News from UIC members

New Eurostar fares for Interrailers

Eurostar joins Eurail Group, giving Interrail Pass holders new, lower fares

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, is launching a new, lower and simpler Pass holder fare for all Interrail travellers, having joined Eurail Group G.I.E. from 1 January 2017.

Interrail Pass holders looking to discover multiple destinations as they hop on and off Europe’s rail network can secure Eurostar seats from £23 one way in Standard class or £29 in Standard Premier with their Interrail Pass, making it easier to incorporate a high-speed journey under the Channel into their unique rail journey.

The fares will be available between London, Ebbsfleet and Ashford International and Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais and Disneyland Paris.

Since January 2016, Interrail Passes have been available for use in and out of their country of origin, so travellers can go direct from their local station to a far flung destination, stopping to explore the cultures, cuisine and characters of Europe along the way.

With Interrail Passes available from three days to one month, they offer great savings for shorter breaks as well as longer escapes, and have a number of bespoke offers for youths, over 60s and families, designed with all travellers in mind.

Darren Williams, Head of Sales, Eurostar says: “Rail is a great way to explore Europe, and Interrail Passes give those from Europe freedom to explore a huge range of destinations on a single trip. Our new partnership offers great value Eurostar fares to Pass holders, so it’s never been easier to use our stylish and comfortable cross-Channel services as part of a European adventure.”

Offering a seamless city-centre to city-centre journey, a generous baggage allowance with no weight restrictions, and free wi-fi and over 300 hours of on board entertainment on the new e320 trains, a Eurostar journey is a great addition to any European rail adventure.

For more information or to book a Eurostar Pass holder fare visit, or call the Eurostar contact centre on 08432 186 186. Note: this special fare is available to Interrail Pass holders only.

(Source: Eurostar)

3 Votes

Average rating: 4.67 / 5

News from UIC members

Personnel changes within the Gysev Group

As of 1 January, a number of personnel changes will take place within the Gysev group of companies

At Gysev Cargo Zrt., the six-month mandate of János Boda as Acting Chief Executive Officer has been extended. Mr Boda will continue to carry out the duties of the CEO as of 1 January 2017 for an indefinite period of time.

Furthermore, he will be acting as General Manager of Raaberbahn Cargo, the wholly owned subsidiary of Gysev Cargo.

Also with effect from 1 January 2017, János Skala will be the Strategic Director of Gysev Zrt. responsible for the strategy of the Gysev Group.

As an additional personnel change from January, András Varga will continue to work as Engineering Division Manager of GYSEV Zrt.

(Source: Gysev Cargo)


UIC participates in inaugural ceremony of the new Djibouti-Addis Ababa line

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, participated on January 10 in the inaugural ceremony of this new Djibouti-Addis Ababa line.

The operation of this new line will be highly strategic for both countries and will also help to decongest the road traffic current main corridor of the flow of goods to Ethiopia.

The Republic of Djibouti joined UIC in December 2016.

In his speech, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:

Already back in 1894, a rail link between Addis Ababa and Djibouti had been inaugurated. Already then the railway solution had been found to give Ethiopia access to the sea and Djibouti the harbour. Already railways contributed to the mobility of people between neighbouring regions, and the exchange of goods to and from the Aden Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. More than a century ago, trains were contributing to the socio-economic development of a whole region, at the birth of Africa. But the standards of construction and operation of that first line were not adapted to the needs of the 20th century, and even less to the dynamism and to the global exchanges of the 21st century. The idea to rehabilitate that old line has been in all minds for long time. But it was necessary to look further. It was necessary to see bigger and to imagine that a new line would be part of a network and would bring its benefits to a large sub region, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi to start with. This vision gave birth to a concrete and ambitious project and was born at the highest level .. by President Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Ethjiopian prime ministers Mrs Zenawi, since deceased, peace to his soul, and now his Excellency Hailemariam Desalegu. And here we are! One century after then opening of the first line built by the French, we are today inaugurating a brand new first line of 750 km, with UIC international standards.

For me, as Director General of UIC, trying to bring together all railway undertakings across 100 countries in the world, and to promote the modern standards of a railway system, interoperable and safe, it is for me an immense pleasure.
Even more so when I see that the Railways of Djibouti have become a new member of our community at our latest General Assembly in St Petersburg on December. And that the Chinese railways, historic member of UIC since its creation, have contributed to the achievement of this project. This rebirth has a political and economical important meaning. For Ethiopia which is not landlocked by more. For Djibouti and its harbour, ideally located in East Africa, which is considerably enlarging its hinterland. For the direct jobs created during the construction and the upcoming operation and maintenance of the new line. For the indirect jobs, linked to the expected economic growth.
This rebirth also has a strong symbolic meaning. I can see at least three symbols:
- a symbol of transmission
- a symbol of progress
- and the strong symbol of integration and peace.

Transmission: of course this new line is looking to the future. But it is also a heritage, the heritage of all the engineers, railway men and women who contributed to its development in the 19th century, thanks to the steam engine and metallic structures. Who ensured its survival in the 20th century thanks to electrification and signalling technologies. Who are enabling its rebirth in the 21th century, thanks to its fundamental values of safety, capacity and sustainability.
This heritage, together with the vision of our forefathers, has been transmitted from generation to generation. And it will continue to be in the essential training of staff to the operation, maintenance and management, principles and methods, either in Addis, or in Tianjin, or of course in UIC training centres as a member.

The symbol of progress, as this line has been built and will be operated, respecting the most modern standards. Railways have always been modernising through important efforts of research. This is one of the principal missions of UIC across the world, in order to open, to share and to connect the innovations and best practices of all its Members. We now have to move forward quicker and adapt to this new digital world, if we want to still be an actor and a vector of progress.

A symbol of integration. Because railway lines link together cities and regions. When they cross borders, they link countries or even continents, as the new silkroads show us. And when they work in complementarity with other modes, they play, as a backbone of logistic chains, an important role in the mobility of goods and people around the worls. This integration can bring a better understanding of others, a shared growth and a better stability.

In this respect, railways in general, and this new line in particular, can be considered as a geographic and historic link of unity, and as such a factor of peace.

The values of UIC, as a world association, are specifically unity, universality and solidarity.

The UIC African Region has also developed a railway master plan of integration. This master plan has been validated by the Union of Africa in Addis and the council of Transport Ministers in Malabo.

So let us together dream that this new line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa will one day reach Dakar!

But beyond technology or investments, only man can make that dream come true. Because man is stronger than all systems, whether technical, administrative or political.

2 Votes

Average rating: 4.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Italy: Italian Railways re-launch freight business under Mercitalia

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group is restructuring its freight business to avoid duplication of activities and to maximise efficiency under the new name Mercitalia (Freight Italy), which will have three divisions: Mercitalia Rail, Mercitalia Logistics, and Mercitalia Terminal, together employing 4000 people.

The first step of this project is the assignment of the freight business branch by Trenitalia S.p.A. to Mercitalia Rail S.r.l. by means of a partial proportional spin-off.

In more detail, Mercitalia Rail will be assigned the Business Branch consisting in goods and resources currently destined by Trenitalia to the exercise of the rail freight transport activity. The said activities will therefore no longer be carried out by Trenitalia itself but will move seamlessly to Mercitalia Rail.

This restructuring is part of the 2017 – 2026 strategic business plan, which was presented by FS CEO Mr Renato Mazzoncini, together with FS President Ms Gioia Ghezzi, in September 2016 in Rome. The plan is designed to transform FS from a traditional national railway into an international integrated mobility provider for both passenger and freight.

(Source: FS Group)

3 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

Tunisia: Mrs Sarra Rejeb appointed new CEO of Tunisian Railways

Sarra Rejeb, a graduate of the National Engineering School of Tunis (ENIT) in 1982, and a graduate of the French engineering school Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées in 1984, joined Tunisia’s Ministry of Transport in 1985 and served as Director General of Land Transport from 2007 – 2012.

Sarra Rejeb was CEO of urban transport company TRANSTU from 2012 – 2015, before becoming CEO of the Tunisian carrier Tunisair from April 2015 to December 2016 and succeeded Mrs Sabiha Derbel as head of Tunisian National Railways (SNCFT) on 30 December 2016.

In her capacity as CEO of SNCFT, Sarra Rejeb is also Chairman of the African Union of Railways (AUR), a dedicated institution of the African Union (AU).

Mrs Rejeb is married with three children.

UIC congratulates Mrs Sarra Rejeb on her appointment and wishes her every success in her new role.

(Source: SNCFT)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

Products & Services

UIC Asset Management Working Group publishes the UIC Railway Application Guide for practical implementation of asset management through ISO 55001

The UIC Railway Application Guide provides practical guidance to railway infrastructure managers who wish to improve their existing Asset Management capability. The application guide is based on the global standard on Asset Management, the ISO 55000 series, which is being widely adopted by railways and other asset-intensive companies around the world.

The document has been produced by the UIC Asset Management Working Group which has representatives from 11 European national railways. The motivation to produce the document derives from an aspiration to help railways operate at their full potential, in terms of providing customers and funders with a safe, quality service that is demonstrably value for money. It is based on the conviction that Asset Management is the only system-wide approach that has the breadth, depth and whole-life focus necessary to help infrastructure managers to realise this potential.

More specifically, the document provides a common framework for how key decisions are taken on operating, maintaining, renewing and enhancing the railway infrastructure, and how these decisions are justified, implemented and assured. It also provides a railway interpretation for each of the requirements in ISO 55001 and specifies the evidence required to demonstrate compliance with the standard. The primary purpose of the document is to enable better Asset Management but it will also provide valuable support to those seeking certification to the standard.

The application guide has been produced at a time when railways are starting to match the adoption of Asset Management seen in other asset intensive sectors over a number of years. The UIC Asset Management Working Group believes that railways should be leaders in the discipline given the size and complexity of the infrastructure, the scale of investment needed to sustain and improve services, and the national importance of infrastructure in supporting a productive economy. The Working Group also hopes that the guidance will accelerate the consistent implementation of Asset Management among the members and that railways will be at the forefront of future developments in the subject.

The Railway Application Guide can be found at the following link:

For further information please contact Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Advisor:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC Railway Asset Management Conference

The Asset Management Sector within the International Union of Railways (UIC), together with the Asia-Pacific Region, will organise an International Conference dedicated to Asset Management in Brisbane, Australia from 6-7 April 2017.

The conference will be organised in conjunction with AMPEAK 2017, the Australian professional Association on Asset Management, and aims to enable an open, relevant and comprehensive exchange of information, between railway members, showing the results of the UIC Asset Management Working Group.

The dissemination of the recently issued “ISO 55001 Application Guide for Railway Infrastructure Organisations” will be one of the main subjects, whose main objectives are to:

  • Explain the context of ISO 55001 and the relevance of an Asset Management System;
  • Explain each requirement of ISO 55001, within a railway context, and suggest evidence requirements or ‘artefacts’ that can be used to support the seeking of compliance with or certification to ISO 55001;
  • Provide an outline of the sequential approach to implementation of ISO 55001 and to assist railway organisations in preparing for a certification audit.
  • UIC provides a strong platform for worldwide exchange in Asset Management, for our members and mainly for the railway industry, for new and experimented staff, in this discipline.

We expect to hear the latest developments across the Asset Management world, with speakers from outside the railway sector and from different continents to enrich the knowledge and experience of participants.

UIC is pleased to invite your representatives to attend the conference.
Looking forward to your attendance at this interesting conference.

For further information please contact Teo Gradinariu, Senior Advisor Rail System Department:

Or Béatrice Ségéral, Senior Advisor Institutional Relations:

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.33 / 5

Products & Services

UIC member leads on Belgian EUR pallet anti-counterfeit operation

On 19 December 2016, Rail Cargo Austria AG on behalf of UIC, the Belgian Federal Public Service for the Economy (FPS Economy) and testing agency SGS Germany had reason to suspect a Belgian firm of handling counterfeit EUR pallets. On conducting a spot check, they discovered thousands of counterfeit pallets. The fakes represent a safety risk if used due to their inferior quality, and were immediately seized by the authorities.

Targeting international counterfeiting gangs, the operation was a resounding success for all involved since it took several thousand fake EUR pallets out of circulation. As well as the EUR pallets, some 2,000 inferior-quality and/or counterfeit EPAL pallets were found. These were also seized. Testing agency SGS Germany verified in situ that the EUR pallets were all fakes and confiscated them for later use by FPS Economy. Enquiries by the local authorities showed that the firm’s managing director is an EPAL licence holder and board member of the EPAL National Committee in Germany. The operation is a further refutation of the recent media allegations against UIC and its member railways.

For 55 years, licensed EUR pallet producers have printed the “EUR” oval marking on the right-hand corner block of their pallets. This quality marking indicates that the pallet has been manufactured in accordance with the relevant UIC standard, and that it is exchangeable in the open pallet pool. UIC and its member railways regularly undertake a comprehensive range of measures in various countries in order to guarantee the quality of EUR pallets for users.

Fake EUR pallets represent a significant health & safety risk, both to users and during transport. The UIC member railways thus take a proactive approach to combat counterfeiting, since they are not only licence-issuers and repairers of EUR pallets, but also use them for transshipment and in their own freight services.

The reliable collaboration and support of all market actors are needed to ensure the requisite quality standard in the open pallet pool. Users can help achieve this aim by obtaining all their EUR pallets from licensed manufacturers.

Further information is available via the following link, or on the homepage of the other UIC member railways.

For further information please contact Jozef Fazik, Senior Freight Advisor:

Or Thomas Metlich:

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 19-21 September 2017 UIC PoSE Meeting Rome
  • 19 September 2017 EMCA Paris
  • 19-20 September 2017 UIC Legal Group meeting Rome - Italy
  • 20-21 September 2017 RSF Steering Board UIC 203
  • 21-22 September 2017 Capacity4Rail final conference Madrid
  • 26 September 2017 Workshop on electronic rule books UIC HQ PARIS
  • 27-30 September 2017 UIMC scientific congress & General Assembly York - UK
  • 28 September 2017 First SAFER-LC Workshop on rail and road users requirements regarding safety of Level crossing Paris, UIC HQ
  • 28 September 2017 CDF Steering Committee Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee UIC Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Fourm Steering Committee Paris
  • 28 September 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee Paris
  • 4-7 October 2017 UIC Asset Management Global Conference Paris UIC
  • 4 October 2017 APRA Web Conference Paris UIC HQ
  • 19-22 October 2017 Next Station Conference Madrid
  • 23-28 October 2017 International Railway Safety Council (IRSC) HONG KONG
  • 24-28 October 2017 Intercity & High Speed Committee Plenary meeting Shanghai
  • 24 October 2017 RSF Plenary
  • 26-27 October 2017 Expertise Development Platform Rome, Italy
  • 30-31 October 2017 16th UIC Asia-Pacific Management Committee Saint-Petersburg, Russia

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 10 January 2017

  Contact the UIC e-News team