Railsponsible signs a partnership agreement with the UN Environment Sustainable Public Procurement Programme

Railsponsible brings together a network of seven companies including both the railway supply industry and operators: Alstom, Bombardier Transportation, SNCF, Deutsche Bahn, Knorr Bremse, Nederlandse Spoorwgen (NS), and SKF. On 25 January 2017 the non-profit organisation was welcomed, in Paris, as partner of the 10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) of UN Environment.

This UN programme is “a global multi-stakeholder platform that supports the implementation of SPP around the world. The Programme builds synergies between diverse partners to achieve the Sustainable development goals target on SPP.” (Source: UN Environment Secretariat)

Railsponsible perfectly echoes this programme as its members have newly approved a multi-year 2020 strategy focusing on raising awareness among internal entities about the crucial role of sustainable procurement, developing programmes in collaboration with suppliers from the rail supply chain and expanding the network to new significant stakeholders. The partnership agreement will give the Railsponsible initiative greater visibility on the global stage.

The Membership Certificate was granted by Farid Yaker, Sustainable Public Procurement Programme Officer at UN Environment, to Olivier Baril, Chairman of Railsponsible and Chief Procurement Officer at Alstom. Olivier Baril said: “Today, we are very pleased to join the 10YFP Sustainable Public Procurement Programme which will allow us to share best practices with other industries, public organisations and academic institutes.”

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, was invited to represent UIC as a key stakeholder and facilitator in the process as this ceremony was a direct output of the 13th UIC Sustainability Conference held in Vienna in October 2016. He said: “The broad experience of the 10YFP SPP programme partners and sector specific knowledge of the Railsponsible initiative represents a perfect marriage.”

Mr Sanjay Kummar of Indian Railways played a significant part in presenting and bringing together the sustainable procurement network and the 10YFP Sustainable Public Procurement Programme. His role was warmly acknowledged by speakers.

Find out more about the 10YFP SPP Programme here:

Find out more about Railsponsible here:

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

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Cooperation Reporting

UIC welcomes RSSB to the UIC community

On 1 January 2017 RSSB, the UK rail sector body that undertakes work in the areas of research, standards, analysis and insight, became a member of UIC.

Coordinator Europe, UIC Simon Fletcher met some of the RSSB team on 24 January to discuss the areas where the work of RSSB and that of UIC can come together to form a partnership approach to strengthen the development and delivery of a safer, more efficient and sustainable rail system.

It is anticipated that building on the strong technical capabilities of both UIC and RSSB, the collaborative engagement with RSSB will bring a number of benefits for the whole rail system with a strong emphasis on research and innovation – RSSB is an active member of the Research and Innovation Coordination Group (RICG) and the International Railway Research Board (IRRB).

For further information please contact Simon Fletcher, Coordinator of UIC Europe:

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WCRR 2019 – EXE/ORG meetings held at UIC headquarters

On 26 & 27 January 2017, UIC hosted the first preparatory meetings of the 12th World Congress on Rail Research. These were the first meetings under the chairmanship of the organisers of the 12th WCRR, the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI). This next edition of WCRR will be held in October 2019 in Tokyo.

The meeting of the WCRR Executive Committee took place on 26 January. During this meeting the WCRR members discussed the planning of the congress, structure of sessions, themes following a detailed overview and feedback on the organisation of the 11th WCRR which was organised and hosted by the Italian State Railways in Milan in mid-2016. The report was accepted by the Executive Committee and the WCRR chairman expressed his gratitude for the excellent organisation and values of WCRR 2016.

On 27 January the Organising Committee of the WCRR convened. Mr Ikuo Watanabe, Executive Director of RTRI officially opened the process of preparation of the next Congress. He thanked the Italian predecessors for their achievements and explained the challenges facing the Japanese organisers. Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, added that the World Congresses on Railway Research are the world’s foremost international forums for promoting, developing and exchanging the latest innovations in the global rail industry.

The aim of WCRR is to deliver a better-performing and more sustainable railway system that appeals more to new and existing customers, looking towards two horizons: a long-term vision and the near future with a successful involvement of UIC. He assured WCRR members of UIC’s support in order to make the next WCRR a highly successful event. The next WCRR 2019 EXE/ORG meetings are scheduled to be held from 19 – 20 October 2017.

For further information about WCRR and its preparation please contact Dennis Schut:

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Rail Advisory Group of Rail Freight Corridor 6 meets on 26 January 2017 in Milan

The Rail Advisory Group (RAG) of Rail Freight Corridor 6 (RFC6) held its 9th Advisory Group on 26 January.

The meeting was the opportunity for the Corridor to present to Railway Undertakings (RU) and Terminals:

  • The new Implementation Plan
  • The 2018 timetable
  • A state of play of the Corridor activities
  • The outcome of the 2016 Customer Satisfaction survey

Since the corridor extension to Croatia has been agreed, attendees were informed that the next Corridor Conference would take place in Zagreb on 24 May.

RAGs are the consultation bodies where Railway Undertakings interested in the use of the Corridor can get information and provide input to the Corridor Management. As the representative for Mr Maieta, RAG Spokesperson, Mr Blass, Mercitalia Rail, presented to the Corridor management the most pressing issues to be addressed from the RU point of view.

With a view to giving RUs the opportunity to address their key issues, Andrea Galluzzi, Managing Director of the Corridor, invited Sandra Géhénot, newly appointed UIC Freight Director, to present the latest developments of the UIC project ECCO.

ECCO (European Cross Corridor Organisation) is a project initiated by UIC in 2014, designed to streamline processes across all railway undertakings and across all corridors.

The project provides the necessary coordination and exchange of information between the Advisory Boards in order to ensure RU needs are promoted efficiently and has set up a structure to monitor progress and to provide regular feedback which will help put in place the necessary improvement measures whenever required. ECCO stakeholders include RAG spokespersons.

In the context of this 9th RAG6 meeting, ECCO presented mainly:

  • The work conducted on the issue of KPIs, which now involve ERFA, UIRR, Clecat and ESC, and informed that an expert workshop to discuss the feasibility of implementing those KPIs had been agreed with RNE and is due to take place in Vienna on 2 March;
  • The ECCO harmonisation proposal for the Corridor one-stop-shop (C-OSS) for which the continuation of the initial cooperation with the C-OSS community was reiterated;
  • The work conducted in the area of coordination. The ongoing poor coordination of infrastructure works along corridors is still a very problematic issue for most corridors and has disastrous effects on the rail freight offer and business productivity;
  • The work undertaken under the umbrella of the CEO Task Force* to assess the feasibility of longer trains on the current infrastructure.

The meeting was very fruitful and allowed an open exchange of views on all these topics.

Visit the RFC6 – Mediterranean Corridor website:

  • The CEO Task Force is an initiative of 11 freight CEOS (ASTOC, BLS, B Logistics, DB Cargo, Hungrail, MRCE, Rail Cargo Group, SBB, SNCF, Mercitalia Rail and VDV) who, with the support of UIC and CER, grounded a task force dedicated to give high level support to issues of key importance to the competitiveness of rail freight.

For further information please contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director:

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Commuter and Regional Train Services meeting held on 25 January in Paris

On 25 January the meeting of the Commuter and Regional Train Systems work group took place at UIC Headquarters in Paris. UIC was represented by the Director of the Passenger Department, Mr Ignacio Barrón, and Mr Luis Casado. The meeting was chaired by Bartlomiej Buczek (SKM- PKP), president of the group.

The group went through different topics related to the activities of the Commuter and Regional Train Services. There were discussions on a variety of topics such as commuting and high speed, a possible collaboration with the International Energy Agency – also present at the meeting – and the first steps in the handbook that will be launched over the course of this year, in which the most important aspects of these kinds of railway services will be studied. The results and different inputs of the First Commuter and Regional Train Services Training that took place in Rome last September were also analysed and the preparatory work for this year’s training was initiated.

The next meeting of the group will be hosted by RENFE in Madrid on 5 and 6 April.

For further information please contact Luis Casado Presa, Senior Advisor Passenger Department:

News from UIC members

Germany: Dr Rüdiger Grube leaves Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn’s Supervisory Board today unanimously approved Dr Rüdiger Grube’s request to step down as Chairman and CEO and terminate his employment with immediate effect. The Supervisory Board has asked DB’s Human Resources department to agree the details of Dr Grube’s departure with the former CEO.

The Supervisory Board thanks Dr Grube for his extraordinary dedication to the company over the last eight years, and will decide on a successor in the very near future. According to DB’s internal rules of procedure, Member of the Management Board for Finance Dr Richard Lutz will take over provisionally as Chairman and CEO.

Supervisory Board Chairman Professor Utz-Hellmuth Felcht said: “Dr Grube leaves behind him an enduring legacy, particularly in terms of securing DB’s future success. The digitalisation of DB and the ’Zukunft Bahn’ (’Rail Future’) quality programme are both synonymous with his name.”

(Source: Deutsche Bahn)

News from UIC members

Italy: FS Italiane acquires Trainose

On 18 January Italy’s FS Italiane signed an agreement for the acquisition of Trainose, the Greek rail transport company.

The agreement was signed by FS Group CEO Renato Mazzoncini and by Antonis Leousis, CEO of the Hellenic Republic Development Asset Fund (HRADF).

In July 2016 FS Italiane was named the “preferred investor” by HRADF which had accepted the 45 million euro offer.

“The acquisition of Trainose is an opportunity of growth and improvement both for FS Italiane which carries on its international development, and for the Greek railways which will be able to take advantage of the FS’ know how and experience", said Renato Mazzoncini, FS Group CEO.

This transaction is perfectly in line with the 2017-2026 Industrial Plan which envisages Europe as the target market for FS, aiming at fourfold revenues from abroad businesses of over four billion in 2026. The Trainose acquisition follows the NXET ones, the UK company that operates the C2C line from London to Essex. We are proud of these successes which pave the way for further achievements”.

FS Group said it expects the green light from European Union in the next few weeks.

Trainose is the leading Greek railway undertaking; it provides passengers and freight transport services both at national, regional and international level, along with logistic services.

In 2015 it carried around 16 million people, recorded revenues for 130 million euros and a net profit of 2.7 million euros: since 2013 the company has recorded positive economic results. Trainose has 670 employees, about 1,100 leased loco and coaches and manages almost 300 trains daily. The main route on which it operates is Athens – Salonica.

(Source: FS Italiane)

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.33 / 5

News from UIC members

United States: American Institute of Architects Honor Award is industry’s highest recognition

The 30th Street Station District Plan has been honored with the architecture industry’s most prestigious award – a 2017 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects. The District Plan was selected from more than 500 submissions from around the world.

The award underscores the importance of the collaboration among the project Principals (Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and SEPTA) in developing the Plan, with guidance from a coordinating committee and input from members of the public.

“On behalf of the 30th Street Station District Plan partners, we gladly accept this award and appreciate the endorsement it represents of the hard work that went into developing the Plan,” said Natalie Shieh, Project Director. “We are enthusiastically moving forward on implementation, to take this inspiring vision and realize its great promise to transform the 30th Street Station District into Philadelphia’s next great neighborhood.”

“The District Plan beautifully reimagines one of Philadelphia’s greatest assets at the center of a world-class urban district,” said Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Director Kristopher Takács, AIA. “SOM is honored to have led an extraordinary team of professionals, future-leaning institutions, and committed citizens to envision a pivotal transformation.”

The District Plan is a comprehensive vision for the future of the area surrounding 30th Street Station in the year 2050 and beyond. In the near term, Amtrak and its partners are strategically advancing key projects to activate all four sides of the station and build a foundation for future growth and development. In November 2016, Amtrak issued a Request for Proposals to lease and develop a roughly 32,500 square foot tract of land and associated air rights adjacent to 30th Street Station.

The Plan ultimately envisions 40 new acres of open space and 18 million square feet of new development, including an entirely new mixed-use neighborhood anchoring the District atop 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River. With a proposed $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges, and extension of transit services, the Plan has the potential to unlock $4.5 billion in private real estate investment with robust and widespread economic benefits. An estimated $3.8 billion in City and State taxes and 40,000 new jobs would be created.

This is the second of Amtrak’s major development projects to receive recognition from the American Institute of Architects in the past several years. In 2014, the Washington Union Station Master Plan received honorable mention in Urban Design/Master Planning from the AIA Washington Chapter.

(Source: Amtrak)

News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: Opportunities and development of continental transport on the Silk Road through the port of Lianyungang in China and dry port of the Khorgos East Gate SEZ discussed in Seoul, South Korea

The presentation was held by representatives of the JSC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) group of companies logistics unit with the participation of the joint Kazakh-Chinese terminal at the port of Lianyungang administration, seaport of Lianyungang vice president for logistics and containerization Mr Zhang Ziyang, along with global ports operator DP World specialists.

Among the participants of the meeting were representatives of the South Korean community: Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, KORAIL Railways Corporation, HYUNDAI, KIA Motors, LG, Lotte, SJ Logistics Group company representatives and other major engineering, trade and logistics companies.
Exporters and representatives of the logistics business underlined the competitive advantages and prospects of transport through the logistics system of Kazakhstan and its partners on the New Silk Road route.

“The Kazakh-Chinese terminal at the port of Lianyungang as well as the transport and logistics infrastructure of the Khorgos East Gate Special Economic Zone (SEZ), linking the major poles of the world economy in Eurasia through the territory of Kazakhstan, are represented as freight traffic consolidation centres for the supply chain organisation”, said Mr Sergey Anashkin, Executive Director of JSC KTZ Express in his speech.

Participants expressed a keen interest in promoting their products to markets in Europe, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia, using logistics capabilities of the Silk Road through the logistics infrastructure of Kazakhstan and China.

In addition, within the bilateral talks, parties agreed to the development of logistics services on the route.

Kazakhstan has experience in organising container trains from Lianyungang terminal in Europe, Turkey and Central Asia, and in this regard, the issue of regular active land/container lines and marketing of global partnerships to attract cargo, including with Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

(Source: KTZ)

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News from UIC members

Latvia: Cabinet of Ministers supports the railway network electrification project in the direction of Riga

On 17 January, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the further development of the railway network electrification project, prepared by the Ministry of Transport and VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš. According to the project, the first electrification of the railway network would be in the direction of Riga from Daugavpils and Rēzekne, through Krustpils.

Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis stressed that the ambitious electrification project would make the Latvian transport corridor more competitive by providing the carriers with new business prospects. Consequently, the carriers would be able to provide faster transport of goods in a timely manner and achieve significant financial savings, which would have a long-term positive impact on the industry.

“By taking into account the trends in freight transport by rail, the electrification will start in the direction of Riga, thus achieving the necessary objectives of the project, which are economically justified. At the same time, the development of the project will be a significant investment in the growth of the industry and the public economy, as well as a serious contribution to the development of the Latgale region,” said the minister.

By evaluating last year’s analysis, conducted by the auditing company Ernst & Young Baltic on two alternatives for the first phase of the electrification project, in terms of economic return, the electrification in the direction of Riga was recognised as the best.

"It is commendable that the government has made this important decision for this industry and for the competitiveness of the economy. In the long term, this project will certainly create additional revenue for the state budget and will promote the development of the industry, as well as increase our competitiveness in relation to other transit corridors,” said VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz) president Edvīns Bērziņš.

In the near future, LDz will prepare an accurate business plan, by evaluating solutions for the state’s participation in the project, so that its implementation does not affect the state budget.

The first phase of the project will be carried out within the framework of the specific support measure Provide a competitive and environmentally friendly TEN-T railway network, by enhancing its safety, quality and capacity. The available funding from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund is 347 million euros, while the total costs for electrification in the direction of Riga are 519 million euros.

When evaluating the alternatives for the project’s first phase, technical risks related to the project’s implementation were also evaluated, by recognising the possibility to realise the railway network electrification project and Rail Baltic project in the Riga intersection. Simultaneous implementation of both projects would create additional challenges in the complex traffic organisation during this period; however, optimal solutions will be found.

The electrification of the Latvian railway network as a significant development project for the transport sector is included in the National Development Plan for 2014 – 2020 and in the Transport Development Guidelines for the same period.

(Source: LDz)


Results from 3rd edition of the UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards

Rail transport faces huge present and future challenges for which innovation and step changes are necessary. As UIC’s overall mission is to promote an increased use of rail transport at world level and to help members make rail transport more attractive, effective, sustainable and economically viable, the General Assemblies have brought their strong support to the ambitious programme of UIC’s International Railway Research Board (IRRB), as well as its initiative to set up the UIC Rail Research & Innovation Awards. The 3rd edition of the Awards came to an end through the organisation of the award ceremony held in St Petersburg in Russia on 1 December 2016.

Through these Awards, the UIC aims to support and promote:

  • The development of theoretical, experimental and applied research in railway transport
  • The development process of international cooperation in this field
  • The promotion and attraction of leading experts from different countries, research institutes, universities, railway operators, infrastructure managers, railway suppliers, passenger transport organisations, governmental bodies in charge of transport and individual research to address the most important problems and challenges of modern railways
  • The global recognition of the role of single researchers and research groups in order to establish rail as the sustainable backbone of the transportation system which is cost-efficient, reliable, safe and secure and will therefore become the mode of choice for passengers and freight forwarders

As well as to:

  • Support and encourage gifted young researchers, stimulate their research work in the sphere of railway transport, prepare a new generation of researchers, lay the foundations for future innovative development of railway transport and attract young researchers in the sphere of railway transport as well as to support the creation of favourable conditions for scientific discoveries and innovative achievements involving young researchers
  • Honour those persons who have spent their lifetime trying to innovate and improve the railway system and its services – the Lifetime Achievement Award

In a series of articles, we will focus in forthcoming issues on the award winning submissions as well as on some of other high scoring ideas for innovation of the railway system. This first article focuses on the 2016 Award winner in the category of Cost Reduction, Mr Tsutomu Watanabe.

The development and practical application of the Ladder Track

The world’s first longitudinal sleeper – the Ladder Sleeper – was developed using a limit stage design method for PC (pre-stressed concrete) sleepers and numerical simulations. The ladder sleeper is made of pre-stressed concrete beams connected with steel bars and is shaped like a ladder. Its weight per unit track length is the same as conventional PC sleepers. Since it has a rigid-connecting structure which embeds its steel connecting bars directly in the concrete beams, a correct gauge is ensured. There are two types of ladder tracks, ballasted ladder tracks and floating ladder tracks. The ballasted ladder track is effective in reducing ballast-layer maintenance work, because train loads are well distributed on a ballasted ladder track. In recent years, the ballasted ladder track has been laid on sections which require frequent maintenance work such as grade crossings, expansion joints, rail joint sections as well as ordinary sections. It is also effective in enhancing safety against track buckling and preventing an alignment irregularity of the abutment backfill.

The floating ladder track has also been used for bridges and rigid frame viaducts and contributed to reducing vibrations and noises caused by structures and have also been used to replace existing slab tracks and ballasted tracks. As one of the environmental countermeasures, the space between the longitudinal beams of a floating ladder track can be used as a greenbelt. On some of commercial lines, rows of planting mats have already been placed between the longitudinal beams on a trial basis.

UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards – Cost Reduction Award Winner 2016

Tsutomu Watanabe ( is an Assistant Senior Researcher in the Structural Mechanics Laboratory for the Ladder track research team of the Railway Technical Research Institute – RTRI- in Japan. He has worked together with Mr Masamichi Sogabe, the General Manager of the Personnel Administration Division, previously a Senior Researcher in the Structural Mechanics Laboratory Railway Dynamics Division and Mr Keiichi Goto, Assistant Senior Researcher in the Structural Mechanics Laboratory.

For further information please contact Mr Tsutomu Watanabe:

Or Dennis Schut at UIC:

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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 31 January 2017

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