The UIC Asia-Pacific, which attaches special importance to commuter transportation that is responsible in many countries for carrying the majority of rail passenger traffic, held a training session on commuter regional rail systems from 29 November – 2 December 2016 at Moscow State University of Rail Engineering (MIIT), which is one of the UIC Asia-Pacific regional training centers. The development of urban transport has been clearly identified as a key priority in the UIC Asia-Pacific strategic document Vision 2050.
Organised within the framework of activities of the UIC Asia-Pacific regional assembly, the main objectives of the session were to discuss the core approaches to a large range of commuter organisations among the APRA and European members, to provide a comprehensive overview of the organisation of commuter regional systems in different regions, discuss possible variants necessary for decision-making in different contexts, particularly for emerging commuter systems, to benchmark best practices from all around the world, and to lay the foundation for further professional contacts and networking. This kind of exchange clearly prevailed over didactic training throughout the session, thus responding to UIC’s objectives for organising training sessions such as these for APRA members.
The session was inaugurated by Mr Vincent Vu, Director of the UIC Institutional Relations Department in charge of APRA, Mr Iñaki Barrón, Director of the UIC Passenger and High Speed Department, and Dr Boris Lievin, Rector of MIIT.
The attendance of over 40 people comprised leading experts and speakers of UIC and European companies, Russian Railways and its affiliate companies, Russian institutions of city planning, numerous participants from UIC member organizations from Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia, and Vietnam.
The fruitful discussions focused on the main principles of commuter and regional train systems, intermodality and multimodality, city interchange hubs, technical aspects (infrastructure, operations, rolling stock, stations, business and social aspects of commuter traffic organisation, interaction with municipal authorities in urban planning, best practices in training, security and safety, sustainable development, financing and marketing, mobility, customer focused services, and ticketing.
Despite the density of the programme, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with Moscow central rail ring – a newly inaugurated facility of the Russian Railways – which is a part of comprehensive urban transportation system as well as Leningradsky rail station, and to take part in cultural visits of Moscow.
During the final session, held at the Gostiny Dvor exhibition centre hosting the programme of the events of the Transportation week 2016 exhibition and forum, the participants had the opportunity to summarise their opinions on the positive results of the training sessions and to be awarded joint UIC and MIIT certificates.
The next training sessions within the activities of the UIC expertise development platform in the APRA region will be held in 2017 in KORAIL/IRaTCA (Korea) in spring 2017 and in MIIT (Russia) in autumn 2017.