Save the Date! IoT & Big data to be discussed in Beijing on 19 June 2017

A conference on IoT and Big data will be organised on 19 June 2017, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly as well as the other UIC event “Railadapt”.

Among the subjects discussed: IoT, big data impact on performance, including economic performance. More information about the programme will be available in a further UIC e-News.

As the event allows only a restrictive audience, information will be shared through these columns after the event.

For more information please contact Francis Bedel, UIC CDO:

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Technical Presentation with RTSA (Railway Technical Society of Australasia) on 11 April 2017

The RTSA is a joint Technical Society of Engineers Australia and IPENZ New Zealand, formed to further the interests of the railway industry at large and its individual participants.

Through its RTSA activities it provides a platform for professional interaction and developments and also promotes the railway and engineering industry.

During the meeting, attended by around 30 experts, Teodor Gradinariu, UIC Senior Technical Advisor, presented the following items:

  • A general description of UIC – domains of interest and why railway companies can benefit from our experience.
  • Asset Management at UIC – the role of UIC in the implementation of AM to its members.
  • UIC implementation Guideline on ISO 55001 for Railway Infrastructure Organisations
  • LICB – Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking – a long term benchmarking on maintenance and renewal for railways infrastructure – developed in Europe across 15 Infrastructure Managers since 1996.
  • UIC Leaflets – as railway sector standards and the ways forward for their conversion into IRSs (International Railway Solution).
  • SATLOC – low cost solution for low traffic lines using GNNS (Satellite solutions)

Mr Gradinariu opened the presentation with a short UIC promotional film movie and concluded with the SATLOC film.

UIC would like to thank Qian Zheng, Secretary of RTSA Western Australia Chapter.

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


Rail Security Network of quick responders – Start of the process

As requested during the UIC security week 2016, the network of quick responders is a new communication channel within the Security Network. It gives its members the possibility to exchange fast information about arising security questions.

The first member question focused on the topic of radicalisation. Nowadays, companies have to deal with skills shortage on the one hand and on the other with the increasing threat in Europe in the last months as well as the increasing numbers of radicalised individuals.

Therefore, the UIC Security Division asked its network of quick responders what kind of measures they have, to become aware of radicalised individuals in their company. The answers were summarised within three weeks and will be provided to the responders. The first experience with the network of quick responders was extremely positive and showed, that this knowledge exchange is a useful addition to the common security programme.

If your company also has an upcoming security topic and you would like to know how other companies handle this you can still join the network and contact us at

For further information please contact Kathrin Faber, Senior Advisory Security Division:

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UIC participated in Railway PRO Technology & Services Forum on 5 April 2017 in Arad, Romania

On 5 April in Arad, Romania, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux participated in the Railway PRO Technology & Services Forum.

Leaders of the European rail industry together with national rail infrastructure managers and rail transport operators within Central and East European countries attended the event.

The objective was to demonstrate and discuss rail projects aiming to shape a better connected and integrated railway transport area in the CEE states.

The speech of Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is available on this video:


20th UIC Environment, Energy & Sustainability (EES) Platform held on 5 April 2017 in Paris

The 20th UIC Environment, Energy & Sustainability (EES) Platform met at UIC HQ in Paris on 5 April 2017. UIC presented the latest sustainability activities, proposals for opt-in 2018 and a number of items for information.

The meeting started with an introduction and welcome by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux (UIC CEO) and Willy Bontinck (SNCB & Platform Chair).

Last time the EES group met was during the Sustainability Conference in Vienna in October 2016 and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux emphasised the success of the event as well as the growing awareness of the importance of sustainable transport as a key driver for social and economic development and peace. Mr Loubinoux added that the publication in October 2016 of the final report of the High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport as well as the participation of UIC in the first Sustainable Transport Conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan last November had been great occasions to advocate the role of rail as the backbone of sustainable transport. UIC is still liaising with the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres to sustain momentum on sustainable transport.

An update of each of the expert networks was then conducted along with the political update of CER provided by Ethem Pekin, Senior Environmental Economist at CER.

The unit proposed four new projects for Opt-In – three in Europe and one in Asia:

  • Best Practices Energy workshops (Europe)
  • Noise Technical Advice to the European Union
  • UIC Leaflet 930
  • Best Practices Energy workshops (Asia)

Two new projects for the global budget were also proposed:

  • Door to door mobility
  • Clean air rail

The EES platform was the opportunity to discuss future plans for COP23 under the Fiji Presidency taking place in Bonn in November 2017, and gave the chance to the Members of the platform to learn more about the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) and comment on the global macro-roadmap on “An Actionable vision of the decarbonisation of transport”.

The EES platform gave the occasion to renew invitations to the RailAdapt workshops to be held in 2017, in London in April and in Beijing in June.

For further information please contact Nick Craven, Head of UIC Sustainable Development Unit:


One week left to benefit from the GSM-R Conference early bird special rates


Register now for GSM-R FRMCS Conference to be held on 17 and 18 May 2017 at UIC in Paris.

Only 1 week for the early bird special rates available until 15th April!

News from UIC members

In Memoriam: György Vass (1946 – 2017)

It is with great sadness that UIC learned of the passing of our former colleague from Hungarian Railways (MÁV), György Vass, a retired consultant of the International Relations Department, on 2 April.

Born in 1946, electrical engineer György Vass spent most of his career working for the International Relations Department within MÁV, where he was consecutively in charge of Relations with the West, Relations with International Organisations, International Railway Cooperation, and Head of Protocol.

Within UIC, György Vass was very active in the areas of training, the environment, the East-West Task Force, communications, as well as in CineRail, the international railway film festival. He organised several railway events for UIC in Hungary, including the international ERTMS conference in 2006. He was also very committed in promoting the historical legacy of the railways.

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said:

All associations such as UIC are a large family where the diversity of experience and international responsibility learn to measure the sensitivity of human relations and the importance of their sincerity and transparency.

György was an excellent example of this universality, and as he quoted French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on his website:

“There is only one true luxury, that of human relationships.”

UIC extends its deepest sympathy and its most sincere condolences to his children and family.

(Source: MÁV)

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News from UIC members

Macedonia: Igor Korunoski appointed Director General and President of the Management Board of MZ Transport AD-Skopje

Born in 1980 in Prilep, Republic of Macedonia, where he completed his primary and secondary education, Igor Korunoski graduated from the Mechanical Faculty at the St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering. His professional experience within Macedonian Railways Transport JSC Skopje (MZ Transport AD-Skopje) began in 2010, and in 2011 he was appointed Director of Branch-Train traction. In 2012 Igor Korunoski was appointed Director of Traction and Rolling Stock maintenance and a member of the Management Board of MZ Transport AD-Skopje. In accordance with the decision made by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, he was appointed Director General and President of the Management Board of MZ Transport AD-Skopje in 2017.

Igor Korunoski has gained his experience by attending many conferences, symposia and presentations for railway traffic, at national, as well as at international level in the fields of traction and rolling stock. One of the many national and international conferences he has attended is the XVI International Scientific-Expert Conference on Railways Railcon’14 – Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Niš, Serbia, where he presented the study: The Influence of the Railway Fleet Modernisation on Energy Efficiency.

Igor Korunoski played a significant role in the development of the Macedonian Railways Transport JSC Skopje through his personal involvement and commitment in carrying out the Macedonian Railways Fleet Renewal Project in cooperation with EBRD and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia from 2012 – a project in which 150 new freight wagons, four DMUs and two EMUs were procured. In 2016 he played a proactive role in conducting the project for the rehabilitation of the rolling stock maintenance depot and procurement of new modern diagnostic equipment required for the maintenance of the MZ Transport AD-Skopje’s traction and rolling stock. Igor Korunoski is currently involved in the project for the supply of four new electric locomotives for freight traffic in MZ Transport AD-Skopje.

(Source: Macedonian Railways)

News from UIC members

New panorama journey keeps the Gotthard legend alive

SBB is continuing the successful Swiss tradition of panorama trains on the Gotthard route. From Good Friday, 14 April 2017, guests from Switzerland and beyond can experience the heart of the country in a new way. The newly launched journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express will take travellers from Lucerne by steam-boat to Flüelen and onwards by panorama train on the Gotthard panoramic route to Ticino. Along the way, they can enjoy presentations and information on the history and significance of the historic Gotthard route. There will now also be an additional direct train from Zurich to Bellinzona and back at weekends.

From next Friday, the Gotthard Panorama Express will join the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and GoldenPass Line as one of Switzerland’s most beautiful panoramic train journeys for tourists. On the Gotthard route, over 200 bridges and seven helical tunnels have demonstrated the fascinating interaction between engineering and the environment since the tunnel’s opening in 1882, attracting visitors from all over the world. The old Gotthard route now has some new experiences in store for travellers: the Gotthard Panorama Express between Lucerne and Bellinzona will be launched at Easter. Passengers will travel by steam-boat on Lake Lucerne, passing locations steeped in history such as Rütli Meadow, the Schiller Stone and Tell’s Chapel. In Flüelen, they will board the panorama train on the Gotthard panoramic route for three views of Wassen Church, which has become world-famous thanks to the ingenious railway system, gliding slowly by for a chance to take photos. A special presentation in the Gotthard tunnel will form another highlight of the trip.

Historical presentations and photo opportunities along the way

Seats in 1st and 2nd class can be booked online, including for sections of the route. The train stops in Göschenen and Airolo, enabling travellers to combine the journey with the Glacier Express via Andermatt, for example. A seat reservation costs 24 Swiss francs for the whole route. The Gotthard Panorama Express will operate at weekends from 14 April to 22 October 2017 and every day from 3 July to 20 October 2017. On their journey, travellers can enjoy a photography coach with windows that can be opened, photo opportunities and information about the route. The attractions along the way, possible excursions, the historical background and Gotthard legend are explained in a publicly accessible app. Catering is also provided, with regional specialities on the train and culinary delicacies on the boat.

New panorama journey marketed worldwide

Since the timetable change in December 2016, only 400 to 500 passengers on average have been travelling on the Gotthard panoramic route each day. In this context, the new panorama journey will help to get more people in Switzerland and from further afield excited about the Saint Gotthard region. The Gotthard Panorama Express will be marketed all over the world.

Additional new direct train from Zurich to Bellinzona

As well as the Gotthard Panorama Express, an additional direct train will now be operating on the Gotthard panoramic route from Zurich to Bellinzona and back at weekends from 14 April to 22 October 2017. It is perfect for cyclists and hikers. As before, SBB will also operate an hourly service from Erstfeld to Bellinzona with a change on the same platform. The InterRegio trains will be extended to Göschenen if there is a high level of demand.

(Source: SBB)

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Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members

United States: New report confirms freight railroads are deeply connected to international trade

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) released an assessment of trade’s impact on the freight railroad industry on March 29, finding that at least 42 percent of rail carloads and intermodal units, and more than 35 percent of annual rail revenue, are directly associated with international trade.

Approximately 50,000 domestic rail jobs, accounting for more than $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits, depend directly on international trade, the analysis of 2014 data also found. If rail traffic indirectly associated with trade was included, the figures would be notably higher.

With ample discussions in Washington policy circles today on the role of trade, imports versus exports and manufacturing, the data provide a reminder that today’s global economy is firmly established and cannot be easily undone with rushed policy modifications. Doing so could have damaging and counterproductive effects on American workers and various industries – including a freight rail network that serves nearly every industrial, wholesale, retail and resource based sector of the economy.

“Efforts that curtail overall trade would threaten thousands of U.S. freight rail jobs that depend on it and limit essential railroad revenues used to modernize railroad infrastructure throughout North America,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “For a highly capital-intensive industry that has spent $26 billion annually in recent years, private investment is the lifeblood of a freight rail sector that must devote massive sums to safely, efficiently and affordably deliver goods across the economy. Upending the ability of railroads to do so by undermining free trade agreements that have done far more good than harm would have far reaching effects.”

The report looked at a host of rail movements, analyzing data from the 2014 Surface Transportation Board (STB) Waybill Sample – the most recent data available at the time of the analysis – other government data, information from U.S. ports and Google Earth, among others. Waybill Sample contains data from a stratified sample of waybills submitted each year by freight railroads to the STB. Each waybill contains, among other things, information on the origin and destination of the shipment and the volume and type of product moved.

The scope of operations and reach into the U.S. economy discovered through the analysis was stark. In 2014, there were 329 million tons of exports handled, nearly double the still-sizeable 171 million tons of imports moved by rail.

Rail traffic associated with trade included movements of coal for export out of ports in Maryland, Virginia, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes; paper and forest products imported from Canada into the Midwest, as well as paper products exported from the Southern U.S; imports and exports of Canadian and Mexican automotive products to and from auto factories in dozens of U.S. states; containers of consumer goods from Asia coming ashore in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Savannah, Norfolk, and Newark; plastics shipped by rail from Texas and Louisiana to the East and West Coasts for export to Europe and Asia; iron ore mined in Minnesota and shipped by rail to Great Lakes ports; and grain grown in the Midwest and carried by rail to the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast for export.

“These numbers validate our view that U.S. policymakers should proceed with caution in their quest to reverse some impacts of globalization,” added Hamberger.

(Source: AAR)

2 Votes

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Plans afoot for Forth Bridge climb experience

Network Rail is progressing plans to take visitors onto the Forth Bridge for the first time, focusing on delivery of a bridge climb experience in South Queensferry.

The exhilarating plans are expected to attract 80,000 visitors a year to climb the 127-year-old structure.

Access will be provided via an existing walkway under the south approach span and a new steel walkway positioned discreetly within the top member of the southern suspended span. Visitors will be pulsed in groups of up to 15 from a new hub building near Hawes Brae and will be hooked on to the bridge using a harness and continuous safety line.

The plans are a revised version of proposals first developed in 2013. The original plans had included a visitor centre and viewing platform in North Queensferry as well as a facility at the southern side.

Funding considerations have encouraged initially taking forward a leaner, more focussed bridge walk project with the potential to develop the business further in the future.

“We have explored numerous options over the last two years to take forward our visitor proposals. However, after reviewing the business case we have chosen to focus, at least initially, on the bridge walk option. This requires a lower upfront capital investment and offers a quicker rate of return.

Importantly, the bridge walk hub will be located just 250-metres from Dalmeny station. While we will have sufficient parking on site to meet customer needs, we want to encourage visitors to enjoy the convenience of access by rail and will be looking to incentivise that within our management of the facility.”
David Dickson, infrastructure director of the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail

A public consultation on the proposed development is expected to begin in summer 2017. Planning permission will be sought following the conclusion of the consultation. Listed building consent will be required as well as close consultation with heritage experts and world heritage officials.

“The Forth Bridge is one of Scotland’s most loved structures and our plans reflect that. The access gantry we are proposing will be almost invisible from the shore and fully reversible should we wish to remove it in the future.

What we must not forget is that the Forth Bridge is a working structure that has always required maintenance and that will continue. What we’re proposing will simply allow us to invite visitors to learn about the history of a structure that, in the past, has only ever been accessible by a lucky few railway workers.

We take our role as the stewards of the Forth Bridge extremely seriously. We believe that this proposal will help people appreciate this wonder of the industrial age and help spark a renewed worldwide interest in the history and heritage of Scottish engineering.”
David Dickson

The bridge walk is expected to be operated under a management contract on behalf of Network Rail. The costs of developing that walkway, building and access construction are estimated at £10m.

(Source: Network Rail)

Czech Republic: ČD’s Pendolinos to undergo refurbishment in company workshops

All seven Pendolino trains belonging to České dráhy (Czech Railways, ČD), which have been in regular operation for 12 years now, will undergo major refurbishment in the coming months. In particular, their interiors will be updated. The contract to redesign the seven-carriage class 680 electric multiple units with a tilting mechanism was awarded, in accordance with the law on public procurement, to ČD’s subsidiary DPOV, a.s. (Dílny pro opravu vozidel).

“The interiors of the passenger compartments, WCs and bistro in particular are showing signs of age,” explained ČD’s Board Member for Engineering, Service and Property, Miroslav Kupec. “For example, there is no visual information system for passengers, which is standard in today’s modern trains. That’s why it will be added to the Pendolinos, as will a children’s cinema. There will be new seats, wall coverings, floors, luggage racks and WCs. Lighting and electrical outlets will be updated as well.”

After consulting with leading Czech rail vehicle designers Jiří Španihel and Patrik Kotas, the Czech Republic’s national carrier decided to implement a comprehensive modernisation of the Pendolino interiors. “The Pendolinos are our flagship, and a radical intervention is required in order to maintain their uniqueness and exceptionality. Moreover, updates to selected elements will yield significant savings. For example, the units will consume less electricity, which will save us as much as 12 million Czech crowns annually. And thanks to their reduced weight, we’ll also pay a lower fee for the use of railway infrastructure and thus garner savings on the order of hundreds of thousands Czech crowns per year,” added ČD’s Board Member for Passenger Transport, Michal Štěpán.

“The first unit should begin the refurbishment process this summer, and if all goes well we’ll present its new interior in Bohumín this fall on the occasion of National Railway Day. All of the Pendolino trains should be fully renovated within roughly one year,” concludes Miroslav Kupec.

Class 680 Pendolino units are deployed as the Czech Republic’s fastest trains and today operate on the Prague – Ostrava, Ostrava – Prague – Cheb/Františkovy Lázně and Prague – Ostrava – Košice (SK) lines. On board, passengers enjoy a WiFi internet connection and an information and entertainment portal.

(Source: ČD)

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 11 April 2017

  Contact the UIC e-News team