Farewell message from Renato Mazzoncini

Dear Deputy Chairman, Dear Isa, Dear Regional Chairmen, Dear Members of the Board, Dear Members of UIC,
Dear Jean-Pierre,
Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

The Italian government decided on Friday 28 July to appoint a new board at FS Italiane.

After three years at the helm of the company I am therefore leaving my responsibility as leader of FS Italiane to a new board and successor, and together with this I will also leave, in accordance with the Statutes, my responsibility at UIC.
These have been intense years, both at FS and at UIC.

During my tenure FS Italiane increased by 25% the number of rail passengers, by 60% the number of bus passengers, by 37% the investments, by almost 100% the financial result.

In the three years at UIC, the last year-and-a-half as Chairman, we addressed together several challenges, new members and a more extensive footprint, the transition to a new Director General, the increased relevance of the digital railways, the greater importance of integrated public mobility, the development of long-distance freight corridors, as well as the stabilisation and strengthening of the technical know-how of our association, leaflets and innovation projects.
I believe the association is strong and fit to pursue its path into the future, the future of our railways.

On this occasion I would like to sincerely thank all of you for the wonderful cooperation we had and wish you all the best and to continue supporting our worldwide association.

I am and will remain a committed public transport supporter and I am sure we will be able to meet in the future.

Renato Mazzoncini

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Save the date for the “Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for Future Society” from 15 – 16 November 2018 in Warsaw

The UIC International Rail Research Board (IRRB) and Instytut Kolejnictwa – the Polish Railway Research Institute (IK) are jointly organising an international event entitled “Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for Future Society” to be held from 15 – 16 November 2018, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Warsaw City Centre, Poland.

One of its working bodies is the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) in which UIC members from all over the world participate along with renowned research institutes and academia. One of the key elements and primary goals of the IRRB activities has been the development of a high-level document, “A Global Vision for Railway Development” – or in short the “GVRD”. This GVRD will be updated and published by the end of 2019.

Each year, a substantial number of conferences and other events are being organised in the area of rail transport. Those dealing with research mainly consist of presenting the results of previous and ongoing research. The IRRB has taken the initiative to plan and organise a future oriented event, called the “Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for Future Society”, which will be held in Warsaw, Poland on 15 and 16 November 2018.

The aim of this event is to stimulate an “out-of-the-box” discussion on transport needs and the ideal transport system in 2050 and the role of railways/guided transport systems therein.

The Debate will focus on the following areas:

  • New mobility system concepts
  • Towards an integrated transport system
  • IT – new opportunities and threats
  • Competitiveness of transport stakeholders
  • Sustainability and resilience of the transport system

The Global Debate will be launched by an opening ceremony, featuring presentations by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – UIC Director General, Prof Boris Lapidus – IRRB Chairman (RZD) and Dr Andrzej Żurkowski – IRRB Vice-Chairman, as well as a number of local officials.

Following the opening, five keynote speeches will be given, linked to each of the five areas mentioned above. The afternoon session will be split into five thematic parallel debates focused on these areas.

At the beginning of the second day, the conclusions of these parallel debates will be presented by their moderators. It will be followed by the general debate, the main element of the event. The conclusions of this final main debate will be summarised by Prof. Boris Lapidus, IRRB Chairman.

It is our expectation that the outcome from this Global Debate, using a wide range of transport research results as well as multifaceted insights from around the world, will also constitute a crucial input in to the update of the Global Vision for Railway Development document.


For further information please contact Dennis Schut, UIC Research Manager:

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UIC is organising its third Digital Awards to be held on 6 December 2018 in Paris

For the third consecutive year, UIC is organising the UIC Digital Awards.

This global competition is open to all start-ups within three categories:

  • Productivity
  • Services
  • Security

All start-ups can apply by submitting their projects via the UIC website by 1 October 2018:

The three winners will be invited to present their project during the UIC Digital Conference to be held in Paris on 6 December 2018.

The UIC Digital Awards are supported by AWS.

The winners will be granted with a 5000 dollar credit to be used on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Moreover, the 50 first registered participants will receive a 1000 dollar credit from AWS.

All details can be found on

For further information please contact Francis Bédel, UIC Chief Digital Officer:

Or consult the UIC website:

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Cooperation Promoting

Global Rail and Energy Workshop to be held on 24 September 2018 at UIC Paris headquarters

Railways are an important means of transport. At a global level, they cover nearly 7% of annual passenger and freight volumes. Many emerging economies in particular are looking increasingly at railways to further support travel activity; since 2000, global passenger volumes have grown by nearly 50% to more than three trillion passenger-kilometres, primarily driven by China and India. The related energy use is modest in comparison; only around 2% of transport fuel use is in rail, primarily consisting of oil and electricity. This makes rail transport one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport today.

Railways have the potential to play an even more important role for satisfying growing future needs for transport, and in a potentially more energy-efficient and cleaner way than other modes. The theoretical scope is vast: rail can satisfy urban passenger mobility needs at low speed just as well as inter-urban travel demand at very high speed; similarly, rail can satisfy demand for the transport of commodities and goods. This is why the International Energy Agency (IEA) and UIC have decided to work together on a new publication that aims to analyse the current state of railway and energy use, as well as its future prospects to support the transition to a cleaner energy and transport system.

As part of this study, the IEA and UIC are hosting a high-level workshop to bring together decision makers and experts from around the world to provide strategic guidance as well as technical input. The goal of the workshop is to reflect on the current state of play for railways in different countries and the existing enabling frameworks; a review of possible drivers and bottlenecks for enhancing the future role of railways; relevant considerations for railway transport towards a cleaner and more inclusive global transport sector; and a deep dive into the case of India and the unique opportunities for the country’s development that could emerge from expanding railway transport.

The workshop follows the Chatham House Rule: participants are free to use the information received, but without attribution to specific speakers or participants.

The event is free of charge – please register here:

For further information please contact the UIC Sustainable Development Unit:

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4th UIC Asia-Pacific Photo Contest – Voting Process

We invite you to click on the three photos you have chosen by 21 August 2018!

For the fourth time, UIC is organising a photo contest for the UIC Asia-Pacific members.
Prizes will be awarded to the best, most attractive or most amazing pictures to be voted by 3000 e-News readers.

A calendar will be printed for the year 2019 with the 12 best photos.
You will find below an array of photos that we have received, and we invite each reader to vote for the one they like best in terms of originality, representativeness, artistic quality, etc.

Based on your own criteria, we invite you to select the photo you have chosen by 21 August 2018. Please follow this link to vote:

For further information please contact Béatrice Ségéral:

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News from UIC members

France: SNCF orders for 100 next-generation TGV Trainsets, more eco-friendly and economical, with enhanced comfort and connectivity

On Thursday 26 July, the Board of Directors of SNCF Mobilités approved a firm order for 100 next-generation TGV trainsets at a cost of €3 billion.
The move represents a major investment, made possible by adjusting the TGV business model to win back customers, boost productivity and control production costs, and by the decision to stabilise track access fees.

The new-generation TGV was developed jointly by SNCF and Alstom. Launched in 2016, their partnership is dedicated to innovation and uses an unprecedented working method emphasising agility and collaboration. The result: a genuine breakthrough in competitiveness, with a dramatic reduction of both acquisition and operating costs. The new TGV represents a decisive step toward making rail a more attractive mobility option while revolutionising the high-speed travel experience for passengers. Great news:
+ For customers, who will enjoy more comfortable, connected TGV travel
+ For SNCF, with the trainsets a key asset in the new market that will emerge as cross-border barriers to rail operations in Europe are removed and competition opens up
+ For the rail sector as a whole, since these are the greenest high-speed trainsets in history. As such, they represent an innovative, highly exportable industrial flagship product to promote French engineering expertise in very high-speed rail

The “TGV du Futur” will offer customers an all-new high-speed travel experience:

Lowest acquisition price on the market
The challenge facing the SNCF-Alstom team was to design a TGV that would cost €25 million —compared with €30 million for the TGV Duplex — plus €1.66 million per trainset for options that improve both profitability and on-board comfort. Mission accomplished: compared with current models, lifetime ownership of the TGV du Futur will cut costs by more than 20%.

Outstanding energy efficiency and ultra-competitive carbon footprint per journey
Reduced production, maintenance and energy costs are built into the new trainsets, and thanks to green driving practices, aerodynamic design and a system that redirects braking energy to the catenary, they consume 20% less energy.
Some 97% of the materials used to make the TGV du Futur are recyclable, and use of more ecofriendly materials means that its carbon footprint is 37% smaller than that of current trainsets.

Totally modular
The new trains also feature modular interiors that can be adapted to passenger needs and market trends. Coaches can accommodate variable numbers of seats in spaces that can be reconfigured: operators can add luggage racks as desired or convert first-class compartments into second-class seating in just half a day.

20% more onboard space
The double-decker version of the next-generation TGV consists of two short-wheelbase power cars, increasing surface area for passengers and boosting capacity to 740 — some 20% more than current TGV duplexes.
By maximising space, the TGV du Futur reduces cost per seat, which will be the most competitive on the high-speed market.

Smart and connected
This TGV is the first high-speed train offering full connectivity, which means:
+ access to modern, connected services tailored to passenger needs, with WiFi, timetables and other information available in real time in all carriages, online booking for selected services, and more. The online network is also designed to keep pace with changing technology, incorporating new services as they emerge. For SNCF, the first priority was to provide connectivity on all lines: its focus has now shifted to improving connection quality.
+ real-time transmission of data using sensors to relay information on trainset components for greater reliability, more comfort and better preventive maintenance.

Ultra-comfortable design improves the passenger experience
The design of the new TGV du Futur is 100% focussed on customers and their needs:
+ Modern interiors and contemporary materials for a warmer atmosphere.
+ Larger windows — 37 cm longer in passenger seating areas, with 10% more glass in total, and a modular lighting system that adjusts for arrivals and departures, for morning and evening light, and more.
+ Entirely redesigned air conditioning — smarter, with more accurate controls for greater comfort as airflows move through ceiling vents rather than openings at armrest level.
+ Researchers are still working to reduce noise pollution with better insulation.

Accessible for all
This marks the first time that TGV designers have worked with wheelchair users throughout the design process. The results go well beyond legal requirements: wheelchair users can access seating and move around the train independently thanks to a rotating and lifting platform. Toilets have also been totally redesigned.

Focussing on the customer
The team relied on a virtual reality system to bring customers on board from the start. Participants included:
+ frequent TGV travellers (through the CmonTGV community)
+ associations representing passengers with special needs, such as improved onboard accessibility for wheelchair users
+ students — our future customers — are taking a new approach to rail travel, presenting new challenges for the future
SNCF incorporated all such users’ opinions and needs into the design for the new TGV and will continue to do so as it enters the next phases of detailed design.
“This new TGV is the standard-bearer for French high-speed rail. And what a feat: a technological breakthrough that meets all our goals for industrial performance, and a source of pride that has generated an enthusiastic response from everyone who has worked on it. Above all — and of this I’m sure — it’s a train that meets customer expectations, offering yet another reason to say OUI to more and more high-speed rail travel.” Rachel Picard – Managing Director, Voyages SNCF

By signing the contract today, the SNCF Mobilités Board of Directors marked the end of Phase 1 of the SNCF-Alstom partnership, which focussed on testing concept feasibility. Enter Phase 2, starting now and set to last just over four years, focussing on detailed design, scaling up production and certifying trainsets. The final phase — Phase 3 — will cover trainset production and commercial rollout.
Delivery is expected to run from 2023 to 2033. The new trainsets will operate throughout France.

(Source: SNCF)

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News from UIC members

United States: Smoother, more reliable service coming for Amtrak Northeast corridor customers

Amtrak investing $370 million in equipment to improve corridor

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is investing $370 million over an estimated three-year period for new equipment that will improve the overall experience for those travelling along the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The purchase of this new equipment will double Amtrak engineering efforts on the NEC, accelerating maintenance work.
“More than 890,000 Amtrak customers and commuter passengers rely on the Northeast Corridor for transportation every weekday, and we are working to make their ride smoother and more reliable,” said Amtrak Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Scot Naparstek.

Amtrak is investing in one track laying system, two undercutters, five high-speed surfacing machines, reference surfacing, heavy lift cranes for New York Penn Station and the necessary freight cars and locomotive power to help sufficiently advance the Northeast Corridor to a state of good repair.

These upgrades will significantly improve train on-time performance and quality of the customer experience with smoother rides. Customers consistently rate schedule reliability as the primary factor in judging their satisfaction with Amtrak services.
In addition to these investments, Amtrak is also working to advance other long-term upgrades such as: buying modern train equipment, including new Acela trainsets, ongoing Concourse Management Strategy studies of New York Penn Station, and further development of stations in Chicago Washington, D.C., Baltimore-Penn, Philadelphia 30th Street and the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York.

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

Russia: RZD Holding organises accelerated freight delivery from Beijing to Moscow in freight wagon of passenger train

The first shipment within the framework of the memorandum on the organisation of high-speed cross-border rail freight between China – Russia - Europe departed at 18:00 Moscow time on 21 July from Beijing passenger station and is due to arrive at Yaroslavsky railway station in Moscow at 18:30 on 27 July.

The cargo will thus be delivered by rail from Beijing to Moscow in just six days.
The consignment consists of LED lamps and stationery traded by means of electronic commerce and is being transported in a postal baggage car as part of a passenger train.

The service was organised by RZD Logistics within the scope of the RZD Express product.

Russian Railways and the Chinese Railways Corporation concluded a memorandum signed by the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, and the Managing Director of the Chinese Railways Corporation, Lu Dunfu, on 8 June 2018.
The two company heads were en route from Beijing to Tianjin on a high-speed train in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The parties agreed to undertake the joint development of, in particular, the market for the transport of goods in traditional trade, logistics services for retail cross-border electronic commerce and express-delivery services between China – Russia - Europe.

As operators responsible for the implementation of specific projects under the memorandum, Chinese Railways have appointed China Railway Express and Russian Railways RZD Logistics, with the services of the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways.

(Source: RZD)

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News from UIC members

Czech Republic: Loket Railway Station Refurbishment

On 24 July, Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC) handed over a repaired station building to representatives of the city of Loket. Many tourists travel to the city by train, especially in summer; they now have a modern railway station at their disposal. By completely repairing the historical building, SŽDC has made a contribution to enhancing travel culture in the Karlovy Vary region.

The reconstruction work began at the end of last year at a cost of over 5.3 million CZK. The building acquired a new façade, the roof was repaired and all windows and doors were replaced. This will ensure that the station serves passengers for dozens of years to come. The “Junák” tourist association is located on the ground floor of the historic building. SŽDC also led discussions with city representatives on further use of the building. The premises in front of the station will be refurbished as the final stage of works on the building. These refurbishment efforts are being prepared by Loket city hall and will provide facilities for changing trains and parking to serve citizens and visitors to the city.

”I am pleased that life can gradually return to the repaired station buildings. In some regions, offices of the Czech Police are already situated at railway stations; elsewhere we negotiate on office lease with financial control bodies, for example. Here in Loket, the local tourists created their clubroom in the building. Passenger buildings thus regain their original importance from times when they served not only as a waiting room for trains but also as important centres for social events”, says Mr Tomáš Drmola, Deputy Director General for Assets Management.

Loket station serves 280 passengers daily on average. During the summer months in particular, it is an important transport node on tourist routes for water sportsmen and cyclists using regional cycling roads, as well as other visitors to the city of Loket. They come to see the listed buildings in the city centre, as well as a unique amphitheatre in which numerous cultural events take place. The railway station thus serves as an important transport connection.
Last week, SŽDC completed repairs of a passenger building at Kynšperk nad Ohří in the Karlovy Vary region, a project priced at almost 8 million CZK. The most important project in the region involves repair of the passenger building at Sokolov railway station, due to be completed in September.

(Source: SZDC)

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Instagram account of the week

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

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UIC calendar

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 7 August 2018

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