22nd UIC Regional Assembly of the Middle-East Region held on 26 November 2018 in Esfahan, Iran

The Regional Assembly of the UIC Middle-East Region was held in Esfahan, Iran on 26 November 2018.

Seven UIC Members from the Region (from Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan) took part in the meeting hosted by the Iranian Railways RAI in the presence of the deputy Governor of Esfahan city.

The RAME Chairman Mr Apaydin, President of Turkish Railways TCDD and Vice Chairman of UIC, opened the meeting, followed by the Deputy Mayor of Esfahan who presented the latest developments in the city.

The Vice Minister and RAI Board President Mr Mohammadzadeh underlined the importance of the meeting and presented perspectives of RAI developments including investments in rail infrastructure and rolling stock as well as plans for a future high-speed rail connection between Tehran and Esfahan. The project is to be completed within five years.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, thanked RAI for their warm reception, and expressed his sympathy with regard to the damage and injuries caused by recent earthquake which recently affected western Iran. He thanked RAME for the results achieved with the support of the Regional Bureau in Tehran led by Mr Abbas Nazari. During this meeting, the UIC book “Dreams Stations” was presented to the Mayor of the City and RAME members as a token in association with the Next Station Conference to be held in Tehran in 2019.

He also presented UIC’s recent developments and thanked Syrian Railways and Iraqi Railways for participating in the meeting and wanting to resume their membership of UIC.

It should be noted a speech was delivered by the CEO of Syrian Railways about severe difficulties affected by the war and the efforts they make for domestic rail transport.

Following the opening session, Mr Nazari presented the actions completed in 2018. Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, Middle-East Region Coordinator, confirmed the actions planned for 2019. He also informed members that the RAME Strategic Action Plan perspective 2020 was sent to Members after adjustments. The document will be distributed to the UIC General Assembly on 7 December in Paris.

RAME members presented their achievements and neighbouring cooperation. Mr Francis Bédel, Chief UIC Digital Officer, presented UIC’s IT strategy and outputs of the Digital Platform. He was asked by Members for more detailed information focused on their needs. The 23rd Regional Assembly for Middle-East meeting will be held in spring 2019 at the kind invitation of MDA (Ma’an Development Area), a company in Jordan.

The next RAME meeting will be held at the kind request of Aqaba Railways Corporation (ARC).

For further information please contact Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East:

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The 26th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly was held on 16 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand

Mr Lu Dongfu, General Manager of CR, succeeds Mr Oleg Belozerov, President of RZD, as the new Chairman of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region

The 26th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly (APRA), in conjunction with the 16th UIC Asia Pacific Management Committee and the Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards, successfully took place on 16 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. Chaired by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, in the absence of the UIC Asia-Pacific Chairman, Mr Oleg Belozerov, President of RZD, the meeting was focused on the appointment of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the region and the activities and budget of 2019.

For 2019-2020, the members approved, as the Chairman of the region, the appointment of Mr Lu Dongfu, Chairman of China Railway Corporation (CR) and as Vice Chairman, the appointment of the Chairman of Kazakhstan Railways. On behalf of all the APRA members, Mr Loubinoux thanked Mr Belozerov for his two-year mandate as Chairman of the region and his involvement in UIC Asia-Pacific activities.

The region has also been pleased to welcome three new members: PNR, Philippine National Railways, SRT, State Railway of Thailand and Sydney Trains (Australia).
An increasing number of project proposals have been made for 2019 and a selection has been decided within a regional budget that is limited but in line with the 2016 – 2019 Strategic Action Plan and the Vision 2050.

At the end of APRA, the results of the 4th UIC Asia-Pacific Photo Contest were delivered. In the Company category, JR West received First Prize, Vietnam Railways Second Prize and JR East Third Prize. In the Individuals category, Ivan Shapovalov from Russian Railways (RZD) received First Prize, Chen Hung Shih from Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA), Second Prize and Kuo-Wei Lee from THSRC, Third Prize. Following this photo contest, the 2019 UIC Asia-Pacific calendar was published with the 12 most voted for photos.

On behalf of Mr Oleg Belozerov, Mr Vachyeslav Pavlovskiy, Vice CEO, RZD, sincerely thanked all the members for their trust in Mr Belozerov by electing him Chairman of the UIC APRA in 2016 and giving him support during his tenure.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux closed the 26th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, thanking all the members for their presence and cooperation and invited them to attend the next UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assemblies which will be held in Manila (Philippines) on 23 May 2019 and in Tokyo (Japan) on 28 October 2019.

For further information please contact Béatrice Ségéral, Senior Advisor
Institutional Relations & Asia-Pacific Region:

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UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards held from 14 – 15 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand

The UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards was organised by UIC in Bangkok, Thailand from 14 – 15 November 2018 with the presence of H.E. Mr Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport of Thailand and Mr Voravuth Mala, SRT Acting Governor.

Over 70 participants from 16 different countries attended the workshop including Thailand (Minister of Transport, SRT and UNESCAP), Russia (VNIIZhT, Infrastructure Economics Centre (IEC), Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC)), Iran (ECO), Vietnam (VNR), China (CARS), Indonesia (PT. Len Industri/MASKA), Australia (PTV, IRT Monash University, University Central Queensland), Ukraine (FIATA/PLASKE), Korea (KRRI), India (IR), Kazakhstan (KTZ), Azerbaijan (ADY), Malaysia (SPAD, KTMB, CRRC Railway Vehicles), Philippines (PNR, ADB), Japan (RTRI), France (Transdev).

The workshop consisted of the following sessions:

  • Interoperability of railway corridors – Experiences and insights
  • Seamless train operation best practices – Border crossing facilitation – Technical regulations for regional interoperability
  • Digitalisation and innovation to meet customer needs
  • Market and business models for longer and faster trains

Chaired by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General and with the participation of EEU, ECO and UNESCAP, the Round Table on Synergy of strategies of international organisations closed the two-day workshop.

To conclude, the participants agreed on common development of four main issues regarding corridor development and standardisation as well as the development of regional strategy in cooperation with UIC partners:

  • Interoperability with three complimentary approaches: legal, technologies, administrative
  • Border crossing including specialty of Asian systems as different gauges
  • Digitalisation with opportunities of internet of things, block chain based on cybersecurity issues, some risks as well to be taken into account
  • Optimisation of Market business models for customers

In terms of synergy of strategies of international organisations, a decision was taken to exchange best practice in the context of operational interoperability and to review how to progress pragmatically the gaps and priorities jointly identified (in partnership with ECO, UNESCAP, EEU).

For further information please contact Béatrice Ségéral, Senior Advisor, Institutional Relations & Asia-Pacific Region:

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UIC Safety Platform Plenary meeting held on 15 November 2018 in Paris

Bernard Penners, Manager of the UIC Safety Unit chaired the meeting and welcomed all participants.

A candidate for the chairmanship of the SP was proposed to SP Members which was adopted. This decision should be endorsed by the UIC General Assembly members on 7 December 2018.

All chairpersons of the SP Working Groups presented their activities in 2018 and work
programmes for 2019. For more information visit

Among important decisions taken at the SP meeting:

  • In line with the development of a just Safety Culture the Safety Platform decided to increase transparency of data in the UIC Safety Database.
  • The traditional “confidential” report is issued this year for the last time. Next year the public report will also contain detailed data per country. This means that the SPG proposal is adopted.
  • A new dashboard tool on the basis of the UIC Safety Database is being developed. It was presented by Olivier Georger, Manager of the UIC Safety Database, which greatly impressed the SP participants who stressed the remarkable work. The decision was taken to make this tool available to IMs, RUs and NSAs in Safety Platform member countries as well as the EU Agency for Railways (ERA). The economic aspects are being discussed and will be presented at the next SP Steering Group meeting on 27 March 2019 at UIC HQ.

UIC Safety report 2018:

B. Penners distributed the last draft flyer summarising volume 2 of the study “Towards a positive railway safety culture” that should be published early January 2019.
A study will be carried out from January 2019 on the incorporation of human factors in railway companies: “How can Human Factors be introduced and developed in my company?”

  • An ad-hoc Group on “Human factors in automation projects” will be set up in which experts from the railways mentioned before shall be involved. The chairmanship is still to be defined.
    Information will be given at the next platform meeting about the composition, chair, objectives of the ad hoc group.

Members were invited to take an active part in the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) WG, it was reiterated that the WG meets physically at least twice a year and is mainly composed of European countries but interested parties outside of Europe could also join the meetings either physically or via web conferences. Please contact

The Chairman will retire from July 2019. A call for candidates to take over the chairmanship will be sent to Members. Should you be interested please contact us.

SP Members (EU + Russia, Japan) then had the opportunity to present safety events and innovations in their respective countries and companies.

UIC also gave an overview of global activities:

Debrief of ILCAD 2018 campaign and ILCAD 2019 More information on the last campaign and the debriefing meeting on 9 October at FFE, Spain

Special issue on level crossings:

IRSC 2018 Dublin (October 2018) A presentation was given by B. Penners and C. Neveu on “Safety Culture” and by I. Fonverne on “Level crossings worldwide”. UIC had an exhibition corner.
More information

Finally, Meryem Belhaj presented the work carried out by the UIMC:

Safety Platform meetings in 2019:

  • 27 March 2019: Steering Group meeting at UIC HQ in Paris
  • 26 June 2019: Steering Group meeting at DB AG in Berlin
  • 5-6 November 2019: Steering Group meeting (5/11) and Plenary meeting (6/11) at UIC HQ in Paris

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

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UIC special group COLPOFER: General Assembly held on 22 – 23 November in Ermont, France

On 22 – 23 November 2018, the UIC Security Division attended the 69th General Assembly of Colpofer hosted by SNCF at the Security Academy located in Ermont (near Paris), France.

During the Assembly, Franco Fiumara from FS SpA was re-elected chairman of Colpofer and Maria-Cristina Fiorentino as General Secretary. Gerd Neubeck from DBAG was also elected member of the coordination group.

The conference focused on the topic “addressing threats: training of specialised security agents”. Representatives from the SNCF security department and from the French National Authorities provided presentations on the ongoing security related activities in France. It was also the opportunity to have a live demonstration of some of the exercises conducted at the SNCF security academy among them the decision support system simulator, the Explosive Detection Canine Unit and canine defence in a confined environment.

Kathrin Faber and Marie-Hélène Bonneau from the UIC Security Division presented the ongoing work within the UIC security platform as listed below:

  • 14th annual Security Congress held in Slovenia from 14 – 18 October 2018
  • Crisis management: publication of recommendations beginning of 2019
  • Network of quick responders with two ongoing topics: use of body cameras and security organisation
  • Rail Security Hub that will be online beginning of 2019
  • EU SHERPA project (Shared and coHerent European Railway Protection Approach) funded by DG home and that started on 1 November 2018 and will last two years

The forthcoming security events are as follows:

  • 5 – 6 December 2018, Brussels: Security Research Event 2018 organised by the EU
  • 22 January 2019, Brussels: SHERPA EU Project Workshop on Terrorist Risk Assessment and Management
  • 13 – 14 June 2019, Stockholm: Colpofer General Assembly
  • 18 – 20 June 2019, Paris: UIC Security Week with the annual seminar on topics resulting from the network of quick responders, SHERPA progress meeting and the UIC Security awareness day

For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Senior Advisor UIC Security Division:

Or contact:

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UIC Security Division attended the 72nd session of the UNECE Working Party on Rail Transport in Geneva

The UIC Security Division took part in the 72nd session of the UNECE Working Party on Rail Transport (SC.2) which was held from 21 – 23 November 2018 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

On the first day, a workshop was organised on the theme “Innovation in the railways: Making the railways of the future for the region”, with the aim of analysing the changes that have interested the railways across the ECE region in recent years and getting a glimpse into the

During the second and third day of meeting, important themes for the railway sector were discussed by representatives from ECE Member States and NGOs, such as: Euro-Asian transport corridors and Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL), Unified Railway Law, Intelligent Transport Systems, Railway Reform processes, Climate change impact on the railway sector.

On the topic of Rail Security, the achievements of the Workshop on Rail Security, co-organised by UIC, UNECE and ITF in Leipzig during the International Transport Forum (May 2018) were presented to the audience of delegates.

The UIC Security Division contributed with a presentation of its latest and ongoing activities, initiatives and publications, including: the results of the World Security Congress hosted by Slovenian Railways and held in Bled in October 2018, the EU-funded SHERPA (Shared and coHerent European Railways Protection Approach) Project which just started in November and the UIC Rail Security Hub platform that will be launched in January 2019.

The presentations given during the three days will be available on the UNCECE website at the address:

For further information please contact Bruno De Rosa, UIC Security Advisor:

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The 35th UIC Statistics Group Plenary Meeting was held on 22 November 2018 in Paris

The Statistics Group develops appropriate methodologies and terminology for the harmonisation of railway statistics as well as the collection of data from member companies, the calculation of basic indicators and the dissemination of these data. This harmonisation promotes the availability of comprehensive and reliable railway statistics and improves international comparability of railway statistics.

The welcome speech was addressed by the Chairman of the Statistics Group. In the first half of the plenary meeting, the group dealt with internal issues of sectoral statistics at UIC such as the answers of member companies to individual data surveys and the changes within some questionnaires together with relevant changes of explanatory notes made this year by the Steering Committee. UIC presented reports developed based on collected data. The status report on the key project “Improvement of RAILISA” (Rail Information System and Analysis) was presented to the participants.

In the second half of the meeting, the representatives of cooperating international sectoral organisations such as ITF at OECD, UNECE, EC ERA and EC Eurostat took floor with very interesting presentations on rail transport statistics. The presentation of Rail Safety Statistics by EC ERA was accompanied by an introduction to UIC’s excellent Safety Database.

The presentation of a member company was focused on Ukraine Railway (UZ), its corporate government, statistics service and key performance indicators.

In the final part, the plenary meeting of the Statistics Group approved the plan of activities, surveys and reports, the meetings of the Steering Committee and key projects for the year 2019.

Please visit RAILISA at and send any comments to

UIC members are invited to continue providing data using our online tool:

For further information please visit or contact

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UIC Digital Conference to be held on 6 December 2018 (13:15 – 16:30) in Paris

Register now for free:


  • Introduction by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – UIC Director General
  • Keynote by Björn Westerberg – CEO ASTOC: “Digitalisation, AI and predictive maintenance”
  • CLEAR STATION (DIGIM) by VIA Rail: From a Proof Of Concept to a pilot
  • Innovative Mobility for visually impaired by GoSense
  • Digital Platform activities by Francis Bédel – UIC Chief Digital Officer
  • My experience in participating in the UIC Digital Awards in 2016 by Parinaz Bazeghi
  • UIC Digital Awards 2018

Presentations of the selected dossiers by each winner:

  • Awards ceremony
  • Conclusion by Gianluigi Castelli, UIC Chairman and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General

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

Or visit the website:

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UIC will participate in the 24th Conference of the Parties – COP – in Katowice, Poland

In 2018, UIC will participate in the 24th Conference of the Parties – COP – in Katowice, Poland. The Conference of the Parties will take place from 2 – 14 December. UIC is accredited by the United Nations as a recognised organisation, to participate in major global events such as COP.

A UIC delegation will join events from 6 – 8 December and promote UIC Member activities towards a more sustainable future and their commitments to fight climate change.

Prior to COP, UIC has contributed to the Talanoa Dialogue. An outcome of COP23, the Talanoa Dialogue gathers input from countries, NGOs and so on displaying and detailing their commitments to keep in line with the goal of the Paris Agreement and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). UIC organised an event recognised as actively contributing to the Talanoa Dialogue: the first UIC workshop on sustainable door-to-door solutions in Warsaw on 14 November 2018.

For COP24, UIC signed a tri-partite partnership agreement with UNFCCC – United Nations Climate Change and UITP – International Association of Public Transport.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, acknowledged the signature of this partnership: “UIC is honoured to partner again with UNFCCC and UITP for this 24th Conference of the Parties. 2018 has been a challenging year in the fight against climate change, with record weather events worldwide and unprecedented challenges on the global political scene. Nevertheless 2018 has brought great opportunities and partnerships for the railway sector around innovation to lower rail’s environmental impact and door to door solutions to support modal shift. It also brought encouraging results as UIC Members happen to be well ahead of our time to answer great challenges faced by the industry such as lower greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s hope this 2018 Conference of the Parties will be a great opportunity to further increase rail attractiveness and show how rail is one of the most sustainable modes of transport.”

On 6 December UIC will actively contribute to the Transport Day, an initiative by the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) and organised by CIVITAS – Cleaner and Better Transport in Cities and PPMC – Paris Process on Mobility and Climate. On that day UIC will co-organise a break-out session on adaptation to climate change with the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) and Mr John Dora Consulting Ltd, advisor on resilience to weather and climate change. The full programme can be found here:

On 7 December, UIC will participate in a UNFCCC Facebook Live video along with UITP in the morning and in the Marrakech Partnership event: the Global Climate Action Transport Action Event taking place on the afternoon of the 7th from 3 to 6pm. Following this UIC is co-hosting an official side-event with the International Transport Forum – ITF and UITP, from 6.30 to 8pm in room 5 at COP. The focus of the event will be on decarbonising transport.

Find out more about COP24 on the dedicated website: and on the UNFCCC website:

For further information please contact Marie-Luz Philippe, Advisor for Sustainable Development & UIC Middle-East Region:

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Eurostar welcomes ‘Pepper’: the first robot in the UK travel industry

On 24 October Eurostar, the high-speed rail operator connecting the UK with mainland Europe, welcomed Pepper the robot to its London St Pancras team. In a first for the UK travel industry, the interactive humanoid robot offers customers, particularly families and children, a fun new way to find out about their journey before departure and entertains younger travellers.

Pepper, designed by SoftBank Robotics, is the first robot with the ability to recognise principal human emotions and adapt her own behaviour accordingly. Eurostar has recruited Pepper to entertain and help customers, and in partnership with Robots of London she can respond to questions or even pose for a selfie on request.

Located in the departure lounge at London St. Pancras, Pepper will interact with passengers using an inbuilt tablet, where travellers will find an interactive station map, information about the on board experience, as well as a wealth of destination tips for Paris, Brussels, Lille and Amsterdam.

Perrine Allain, Head of Digital at Eurostar, said:
“We are always looking for new ways to innovate, and explore technologies that can help enhance the overall customer experience. Pepper offers a fun way for customers to find out more about their journey and destination, and we look forward to hearing the feedback from our customers so that we can continue to improve their experience.”

The addition of Pepper is one of a range of technological innovations that Eurostar has committed to in order to enhance the customer experience. Later this month, the business is launching Alexa skill, with passengers able to link Alexa to their Eurostar account to track their travel plans and find out the lowest available fare to Paris.

Pepper will be located at St. Pancras International for the rest of this year, with plans to re-locate to one of the high-speed rail operators other locations in 2019. For more information visit

(Source: Eurostar)

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News from UIC members

Russia: Russian Railways and National Railway Museum of York sign cooperation agreement

Russian Railways and the National Railway Museum in the City of York in the United Kingdom have signed a cooperation agreement in the field of cultural and scientific activities.

The agreement was concluded on 16 November 2018 at the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum in Russia.

The Russian State Secretary and Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways Anatoly Mescheryakov and Museum Director Judith McNichol put their signatures to the document.

The agreement provides for joint work on exhibitions and expositions, academic cooperation, and events to promote the development of culture, art and science.
“We will organise a working group that will discuss all aspects of cooperation in the near future and which will allow us to cooperate even more effectively,” said Anatoly Mescheryakov.

During their visit to the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the British delegation also held a working meeting between Russian Railways and the Science Museum Group of Great Britain, which includes the National Railway Museum in York.

The meeting was aimed at developing international partnership in the field of museum activities. Under discussion were the exchange of museum exhibits and multimedia exhibits on the history of railways, the implementation of joint multimedia projects and the use of augmented reality technologies at exhibitions.

The Director of the National Railway Museum of the City of York, Judith McNichol, highlighted the particular prospects of cooperation with Russian Railways, including with regard to the provision of vocational guidance to the younger generation.
The parties plan to develop cooperation in the field of personnel by organising programmes for the exchange of experience and advanced training.

(Source: RZD)

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News from UIC members

Czech Republic: SŽDC will use a unique method to select a supplier of a study for a new line in Moravia

Up to the end of the week, Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC) will launch public tender for the “Feasibility study for the high-speed line (Brno) – Přerov – Ostrava”. Besides building the railway line as such, its object is a draft of possible railway infrastructure modifications on the section RS1 Brno – Přerov – Ostrava.

SŽDC as the ordering entity requires that the study serves especially as a basis for preparing a pilot project of a high-speed line (HSL) on the section Přerov (Prosenice) – Ostrava (Ostrava-Svinov). It also requires a verification of the need, usefulness and mode of further HSL territorial protection on the section Brno – Přerov (Prosenice). The study will suggest and assess a technical solution in the direction of a possible HSL new construction at minimum as proposed in previous documents on the section Brno – Ostrava, including a connection to the junctions concerned.

The study supplier must respect the procedure of SŽDC which has already submitted a request for a corridor delimitation for the HSL and at the same time a HSL delimitation including related constructions as publicly beneficial constructions in the principles of territorial development in the Olomouc Region and Moravia-Silesia Region for placing transport infrastructure on the site of the existing territorial reserve for HSL to implement the pilot project.

“In delimitating assessment criteria for this public tender, SŽDC carefully considered its current experience from public tender calls and implementation for design works or similar ones, especially the negative influence of offer assessments in these public tenders while emphasising the lowest bid prices. That is why we were inspired by the approach of other EU member states while delimitating assessment criteria for this public tender”, said Mr Jiří Svoboda, Director General of SŽDC and added: ”More specifically we were inspired by the Best Value Approach/Best Value Procurement method (BVA/BVP), which was created by the State University of Arizona. At present it is being successfully applied especially in the Netherlands for large infrastructure projects as well as in Scandinavia."

(Source: SZDC)

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UIC calendar

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

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