During the 89th General Assembly of UIC held in Saint Petersburg at the invitation of Russian Railways (RZD), Mr Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Italian Railways Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) was unanimously elected new UIC Chairman as the successor of Mr Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD) for the two-year term 2017-2018. Russian Railways had successfully chaired the International railway association during two successive mandates from 2013 to 2016. Mr Oleg Belozerov becomes the new Chairman of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region.
The UIC General Assembly also unanimously elected Mr Isa Apaydın, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways TCDD and currently Chairman of the UIC Middle-East Region, as the new Vice Chairman of the worldwide railway association.
Mr Renato Mazzoncini, the newly elected UIC Chairman, addressed the General Assembly Members in the following terms:
First of all, I wish to pay tribute, both in my personal capacity and on behalf of the international railway community, to the significant and constructive role that Mr Oleg Belozerov has played since August 2015 when he was called to replace Mr Vladimir Yakunin, former Chairman of Russian Railways and also Chairman of UIC. Taking on such a role at international level in such challenging times demonstrates how Russian Railways have always been keen to develop the UIC values of Unity, Solidarity and Universality. I would also like to recognise the role that East Japan Railways has played to restore, together with Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC’s credibility through difficult times. Please accept our gratitude Mr Seino in relation to that.
Huge investment programmes are under way or have been envisaged on rail at world level. The European Union has been pursuing Trans European Transport Corridors for almost 20 years now and the recent launch of the Juncker plan might help fund technologies on rail; China has developed in the last 15 years an impressive high speed rail system with huge investments; the President-elect of USA is also proposing extensive investments in their country; India is on the verge of a new rail deal; all major world economies are considering developing new corridors comprising rail high speed, including Russia where long distances are much more challenging. In this context, UIC is called to play a substantial and significant role to collect and mutualise experiences as well as advise. Intercontinental corridors must remain a permanent subject for our association, the infrastructure department shall keep a permanent eye on rail and multimodal corridors, freight and passengers.
Concerning the global positioning of UIC, he added:
UIC cooperation with the United Nations bodies and its consultative status reclassification among the non-governmental organisations, are giving us the opportunity to better influence the UN events agenda, on issues such as intercontinental corridors, the recent COP22 conference and the work on the Global Sustainable Transport Outlook report titled “Mobilising Sustainable Transport for Development” issued by the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport.
Mr Mazzoncini continued to insist on the importance of multimodality and cooperation with all partners involved in the mobility system: “Relying on the work that we are already developing to build a sustainable urban mobility, the railways need to collaborate with all public stakeholders to get better solutions for our customers. Four billion people out of the world’s seven billion live in big cities. These numbers give us the right indication where the railway community has more of a chance to tackle the fight against congestion, pollution and noise. I believe that UIC has to further develop this issue working at worldwide level with organisations such as the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and all organisations with competence for Transport and Mobility issues.”
Mr Isa Apaydın, new UIC Vice Chairman addressed the UIC members as follows:
Feeling honoured to be elected as the Vice Chairman of UIC, I will also welcome this great opportunity to work for the common interests of the railway family within the deep-rooted principles of UIC.
In a globalising world, we need to put emphasis on the vitality of sustainable railway policies and regional development and cooperation; the requirement for interconnectivity and interoperability of projects conducted in each member country in terms of the effective use of international railway corridors; standardisation; investments in the field of railway research and development and the inevitability of mainstream digitalisation. I particularly put my faith in the need for the eco-friendly railway to take its well-deserved place among the other transport modes. Within this scope, even though we have different systems, dialogue, knowledge and expertise exchanges within the UIC platform are important issues in order to advance further in the global railway sector.
Biography of Renato Mazzoncini, new UIC Chairman
Born in 1968 in Brescia, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), Renato Mazzoncini promoted the joint venture in Busitalia which today still binds Autoguidovie to the FS Group. As CEO of the two companies, he worked on the development and consolidation of the national leading operator of local public transport on road and underground. In 2005 he concluded a company joint venture agreement between Autoguidovie and the French public transport company Transdev (Caisse des Dépôts group), and represented Italy on the board until 2008.
CEO of Busitalia (2012-2015), CEO and Chairman of Ataf Gestioni (2012-2015), CEO and Director General of Autoguiovie (Ranza group), Transystem (Ansaldo Trasporti group), Mr Renato Mazzoncini was appointed CEO and Director General of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group (FSI) from December 2015.
Mr Renato Mazzonciniis actively involved on the scene of international railway cooperation as Vice President of the International Union of Railways (UIC), Member of the European Management Committee of UIC Europe and Member of the CER Management Committee.
Biography of İsa Apaydın, new UIC Vice-Chairman
İsa Apaydın was born in 1965 in Ankara. He graduated in 1987 from the Faculty of Engineering (department of Metallurgical Engineering) of Istanbul Technical University. He received his Master’s Degree in 1996 from the Faculty of Engineering (department of Metallurgical Engineering) of Sakarya University.
Mr Apaydın started work as an engineer at the Directorate General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) in 1987 and was assigned various positions. He worked as Deputy Director General and Member of the Board of TCDD from 2005 – 2015. Mr Apaydın, was appointed Advisor in the Ministry in 2015, took office of Chairman of the Board and Director General of TCDD on 13 May 2016.
Mr Apaydın held many tasks and responsibilities during his tenure of Deputy Director General. Many projects in the fields of “National Train Project”, improvement of structure for Research-Development and training and etc. were carried out under the responsibility of Mr Apaydın for the construction and commissioning of high speed and rapid railway projects, maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing system and establishment of domestic railway industry.
Mr Apaydın has held many high-level positions, among them: National Train Project Execution Group Administration, Membership of General Assembly for European Railway Research Council, Chairmanship of Organising Committee for 1st International Railway Symposium, for 2nd International Railway Symposium and 1st UIC Global Conference on Train Management and Control Systems in Istanbul, etc.