19th UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle East (RAME) successfully held in Tehran in conjunction with a Regional Seminar on activities of the UIC Rail System Forum (RSF)

The 19th Meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle East (RAME) was held on 2 May at RAI Headquarters in Tehran at the kind invitation of Dr Saed Mohammadzadeh, Vice Minister for Transport and Urban Development, President of the Board of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI), First Vice Chairman of the UIC Middle-East Region.

The Meeting was chaired by Mr Isa Apaydin, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD), Chairman of UIC Middle-East (RAME) and UIC Vice Chairman, with the participation of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Mr Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East, Mr Abbas Nazari, Director General International Affairs at RAI, Director of the UIC Regional Office in Tehran, as well as the representatives of the Railways of Iraq (IRR), Chief Eng. Ali Addulhussein, Deputy Director General, Jordan (Aqaba Railway Coporation ARC), Eng. Abdullah Alhumede, Director General Office Director, and Syria (Al Hejaz Railway Syria CFH) , Mr Hassanin Mohammed Ali, President, and Eng. Fayez Briche, Assistant of the General Manager of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), etc.

In his opening address UIC Director General warmly thanked Dr Saed Mohammadzadeh and Iranian Railways (RAI) for hosting this meeting and the following seminar, as well as Mr. Isa Apaydin and Turkish State Railways (TCDD) for their continuous support for the activities of the UIC Middle-East Region: “We all are aware that the TCDD chairmanship and leadership has contributed since the creation of RAME 10 years ago (an anniversary), to create a space of neutrality and friendship which definitively serves the development of a fruitful cooperation between all railway professionals in the region”.

He added: "The impressive number of projects and achievements in the rail sector make the Middle-East one of the most active and promising regions for rail transportation... In addition, the UIC, thanks to its neutrality and expertise, can effectively contribute to support railways in the Middle-East through a number of actions:

  • Promoting the “Vision and Strategic Action Plan 2016-2020 for the Middle-East Railways”, presenting a coherent Framework for the implementation of competitive, integrated, rail and multi-modal transportation system,
  • Ensuring harmonisation, standardisation, interoperability of the international rail transport system, in particular along international corridors such as the “New Rail Silk Roads” that are becoming a reality,
  • Promoting exchanges of know-how and best practices on all new technological and operational developments (including signalling, digitalisation...)".

Mr Abbas Nazari, Director of the UIC Regional Office for the Middle-East in Tehran reported on recent achievements by the Office.
It is particularly worth mentioning the publication of the document entitled “Current Outlook to the Middle East Railways - Moving forward on the right track”. This document presents the situation, the current achievements and the rail development plans for 12 railways from the Middle-East (RAME) Region. It is being finalised in close cooperation between the Regional Office and the respective members.

Mr Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East, submitted for discussion the updated version 2017-2018 of the Action Plan for the Middle-East Region.
One of the highlights will be the 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail jointly organised by UIC and TCDD (with CMS Project) due to take place in Ankara, Turkey, on 8-11 May 2018.
Another event dedicated to contacts with potential partners and investors, the International Business Forum, should be held in Istanbul in Turkey in the last quarter of 2018.
A number of activities will be also developed in connection with the implementation of the “New Rail Silk Roads” (the assembly was informed about the study currently carried out by the Roland Berger consulting group in liaison with the UIC Freight department on potential synergies between European freight corridors and New Rail Silk Roads, from the market and customers’ viewpoint).

Mr Francis Bedel, Chief Digital Officer at UIC, gave an overview of activities of the UIC Digital Platform created in 2015.

Under the topic “Report on projects and achievements by railways’ Presidents and Directors General”, the impressive rail development plans and current achievements by Iranian Railways (RAI) and Turkish State Railways (TCDD) were presented to the Regional Assembly members.

Finally, the RAME Regional Assembly welcomed a new member: the Ma’an Development Company from Jordan, a company led by Eng. Hussein Krishan, CEO.

UIC RAME Regional Seminar on projects and activities of the UIC Rail System Forum (RSF)

The 19th Regional Assembly Meeting was followed by a Regional Seminar centered on activities and projects of the UIC Rail System Forum (RSF). This seminar held on 2 and 3 May had been jointly prepared by UIC Rail System Department and Iranian Railways (RAI) and more than 300 representatives of RAI (from 17 Regions) as well as delegates from universities, railway institutes or some other railways from the Region, took part in the lectures and intensive discussions.

After opening addresses by Dr Saed Mohammadzadeh, Vice Minister for Transport and Urban Development, President of RAI, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, and a video message by Mr Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), Chairman of UIC Rail System Forum, the technical seminar was carried out with contributions and presentations by Mr Maziyar Yazdani, Vice President of RAI for Infrastructure and Technical Issues, Dr Marc Antoni, Director of UIC Rail System Department, Mr Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Advisor, Operations and Asset Management, UIC Rail System Department , Mr Francis Bedel, Chief Digital Officer at UIC.

Presentations as well as Q &A sessions were focused on the following main sections:

  • Standardisation in an international railway context
  • Asset Management
  • Track and Structure
  • Signalling including ETCS, SATLOC…
  • Opportunities connected with digitalisation of railway operations

For further information please contact Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East:


Official launch of the UIC-USIC-Médecins du Monde charity campaign

Actors from the Railway, Sport and Health worlds join their forces to support a solidarity action

The International Union of Railways UIC and the International Railway Sports Association USIC share a common value: solidarity.

Following the agreement that was signed at the UIC General Assembly in Rome in July 2016 between UIC and USIC, a charity action will be conducted jointly this year between UIC and USIC, in order to better reflect the values of solidarity that the railway community wishes to develop through sporting events.
During 2017, both organisations will be pooling their strengths to organise various sports challenges across Europe (Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and France). All the money collected during the USIC challenges will go directly to Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World).

On the occasion of the official launch of this campaign in Paris on 9 May 2017 at UIC Headquarters, UIC Director General Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said: “On behalf of UIC, I am happy and moved that our values, shared by all our members, from distant countries, different cultures and contrasted situations, can be found in the desire to be contributors to the mobility of ideas and feelings in this generous cause.”

USIC Chairman Mr Dominique Paget said:

USIC is particularly pleased to take part in this campaign, and is delighted that an action such as this can link the three organisations around common values such as solidarity.
This is an integral part of the spirit of international sports-minded railway employees who are aware of the issues in the world around them.”

Médecins du Monde Executive Director Joël Weiler said:

At Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), we very much appreciate this joint initiative from UIC and USIC. We are deeply grateful for the international mobilisation of both organisations and of all the people that feel concerned by our cause. This gives us hope, as we see that the values of solidarity and tolerance are shared and passed on.”

The International Railway Sports Union (USIC) is an international, politically-neutral, non-profit organisation. USIC encourages the practice of sport at amateur level amongst railway employees in an atmosphere of camaraderie, in line with the Olympian ideal, and strives to foster a spirit of loyalty, tolerance and democracy. USIC is also the international umbrella body for national railway sporting associations.
USIC organises international railway sporting events, which take place in accordance with the provisions of the relevant sporting rules and laws. USIC actively supports fair, drug-free sport, and recognises national and international anti-doping rules, specifically the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA).

The International Union of Railways (UIC) brings together 200 Members from five continents. Though UIC’s founding remit was to harmonise operating conditions amongst railways at international level, its scope of action has progressively broadened and currently focuses on promoting railways as the most sustainable mode of transport. UIC aims to further international cooperation between its Members, helping to build a joined-up rail system through technical solutions which are harmonised at global level.
UIC supports its Members’ efforts to boost the efficiency, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of rail transport for the benefit of rail customers and society as a whole.
The values guiding UIC in its work are “Unity, Universality, and Solidarity”.

Médecins du Monde: Working in France and 81 countries worldwide, Doctors of the World - Médecins du Monde is an independent international movement of campaigning activists who provide care, bear witness and support social change. Through our 388 innovative medical programmes and evidence-based advocacy initiatives, we enable excluded individuals and their communities to access health and fight for universal access to healthcare.
Founded in 1980, the organisation has continued to increase its fields of intervention, adopt more complex ways of taking action and reaffirm its campaigning and independent stance.

If you wish to make a donation please click here:

For further information please watch these films:

Médecins du Monde:

Cooperation Reporting

UIC attends XXXII OSJD Conference of Directors General on 20 April 2017 in Minsk, Belarus

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, addressed the XXXII OSJD Conference of Directors General on 20 April 2017 in Minsk. The conference was hosted by Belarussian Railways and was attended by UIC APRA Chairman Mr Oleg Belozerov, RZD President, and other Directors General of all OSJD Members.

The conference examined and approved the work results of:

  • OSJD Commissions on freight and passenger transport, infrastructure and rolling stock
  • OSJD Permanent working groups on coding and informatics, financial and business issues, professional training and staff preparation
  • Course of OSJD International Conference on adoption of the text of OSJD Convention for direct international communication
  • OSJD Working Programme for 2018 including the cooperation with international partner organisations (UNECE, DG MOVE, ERA, UIC, CCTT etc.) and international standardisation bodies (ISO, IEC)

The conference listened to the report on the topic “Participation of the interested railway companies in the development of the OSJD/UIC joint leaflets into the IRS” and tasked the Chairman of the OSJD 5th Commission with:

  • Negotiation with IEC to be continued
  • Negotiation with ISO to be established on 27 April 2017
  • Areas and directions of cooperation with ISO and IEC technical committees to be determined, recommendations to be issued before 2 June 2017 and reported to the OSJD Minister Conference in June 2017

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux delivered a message to the conference supporting OSJD’s efforts and recent initiatives which intend practical steps to be undertaken and aim to conclude agreements with ISO and IEC.
These agreements, already signed with UIC and after completion and signing with OSJD, are going to impact and improve the landscape of international standardisation activities.
It will prevent underestimation of UIC and OSJD leaflets, such as the technical documents de-facto providing the International Railway Standardised Technical Solutions for the Railway Operating Community.
As a strategic partner of OSJD within the Eurasia continent, UIC supports and sustains such initiatives and is ready to share its experience and back the OSJD Committee in preparation for practical decisions to be approved and taken by the OSJD Minister Conference in June 2017.

For further information please contact Vytautas Kinderis, Coordinator for Standardisation and East-West Relations:


The European Federation of Museum and Tourist Railways (FEDECRAIL), the World Association of Tourist Trams and Trains (WATTRAIN) and UIC sign an MoU

The European Federation of Museum and Tourist Railways (FEDECRAIL) and the World Association of Tourist Trams and Trains (Wattrain) represented by their President, Mr David Morgan, and UIC, represented by its Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on 27 April in Paris in the framework of the TopRail (Tourism Opportunities for Railways) activity.

WATTRAIN seeks to promote the interests of the owners and operators of heritage and tourist trains and trams worldwide. Based in London, UK, it ensures that the value of heritage rail is a recognised issue. It engages and supports the sector internationally to facilitate the sustainability of the sector through the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of information.

FEDECRAIL is the European umbrella organisation representing national umbrella and individual Museum and Tourist Railways and Tramways in 27 European countries totalling 650 organisations. It was established under Belgian Law in 1994 as an international not-for-profit organisation and is managed by a volunteer Council appointed by its Members.

UIC, Wattrain and Fedecrail agree to cooperate with each other, to the extent possible, through undertaking active collaboration in the pursuit of two main common objectives: to enhance the visibility and acknowledge tourism opportunities by rail and to increase the rail’s share of the tourist market.

This MoU will enter into force upon signature by the parties for one year, after validation of the next General Assembly of UIC, which take place on 10 July 2017 and it has been officially presented by Mr Ignacio Barrón de Angoiti, Director of the Passenger and High Speed Department and Mr David Morgan, President of Wattrain and Fedecrail during the Fedecrail Annual Conference held on 5 May 2017 in Antwerp.

To know more about TopRail’s activity please visit

Or contact: Vanessa Pérez, UIC Advisor for Passenger Transport:

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High Speed Training Session Level One held from 24 – 29 April 2017 in Paris

As part of the activities of the UIC Intercity and High Speed Committee, the 13th edition of the Training on High Speed Systems (THSS 2017, level I) took place from 24 – 28 April at UIC Headquarters in Paris, and was completed by a technical visit on Saturday 29 April.

The UIC High Speed and Communications Departments contributed to the preparation of the high speed exhibitions at the “Cité des Sciences” in Rennes. Therefore, during the technical visit on 29 April, the trainees were given the opportunity to visit the exhibitions.

As in previous editions, this training session examined the two main principles of high speed rail as a complex system and looks at the many different approaches of this innovative transport system by establishing a view of its development across the world. This event is becoming increasingly important for decision-makers and all those professionally involved in high speed rail projects, with the aim of realizing and becoming familiar with all the aspects and implications involving any of these systems.

The 2017 edition was attended by 27 participants from 11 countries, among them managers in decision-making positions in the transport sector in general, and in the railways in particular, whether working for railway companies or for ministries, local authorities, universities, advisory bodies, agencies or associations.

Over the five days, the lectures examined all the elements that make up high speed systems as well as all the different types of systems included in this category. They gauged their impact impartially and objectively from a technical, economic, political and social standpoint and were given by 45 speakers from 11 countries.

The training session was organised by the UIC Passenger Department Team (Vanessa C. Pérez, Beatrix Perrot, Kenzo Fujita and Juhyung Lee), under the coordination of Iñaki Barrón de Angoiti, Director of the Passenger and High Speed Department and Coordinator of the Latin American Region. A second level of the Training on High Speed Systems will be organised in October (date to be confirmed) in Madrid, Spain.

For further information please contact Iñaki Barrón de Angoiti:

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UIC RailAdapt Workshop held from 27 – 28 April 2017 in London

RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) hosted the first UIC RailAdapt Workshop in London from 27 – 28 April 2017. Around 30 participants from 10 countries were represented at this event.

After introducing the event, Nick Craven, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit at UIC, and John Dora, consultant and moderator of the workshop, emphasised the importance of adaptation within members at UIC and how it was vital to address this topic during dedicated events such as RailAdapt. The RailAdapt initiative aims at keeping UIC Members informed and prepared in support of national adaptation plans, UN agreements and EU encouragement to reduce risks and costs while improving railways’ resilience in the face of climate change.
The first day of the event focused on policy and strategy for adaptation and resilience.

The key themes addressed were understanding interdependencies as well as the importance of data sharing, especially for weather forecast, metrics related to economy and finally integration across modes of transport. This day allowed participants to discuss the economics and investment challenges on resilience and adaptation, especially with regard to how each organisation and each sector define and manage resilience and related actions such as asset management, maintenance. One of the crucial conclusions of the day was that the understanding of decision makers internally and on local and national levels should be improved on these themes, especially for real time and long term forecasting, with the help of new possible tools and report analysis.

The second day was customised to debate in groups around tools and standards for resilience systems: how to respond to disruptive weather events before they occur and encourage a proactive planning. A key point was made to try to reach a mobility approach and not just a rail approach as rail could indeed be a backbone for an integrated and sustainable transport if we manage to work with an interconnected transport system, other networks. This can only be managed by adopting a more holistic view and by communicating better between sectors and internally on local and higher levels.

Further steps to face the challenge on how adaptation and resilience mix will be for Members to meet regularly, work towards an efficient communication with targeted stakeholders at all levels to raise awareness about adaptation. The creation of a web portal was mentioned as a viable way to share best practice, knowledge and expertise in the field of rail adaptation between members.

You can find more information (agenda, presentations) about the event in London here:

The next event on adaptation will be hosted by China Railways and will take place in Beijing. UIC is inviting members and other key stakeholders to share experience and outline what support railways have and will need from governments and investors to help make the case and secure funding for improving the resilience of rail services.

The event is free of charge and you can register here, and submit a paper:

Note that on 15 May in Bonn, Germany, a side event will be organised in the frame of the forty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 46).
This event will explore actions taken by the Estonian Government to mitigate transport emissions (electrification, biogas and Kyoto credits) in addition to adaption initiatives taken by leaders in the rail (RailAdapt projects) and broader transport sector including the COP22 Declaration on Accelerated Action on Adaptation in Transport.

The event will be live on youtube:

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

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IRaTCA training session held in April in Seoul

Since its establishment in 2008, IRaTCA (International Training Centre for UIC Asia) offers training courses each year aimed at strengthening cooperation and networking among UIC members.

The session held during the last week of April focused on freight issues with Bernard Schmitt, UIC Freight Advisor. He reported on the UIC Freight Department’s ongoing activities and projects. The Combined Traffic Group and the corridor issue raised questions and were debated with the audience. He presented the maintenance rules of wagons and the involvement of UIC regarding the handing over process between railways. He emphasised the need to achieve the project e-wag which will standardise communication between wagons and locomotives.

Representatives from Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan and Australia delivered reports and presentations of their activities. In addition, Korail, the session’s host, organised some technical visits to the ICD Inland Container Depot Uiwang and the KTX rolling stock maintenance workshop.

Ms Irina Petrunina, UIC Advisor on CIS and International Organisations and Mr Vytautas Kinderis, UIC standardisation and East-West Relations Coordinator, took the opportunity to meet separately some Korean members of UIC, in addition to Korail, KRRI (Korean Rail Research Institute, KRNA (Korea Rail Network Authority) and ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute). Some ideas for projects in 2018 for the UIC Asia Pacific Region were discussed.

For further information please contact Bernard Schmitt, UIC Freight Advisor:

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Reminder: One week left before the 3rd World Conference on Rail Telecoms to be held on 17 and 18 May 2017 at UIC in Paris

Register now for the GSM-R FRMCS Conference, organised in partnership with the Railway Operational Communications Industry Group (ROC-IG) in Paris, UIC Headquarters, on 17 and 18 May 2017.

This edition will be the first one devoted to the transition from GSM-R to FRMCS: On track for Evolution and Convergence aims to meet the current needs as well as new features enabling rail to evolve towards digitalisation.

Railways and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to freely exchange their experiences and share their vision for the future of the system.

The following suppliers will be present at the Exhibition: Comtest Wireless, Cybertel, Expandium Frequentis, Funkwerk, Iskratel, Kapsch, Nokia, Siemens and ZTE

News from UIC members

Belgium: Appointment of Ulrich Bouly as Chief Operations Officer and Bruno Dierickx as Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer

From telecoms to the international rail business, Thalys brings on board a blend of cultures and expertise

At Thalys, 2017 continues to be a year of change, as CEO Agnès Ogier announces the appointment of Ulrich Bouly as Chief Operations Officer and Bruno Dierickx as Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer.

New appointments marry agility and operational excellence
From his previous base in Antwerp, Ulrich Bouly led the development of Captrain Belgium, the international door-to-door freight carrier and logistics provider, thus garnering expertise in international rail transport which will stand in him good stead as he takes over operations at Thalys.

For his part, new head of marketing & commercial Bruno Dierickx is a Belgian telecoms and digital expert who led transformation at Proximus-Belgacom.
The two will join an intercultural Brussels-based management team which champions decompartmentalised management in building the Thalys of tomorrow.

“In Ulrich Bouly, we are bringing on board not only a specialist in international rail operations, but also an expert in leading strategic transformation projects. Together, we are building the Thalys of tomorrow around values of agility and responsiveness, including in the field of operations.”

“Bruno Dierickx will help us rethink Thalys for a more mobile, diverse world, one in which the critical time horizon is no longer 10 years but merely a few months and in which listening carefully to our customers in each of our markets is the golden rule.”

(Thalys CEO Agnès Ogier)

Ulrich Bouly, Chief Operations Officer

“We intend to take the agility and analytical capabilities our teams show every day in operations and deploy them as fully as possible, both in leading strategic projects and tailoring our transport offering to customer wishes.”

As an expert in international railway operations, Ulrich Bouly is already familiar with “Thalysland”. After forming part of the Metz-based team in charge of preparing for the launch of the TGV Est from 2003-2006, he spent the next 10 years developing freight services between northern and eastern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. From 2010 he was international Head of Production and Engineering within Fret SNCF’s coal & steel division, and from 2014 also took over as CEO and steadied the ship at Captrain Belgium.

He holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Centrale in Lille and joined SNCF in 1997. A multi-talented operations specialist, he combines a keen interest in new styles of management with a strongly results-focused approach to business. With these three factors in mind, he champions a holistic approach and considers innovation and quality the keys to success in a competitive environment. He became involved in running the first interoperable freight trains as of 2001, whilst in Lille he led the first ISO 9001 certification for freight. Later, at Captrain Belgium, he boosted customer satisfaction by 20%.
Now heading up operations at Thalys, Ulrich Bouly will oversee strategic renewal projects and a review of the design process for the firm’s transport offering. The job is both technical and organisational in nature, but the watchword remains operational excellence.

Ulrich hails from the north of France and is a fervent supporter of Franco-Belgian relations. He is 44 years old and has three children.

Bruno Dierickx, Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer

“Every day, we connect thousands of international business and leisure travellers that we can and must use the digital revolution to serve better. Our challenge is to be both a mode of transport open to all whilst keeping the personal touch, all against a backdrop of an ever-changing world.”

As a digital marketing expert, Bruno Dierickx sees the big picture and brings with him the accumulated experience of two decades of radical transformation in the telecoms industry. Whether it be market opening, convergence between landlines and mobiles, new habits, changing expectations on the part of customers and citizens, or simply the ever-faster rate at which things move, Bruno Dierickx and Agnès Ogier - who also has an ICT background - share a culture of thinking about change as a way of building bridges between different industries, specifically between the manufacturing and service industries.

Having trained first as an electrical engineer before attending the Solvay business school, Bruno Dierickx started off in a commercial role at Belgacom in 1995, where he managed a series of marketing challenges, from residential to corporate and from pricing through to after-sales, before becoming head of strategy and digital transformation at Proximus in 2012. He sets great store by optimum value management and a tailored customer experience, both goals whose achievement is now facilitated by digital technology. Bruno now brings his cross-functional expertise in customer service and end-to-end relationship marketing to Thalys.

Bruno is Belgian and 44 years old, with two children.

(Source: Thalys)

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News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman announces New York Penn Station improvement initiatives

On April 27, 2017 Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman announced a series of initiatives to strengthen railroad infrastructure and improve operations and preparedness at New York Penn Station, the nation’s busiest rail station and transportation facility.

“After only a short time here at Amtrak it has become apparent to me that we need to accelerate major renewal work in New York Penn Station,” said Moorman, who became CEO in September 2016. “Using our limited resources, we have made this renewal project a priority to ensure the continuity of travel in the region. Without these improvements, Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT and the Long Island Rail Road could continue to see major disruptions, which could also have an impact on passenger safety.”

Moorman added, “We at Amtrak understand the steps that must be taken to ensure a safe and reliable railway and will be working throughout the summer and beyond to make the required improvements. We will be collaborating with our partners at NJT and the LIRR to plan this work in order to minimize disruptions and inconvenience for our customers who rely on us for service.”

“The simple fact of the matter is that some of the track and infrastructure in service today at Penn Station was built in the 1970s at a time when we were handling half the trains and a third of the customers that we do today,” Moorman said. “While a substantial amount of reconstruction has already been done at New York Penn Station, the remaining renewal work has been scheduled to take place over the next several years in order to minimize impacts on scheduled services. We can’t wait that long. This work needs to be done now.”

The Penn Station Improvement Initiatives include:

New York Penn Station Infrastructure Renewal Program

Amtrak will undertake a series of major track and switch renewal projects in Penn Station, beginning with the western portion of the station area. The first set of projects will occur in the area of tracks and switches known as “A Interlocking,” which serves as the critical sorting mechanism routing trains that enter Penn Station from the Hudson River tunnels and the Long Island Rail Road’s West Side Yard to the various station tracks and platforms. While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required to improve the reliability of this infrastructure at this critical moment in the station’s history. Rather than proceed with the full replacement of these components across an extended period stretching out over several years, as originally scheduled, Amtrak now plans to advance this work through a series of major projects beginning in May and continuing through the fall in order to quickly achieve the benefits of this renewal work for our partners and passengers. In addition to the work in A Interlocking, further renewal work of various station tracks will be undertaken through approximately June 2018, with a majority of that work done on weekends.
These projects will require track closures, operational coordination and schedule changes, which will impact the service of all of the railroads operating in Penn Station. Amtrak will work with our partner railroads and other affected entities as we develop the schedule for this needed work and will make every effort to minimize disruptions to all customers. Once this plan is finalized, we and our partner railroads will communicate the plan and its impact to the public and provide continuous updates as the work progresses.

New York Penn Station Passenger Concourse Coordination Review

Amtrak has commissioned former Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO and Chairman Tom Prendergast to independently review the interaction, coordination and collaboration between the railroads’ various passenger concourses within Penn Station. The review will focus on the current methods of managing daily operations within the station concourses, including during disruptions, events or incidents, as well as look for opportunities to strengthen coordination between all parties to improve the passenger experience, safety and security. While Amtrak is the owner of Penn Station, passenger concourse operations and control of various areas within the station are managed individually by Amtrak, LIRR and NJT. Mr. Prendergast will review these relationships and develop recommendations on how the three railroads, working with other relevant parties, can improve the passenger experience, signage and wayfinding, video and communications, and incident response across the entire station.

Development of a Joint Station Concourse Operations Center

Amtrak is proposing that the three railroads serving Penn Station develop a joint station concourse operations center that brings together the managers of the various Penn Station concourses and technology to strengthen coordination, enhance the passenger experience and improve our responses to disruptions, incidents and other events that occur anywhere in the station. While the tracks and other railroad operational elements of Penn Station are controlled at the Penn Station Control Center facility, which brings together all three railroads in various capacities, management of the station’s passenger concourses lacks a similarly integrated facility to promote information-sharing, joint decision-making and the leveraging of technology. Amtrak will be seeking the support of LIRR and NJT to jointly plan, develop and staff a new facility at Penn Station and will use the results of the Penn Station Passenger Concourse Coordination Review to further inform these efforts.

Safety & Security

In the next several weeks, Amtrak will assemble a task force with our partner railroads, first responders, law enforcement and other stakeholders to review protocols relating to disabled trains and ensure that adequate procedures are documented, trained and exercised. The task force will also examine the need for additional equipment and technology and review the functions of personnel during an incident to ensure that existing protocols are comprehensive and appropriate. The findings of the task force will be used to help inform the Penn Station Passenger Concourse Coordination Review efforts.

Additionally, Amtrak is creating a mobile response team to address potential station overcrowding during peak periods, further equipping its New York Division Amtrak Police Department (APD) officers with multi-band interoperable radios to improve intra-agency communication and is already in the process of updating its Video Surveillance and Access Control System design for Penn Station platforms, tunnels and ventilation shafts.

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

China: China Railway deploys railway afforestation in 2017

Recently, China Railway has deployed railway afforestation work this year and called for further progress in the implementation of National Program for Afforestation (2016-2020) and Afforestation Plan for Railway Sector (2011-2020), the integration of railway afforestation and voluntary tree planting by the general public, as well as maintaining the good momentum of afforestation with the purpose of greening every possible inch of land.

According to the requirements of China Railway, on the one hand, all the units shall unswervingly advance the current green management and protection, push forward the standardised and normative operations in management, explore new means and methods for low-cost green conservation along high-speed railways, and actively strive for the support of local government and the forestry department for better green management and protection along railways. On the other hand, all the units shall remain involved in afforestation of the new lines, enhance the afforestation quality by organically connecting planning, design, construction and inspection, strengthen communication with the local government and the forestry department, enlarge the green area along the railways and ensure that there is no tree affecting the safety of the railway in any area.

(Source: CR)

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News from UIC members

Russia: Railways of Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Germany and Poland agree to develop container transportation

The President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov has signed a multilateral agreement with six other partners to deepen cooperation on the organisation of container trains between China and Europe.

The document was also signed by the leaders of Chinese Railways, Belarusian Railway, Deutsche Bahn, the National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), Ulaanbataar Railway and Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA (Polish State Railways, Inc.).
In the opinion of the parties, cooperation on the organisation of container trains across Eurasia will further increase the share of rail transport on the freight transport market, help strengthen trade links, and in addition integrate the plans for infrastructure development.

According to the document, it is planned to increase jointly traffic volumes, intensify efforts to create logistics infrastructure facilities, improve the organisation of transportation and introduce new technologies to reduce travel time.

In particular, the parties intend to support the development of competitive through-rates for freight transportation on container trains between China and Europe within the framework of their respective countries’ national legislation and make efforts to create uniform service standards.

In addition, the parties aim actively to develop new transport and logistics products, facilitate the organisation of the transport of cross-border goods based on electronic commerce, postal items and goods requiring controlled temperatures in refrigerated containers.

The participants of the agreement noted the need to organise cooperation on information, including electronic data exchange and preliminary electronic information on freight goods and vehicles moving across borders, the simplification of control procedures at checkpoints and the reduction of customs clearance time.

A joint working group on container trains between China and Europe will be set up to implement the signed agreement.

(Source: RZD)

4 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

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  • 30-31 October 2017 16th UIC Asia-Pacific Management Committee Saint-Petersburg, Russia

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud
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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 9 May 2017

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