and to transform into IRSs.
The final text of the revised Technical Corporation Agreement between UIC and CEN_CENELEC (there has been a formal agreement between UIC and these bodies since 2005) was approved by the UIC European General Assembly on 6 December 2017 and is now undergoing the CEN_CENELEC consultation process.

What are the new challenges for the Standardisation Platform?

By 2020 UIC plans to produce at least 100 IRSs. This is really the core of the added value that UIC can bring to the railway sector internationally. These have to be user-friendly, quality documents and for that the participation of UIC members (and some third party contributions) in the process is fundamental.
The principle challenge for the Standardisation Platform is to avoid the risk of the work being twice. The full application of the cooperation agreements with the standardisation bodies and pushing for the collaboration of all UIC Forums and Platforms and for the participation of all Members in the standardisation activities to ensure the achievement of the objectives fixed by UIC in its 2018 – 2020 IRS production programme, will ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication of effort.
I would like to wish my successor Laurent Schmitt the very best for the continuation of this work and I know that he can count on me for all possible support in the challenging period ahead.

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Meetings on Shift2Rail JU-funded projects OPEUS and FINE1 in Munich, 15-16 March

OPEUS and FINE1 representatives met in Munich from 15 to 16 March to discuss their upcoming collaboration on two Shift2Rail projects.

With the OPEUS project approaching its eighteenth month, the meeting in Munich provided an opportunity for the partners involved to present some of the preliminary results from the project’s findings.

The University of Rostock’s Lukas Pröhl, who also works on OPEUS, led the presentation. It focussed, in particular, on a universal tool being developed to estimate energy consumption, which will now be rolled out during simulation tests. The intention is to make the tool available to all industry organisations and operators after the project’s completion.

Further examples of important ongoing work were presented, including the development of simulations of in-vehicle traction chain loss and studies on energy storage systems. The second day saw attention turn predominantly toward the FINE1 project; however, HVAC and eco-labelling were also touched upon by speakers.

For further information about OPEUS, please visit or e-mail

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Intercity and High-Speed Committee (Paris, 27 March 2018)

The Intercity and High-Speed Committee meeting took place at UIC Headquarters in Paris on 27 March 2018. Held twice a year, these meetings are a forum for all UIC members active in the field of high-speed rail.

The Committee was chaired by Andrew McNaughton, HS2, and UIC was represented by the Director of UIC’s Passenger Department, Marc Guigon. There were 30 participants at the meeting, representing several railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, policymakers, consultants and research institutes from China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Russia and the UK.

Mr Guigon presented the new organisation of the Passenger department, and the best way of working within this new structure, especially in relation to the Passenger Forum taking place in Madrid on 3 July.

Mr Guigon encouraged the members of the Committee to participate in the two main events relating to high-speed rail to be held over the next number of weeks.
• High-speed training course planned for 2018, which will be divided into two levels:
o The 14th Training Session on High-Speed Systems Level I, to be held from 23 to 27 April 2018 at UIC Headquarters in Paris.
Level I:
o The 6th Training Session on High-Speed Systems Level II, to be held from 10 to 14 December 2018 at the Spanish Railways Foundation in Madrid.
Level II:
• The 10th UIC World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Ankara from 8 to 11 May 2018:
The various sessions scheduled for the World Congress on High-Speed Rail are listed on the website.
Recommendations are provided for speakers, moderators, round table guests and participants at the opening and closing ceremonies. Members are strongly requested to encourage all participants from their organisations to submit their presentations by the end of March and to respond positively to invitation letters.
The procedures for round tables and the opening ceremony are explained in full detail on the website.

The Committee discussed various topics concerning intercity and high-speed trains.

The participants were also informed of the International Railway Solutions (IRS) meeting held the previous day by Chairman Huo Baoshi (China Railway Corporation).
The present status of the IRS was presented along with the approval process, which encompasses several steps.
The first series of eight IRSs was about to be completed.

A new series of 4 IRSs was proposed in order to deal with interfaces between rail system components. The proposal was accepted and members asked IRS project leaders not to limit the IRSs to what needed to be done, but also to extend the documents to explain the reasons for particular actions.

It has been announced that the Alliance of Universities will be chaired by Beijing’s University of Transport, which is a UIC member. The first meeting will take place in Ankara during the World Congress on High Speed. During the plenary session at the closing ceremony, the Alliance will outline the work that has already been completed and the work still to be done.

Finally, a large number of studies and project proposals were discussed and now need to be finalised by the UIC Passenger department for presentation at the UIC Project Workshop in April. Some of these studies will be undertaken by the Alliance of Universities, while others will be carried out by members and consultant companies.

The next Intercity and High-Speed Committee meeting will be held in Berlin on 17 September 2018.

For further information, please contact Marc Guigon, Director of UIC’s Passenger department or Beatrix Perrot, his assistant

5 Votes

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News from UIC members

Finland: Railway network in southern Finland to be improved with 300 million euro investment

The Finnish Transport Agency’s current set of railway projects will improve traffic flow in southern Finland. As a result of work on the tracks, speed limits will be imposed, causing regrettable delays. This is a necessary evil, according to the Finnish Transport Agency.
“Our current projects include improving the efficiency of the Helsinki railway yard and the Helsinki–Riihimäki line. We are also building an additional western track and a new station platform in Pasila, as well as upgrading safety equipment on the Riihimäki–Tampere line”, said Pekka Petäjäniemi, Director of the Finnish Transport Agency’s Project Implementation department.

Railway transport is a means of serving expanding areas of employment and meeting the mobility demands of the increasing number of inhabitants in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
“The growing number of passengers requires modes of transport that are smoother and faster, and we are meeting these demands with the current investment in railways amounting to over 300 million euro”, said Petäjäniemi.

Projects on the main line
The project to increase the efficiency of Helsinki railway yard (HELRA) will improve operations and reduce the railway yard’s vulnerability to disruption. Currently, 74 trains per hour operate between Helsinki and Pasila at peak times. Upon completion of the HELRA project, this capacity will increase to almost 90 trains per hour, resulting in an increase of 200 trains per day. The project will be completed in 2020, costing 60 million euro in total.
The project will affect traffic in the Helsinki metropolitan area this summer because the outermost tracks on the Helsinki–Pasila line will be alternately out of service due to the work on the Helsinki railway yard. More detailed information will follow.

The Helsinki–Riihimäki line project is being carried out in two phases. During the first phase, freight transport to Vuosaari was transferred onto a separate track in Kerava. The project includes constructing another track between Ainola and Purola, as well as updating the functionality of Riihimäki railway yard and elevating the platforms to meet current requirements. The project will also reduce vulnerability to disruption and achieve more flexible services and more punctual trains. In Järvenpää, the renovation of the station area will improve passenger services, including a new bus terminal to provide feeder transport to town residents.

The works carried out in the first phase of the project will cost 150 million euro and the project will be completed in 2020.

The project to build an additional western track involves building a new track and station platform in Pasila. The new 1.5 km track section will significantly reduce traffic on the main line. The western track project is being carried out on the same site as Tripla, the new centre of Helsinki, in Central Pasila. Construction work began in autumn 2015 with piling of bridges connecting to Pasila railway station. The new track will be open to traffic in 2019 and fully operational in 2020. The total budget for the project is 40 million euro.

As part of the project to upgrade Riihimäki–Tampere safety equipment, safety devices at the end of their life-cycle will be completely replaced. This will be done to reduce the trains’ vulnerability to disruption and to ensure safe and fast transport.

“The work will be completed at the end of 2018, when the new safety equipment will be used. The most significant traffic disruption will occur from mid-September until the week before Christmas”, said Project Manager Juha Lehtola.

The project area is 110 km and the total cost of the project will be 59 million euro.

Impact on passengers
The Helsinki region and the Riihimäki–Tampere line are among the busiest railway lines in Finland. When track works are carried out in these areas, any disruption will have far-reaching effects on traffic in both the Helsinki metropolitan area and also from Tampere northwards.

“Regrettable travel delays will primarily be the result of speed limits imposed on the main line for track works. Speed limits are imposed to ensure safe working conditions when trains are passing by the work sites”, said Track Work Coordinator Juha Kröger.

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News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC implements the “Digital Railway” programme, with five areas of activity

On March 29 this year, a briefing was given by NC KTZ JSC on the implementation of the “Digital Kazakhstan” programme and the “Digital Railway” information technology development strategy.

Arman Nurushev, Vice-President for Information Technologies at NC KTZ JSC, reported on the projects implemented within the framework of the “Digital Railway” programme in the fields of freight, passenger, multimodal transportation and on projects implemented at railway infrastructure facilities, as well as in corporate areas.

“The “Digital Railway” strategy envisages digitalisation of the company’s business model and introduction of new technologies in all key operating segments - freight and passenger transportation, infrastructure and transport logistics,” the Vice-President said.

Mr Nurushev focussed on the digitalisation projects implemented in the domain of passenger transportation, whereby the objective is to increase customer orientation. An electronic ticket sales system has been implemented. Plans are underway to introduce a system of dynamic tariff management for centralised, 24/7 management of customer requests.

At railway infrastructure facilities, projects are being implemented to introduce digital path diagnostics, a traffic management centre, and digital services at 17 stations.

“Digitalisation of the transport and logistics complex will ensure transparency in the organisation of transportation, increase efficiency and reduce operating costs,” the Vice-President said.

Vladimir Petrov, Executive Director for Integrated Planning at KTZ Freight Transportation JSC, presented the introduction and operation of information systems in cargo movement, aimed at increasing efficiency in the organisation of the transportation process.

According to Mr Petrov, automated systems are aimed at operational management of transportation, integrated route processing, planning and forecasting of train-wagon traffic, control of consumption of diesel fuel, and electricity by locomotives.

One of the projects running successfully in NC KTZ JSC’s cargo sector is an automated management system for contractual and commercial work. Here, the principle of a “single electronic window” is used in the planning, organisation and implementation of transportation and electronic payment for services related to the transport of goods.

“Shippers can plan transportation via the Internet via ASU DKR (ACS VDCs) by submitting an application, issuing a shipping document and calculating the preliminary tariff for transportation. Currently, more than 20,000 customers of the company and more than 5,000 employees of freight stations are registered and working in the system”, Mr Petrov said.

Digitalisation processes will affect the scope of corporate tasks. Madiyar Sultanbek, Head of the “Integrated Planning System” department at NC KTZ JSC’s Business Transformation Centre, spoke about the final results of implementation of the integrated planning system with machine learning. The system will allow optimal allocation of resources and make effective decisions in operational, commercial and investment planning. A 3-4% optimisation of costs relating to the transportation process is forecast by 2021.

During the briefing, the speakers responded to questions raised by journalists regarding the further digitalisation of production processes, transport logistics, supply chain, improving electronic ticketing technology, and railway station activities.

(Source: NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC)

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Instagram account of the week

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

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UIC Terminology: Word of the Week

System Failure Mode

An ERTMS/ETCS onboard equipment mode entered when a fatal failure which could affect safety is found.

FR: Mode SF (mode de défaillance système)

DE: Betriebsart Systemfehler

Read our Tuesday’s edition of eNews to find out the meaning of the next “Word of the Week”: Balise

For further information about UIC terminology please contact:

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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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Next meetings scheduled

  • 3 September 2019 UIC Asia-Pacific Preparatory Meeting (Web Conference) UIC HQ, Paris
  • 11-12 September 2019 TEG Plenary Meeting Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 12 September 2019 European Management committee Assistants
  • 17-19 September 2019 UIC PoSE Meeting Vienna
  • 17 September 2019 Plenary meeting and Standardisation international Conf Paris UIC
  • 23-28 September 2019 UIC-KORAIL Training Session 2019 on Railway Accessibility for the Public Seoul, Korea
  • 24-25 September 2019 Rail System Forum Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 27 September 2019 UIC Asia-Pacific Preparatory Meeting (Web Conference) UIC HQ, Paris
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th UIC World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco
  • 16-19 October 2019 UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly Rome- Italy
  • 28-29 October 2019 28th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Tokyo, JAPAN
  • 28 October 2019 - 1 November 2019 WCRR Tokyo, Japan
  • 5 November 2019 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 5 November 2019 Freight Forum RCA Vienna
  • 6 November 2019 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 6 November 2019 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 6 November 2019 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2019 95th General Assembly Preparatory Group Paris
  • 11-14 November 2019 7th NEXTSTATION Tehran
  • 12 November 2019 TTI Sector Meeting Paris, UIC HQ
  • 20-22 November 2019 15th UIC Global Security Congress Praha, Czech Republic
  • 26 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 27 November 2019 Statistics Plenary Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 28 November 2019 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC, Paris
  • 10 December 2019 European Management committee Paris
  • 10 December 2019 29 European Regional Assembly Paris
  • 11 December 2019 Executive Board Paris
  • 11 December 2019 95th General Assembly Paris

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 3 April 2018

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