Reporting
  

UIC led project SAFER-LC (Safer Level Crossing) officially launched on 11 May 2017 in Paris with Members of the Consortium

The SAFER-LC project funded by the European Commission within H2020 programme and addressing the issue of safety of level-crossings, held its kick-off meeting on 11 May in Paris, in the presence of around 40 participants representing 17 European partners from 10 countries in Europe and Turkey.

SAFER-LC project is led by UIC and will last 36 months. It aims to improve safety and minimise risk by developing a fully-integrated cross-modal set of innovative solutions and tools for the proactive management and design of level-crossing infrastructure. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723205.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General welcomed the participants and said:

UIC has inevitably focused on matters technical and technological, but continues to evolve and remains open to new realities. Rail transport’s high levels of safety and security are part of its appeal as the sustainable transport mode of choice for our planet, on the condition that rail is able to constantly challenge itself, update its requirements, and upskill.

Safety and security are not things tacked on at the end of the process: they are part and parcel of both the operation of rail transport and its efficiency, assuming they are integrated appropriately into the transport service from the design phase on.
After addressing the primary cause of fatalities on railway property (suicide and trespass) in the EU RESTRAIL project which ended in September 2014, it was logical that we then address the second, i.e. deaths at level crossings, with SAFER-LC project.

However, level crossing accidents need to be seen for what they are, and seen in the round: despite often being viewed as rail accidents at first sight, they are first and foremost road accidents which occur at a critical, sensitive part of the network. The SAFER LC project takes an exemplary approach in this respect, since it stresses the need for the rail and road systems to share information and data so that each party can manage disruptions caused by the other in optimum fashion: this balance should be emphasised.

Then the coordinator and the work package leaders presented the project in more detail as well as the project management rules.

The project will focus both on technical solutions, such as smart detection services and advanced infrastructure-to-vehicle communication systems and on human processes to adapt infrastructure design to end-users and to enhance coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders from different transportation modes.

A series of pilot tests across Europe will be rolled out to demonstrate how these new technological and non-technological solutions can be integrated, validate their feasibility and evaluate their performance.

The project will deliver a bundle of recommended technical specifications (for standardisation), human processes and organisational and legal frameworks for implementation.

Finally, SAFER-LC will develop a toolbox accessible through a user-friendly interface which will integrate all the project results and solutions to help both rail and road managers to improve safety at level crossings

Most of the results will be publicly available.

For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau from the UIC security division, coordinator of the project:

bonneau@uic.org

The website will be soon available at www.safer-lc.eu

2 Votes

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Promoting
  

UIC Security Week: 6 – 9 June 2017 – Save the date

The third UIC security week will take place from 6 – 9 June 2017 in Paris, at UIC Headquarters.

The main goal of the third security week is to disseminate the final results of the 2016 –
2017 additional programme on security which was decided during the 2015 statutory assemblies and security congress and developed during the two previous security weeks held in June and October 2016.

In addition to the presentation of the results of the additional security programme, additional security events will take place during this week: a one-day seminar on terrorism, a Security Awareness Day, as well as several meetings of the UIC Security Platform.

The detailed agenda will be regularly updated at: http://events.uic.org/uic-security-week-2017

For any inquiries about this event, or questions about registration, please contact

security@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

Project Group Security of Stations – Second Expert Workshop held on 12 May in Paris

The aim of this project group is to analyse effective solutions for station security measures and their impact on station business elements and customer perception.

This information will then be collated in a dedicated handbook to be presented during the NextStation Conference, which will be held from 19 – 20 October 2017 in Madrid.

Around 12 security and station manager experts attended the second Expert Workshop, which focused on organisational and procedural security measures. They discussed, inter alia, the added value of cooperation with third parties, e.g. with state institutions or national security policy, the use of alcohol prohibition, crisis management, the influence of music as well as the process to implement marshalling yards – this is just an excerpt of the topics discussed during the workshop session.

The next workshops with security and station manager experts will take place on the following dates:

  • 6 June 2017 in Paris, France – during the Security Week
  • 14 June 2017 in Moscow, Russia – focusing on human factor measures

If you are interested in participating in the workshops, or for further information, please contact:

Kathrin Faber, Senior Advisor Security Division: faber@uic.org

Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor Passenger Transport: guigon@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

13th PRI (International Road Safety) World Congress took place from 3 – 7 May 2017 in Tunis

The 13th PRI World Congress, held from 3 – 7 May 2017 in Tunis was hosted by the ATPR (Association Tunisienne de la Prévention Routière – Tunisian Road Safety Association) and chaired by Afif Frigui and Eng. Benaceur Boulaajoul, President of Prévention Routière Internationale (PRI – International Road Safety) on the occasion of the 55th birthday of the PRI.

This event took place in the framework of the global road safety decade of action 2011 – 2020 run by UNECE.

According to the UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020 and to the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015. Each year nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a road traffic collision— more than 3000 deaths each day – and more than half of these people are not travelling in a car.

An exhibition in a so called “road safety village”, took place on Avenue Bourghiba in Tunis to raise awareness among the public about the dangers encountered on the roads. The Congress itself took place at the Tunis Convention Centre. The centre and the village were both inaugurated on 3 May by Mr Youssef Chahed, Tunisian Prime Minister.

1500 people took part in the opening session on 3 May.
The congress itself (4 – 6 May) brought together 500 participants from 57 different countries from road safety organisations, rescue specialists, researchers, transport specialists, human factors experts, railway experts in level crossing safety….
Different sessions were dedicated to road safety management, post-crash response, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users.

Parallel panels were also organized, among others on level crossing safety.
UIC, represented by Isabelle Fonverne, member of the UNECE Working Party on road traffic safety, and member of the UNECE Group of Experts on level crossing safety had been requested to organise a panel on level crossing safety that took place on 4 May.

This panel on LC safety was chaired by Mrs Sarra Ben Rjeb, Managing Director, SNCFT who was represented by Mr Ali Fraj, General Director for inland transport at the Tunisian Ministry of Transport.

The four following speakers had the opportunity to give an overview of level crossing safety in their own country and presented hard and soft measures helping to reduce the number of collisions and casualties at level crossings.

  • Mr Tamo Vahemets, CEO Operation Lifesaver Estonia: “Awareness and Education campaigns: actions to be taken”
  • Mrs Sanja Paic, HZ Infra, Expert in promotional communications: “Proactive educational campaigns to change behavior of road users at level crossings”
  • Mr Vincent Godeau, INFRABEL, Advisor in safety management: “Rail-Road interface plan: INFRABEL policy on railway crossing safety”
  • Mr Abdellatif Cherni, Head of Department, SNCFT: “Overview of the level crossing safety on the Tunisian railway network”

For information SNCFT organised an awareness campaign to reduce accidents at level crossings from 27 – 30 April 2017 in collaboration with the Tunisian Road Safety Association (APTR). Awareness activities were carried out at the 28 most dangerous level crossings in the whole country. In 2016 74 accidents occurred causing 90 injuries and 33 fatalities. Among 1126 level crossings in Tunisia, only 24% of them (267 LC) are equipped with barriers. According to statistics 2011-2016 55% of all accidents at LC happened at LCs with barriers where the traffic is high:

http://africanmanager.com/mots-cles/sncft/

Finally Isabelle Fonverne who organised this panel in collaboration with the Tunisian Prévention Routière Internationale (PRI) gave an overview on level crossing activities on a global level, and the cooperation of UIC with other international institutions, organisations to improve safety at level crossings:

  • Safety guidelines for professional drivers (taxi, bus/coaches and trucks) with the International Union of Road Transport (IRU) http://www.ilcad.org/LC-Safety-Tips.html
  • The Group of Experts on level crossing safety at the UNECE and final report to be released.

Isabelle Fonverne finally reported on ILCAD www.ilcad.org taking place worldwide, and the international conference to launch the 9th edition on 2 June 2017 in Montreal.

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and the International Union of Railways (UIC), are pleased to be co-hosting the 9th International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on 2 June 2017, in Montreal, Canada.

Participation in this conference is free of charge. Simultaneous interpretation in French and English will be provided.

For more information http://www.ilcad.org/ILCAD-2017,399.html

To register please click here:
http://events.uic.org/registration-to-ilcad-international-conference-2017?id_formulaire=73

To consult the draft programme please click here:

http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/draft_09052017_programme_ilcad_conf_2_june_2017.pdf

For further information on this PRI Congress please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Advisor, Safety and Interoperability:

fonverne@uic.org

Or visit http://tunis2017.tn/

1 vote

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Reporting
  

UIC participated in the 2nd International Conference “Railway Business at Transit Speed” in Munich

On 10 May 2017 UIC participated in the 2nd International Conference “Railway Business at Transit Speed”. The event took place as part of the largest transport and logistics exhibition “Transport Logistic 2017”. The Conference was held with the support of RZD and under the auspices of the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT).

The key theme of the Conference was the opportunities the East-West Corridor opens for shippers. The participants discussed trade turnover dynamics and the increasing demand for container transportation between Europe and Asia, and the benefits of railways for international goods traffic.

Manufacturing, transportation, logistics and forwarding companies of Russia, Germany and the countries of the European Union and the Eurasian Union were the target audience. The discussions were moderated by Mr Gennady Bessonov, General Secretary, Coordinating Council on Transsiberian Transportation.

UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux gave a welcome address in front of a panel composed of Mr Alexander Micharin, First Vice President, Russian Railways, Mr Edvins Berzins, Chairman of the Management Board, President, Latvian Railway, Mr Maciej Libiszewski, Chairman of the Management Board, PKP Cargo S.A, Mr Egidijus Lazauskas, Deputy CEO, Director of Freight Transportation Directorate, Lithuanian Railways,Mr Uwe Louscher, Senior Vice President, Business Development Eurasia, DB Cargo AG and Mr Martin Vozar, CEO, Chairman of the Board of Directors, ZSSK Cargo s.a.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux gave the audience an insight into the key findings of the study on transcontinental corridor development led by Roland Berger on behalf of UIC which is about to be published. He mentioned in particular the extraordinary development on the Northern routes since the previous study in 2011 (Icomod) with the establishment of regular services and the increase of destinations served. He also evoked the market potential of the various routes and the market segments that could be targeted by rail. Mr Loubinoux then insisted on the importance of key partnerships, such as those that UIC has established with CCTT, CIT, OTIF, UNECE, ADB, EEU, CRT. Indeed UIC has made corridor developments one of its priorities for freight at European level but also at regional level (Asia, Middle-East, Africa). The several partnerships on that matter are designed to support this development and current priorities focus on fostering interoperability, efficiency gains in operations, fostering broader differentiation in services, improving coordination of traffic flows.

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

gehenot@uic.org

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

European Rail Freight CEOs meet in Brussels to make their trains fit for the future

The CEOs of the largest European rail freight operators came together on 4 May 2017 in Brussels to their yearly “High-Level Freight Meeting”. The meeting was presided by Mr Ferdinand Schmidt, Member of the Board of Rail Cargo Austria AG. Focus was put on digitalisation – on the “digital freight train”. Current challenges and the number of activities and projects in progress in this context prove that digitalisation is not only a buzzword for railways but will considerably change their business.

A first demonstrator of what is technically possible has already been realised by the French SNCF Logistics and was presented at the meeting by their CEO, Ms Sylvie Charles. A train composed of wagons with brake sensors interconnected by a protected wireless network allowed the locomotive driver to carry out the brake test from his cabin, without the need to walk along the train and visually check the status of each brake. Of course, this system must be reliable and fail-safe in order not to compromise the traditionally high safety standard of railways, and thus the next steps will be to make it ready for homologation.

Other digitalisation challenges stem from the need of digitisation in the proper sense of the word, namely replacing the exchange of data on paper documents by electronic transmission. Here, the change is not only driven by business needs but also by regulation such as customs rules and transport law. The UIC project “e-Rail Freight” addresses this challenge.

Tracking and tracing, Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) and competitive lead times are current requests from the market. So, it was a logical conclusion that an item of the agenda was dedicated to these topics and a delegation from the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) was invited to attend.

“Many shippers really believe in rail transport and even want more. But they have needs to which railway companies, for a number of reasons, often do not have the right solutions”, said ESC Chairman Jean-Christophe Hermand in his opening statement. Each ESC delegate, usually representing a large company with rather high transport volumes, added a short statement on their individual problems with railways and made known their expectations. After this round, the rail freight CEOs were given the opportunity to respond.

This format stimulated fair and constructive discussions, allowed a common understanding of the problems on both sides and paved the way for a joint approach to lobbying the European Commission regarding railway regulation.

Another item of the agenda was dedicated to ERTMS. The ERTMS Coordinator for the Trans-European Networks of Transport (TEN-T), Mr Karel Vinck, was invited as special guest to present the status of his activities.

The meeting concluded with the announcement from the Chairman, Mr Ferdinand Schmidt, that he will retire by end of May and so will cease presiding the High-Level Freight Meetings. All those present thanked him for his engagement and the valuable work over the years. Mr Loubinoux was then pleased to announce that a successful call for candidates came to the result to hand this task over to Mr Clemens Först, Rail Cargo Austria AG.

The next meeting is scheduled for 16/17 May 2018 in Vienna.

For further information please contact Dirk Oelschläger, Senior Freight Advisor:

oelschlaeger@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

19th Infrastructure Interest Group meeting on Longer and Heavier Trains

This meeting was held on 10 May in Budapest organised by MAV. All the participants, experts from IM companies, are involved in issues with heavier and longer trains.

Chaired by DB Netz, the meeting gave the opportunity to delegates from TrafikVerket, LG, MAV, Banedanmark, Gysev, Adif, PLK and SNCF réseau to share the latest developments regarding the running of heavy and long trains on their network.

Detailed attention was given to the report by Mr JC Martinez from Adif. In Spain, a study has been launched to run trains with at least 55 TEUs on two or more routes from Irun-Madrid and Port Bou-Valencia, similar to the domestic traffic between Madrid-Valencia.

Mr Schultz-Wildelau from DB Netz gave an updated report on the Shift2Rail project: Long Trains working together with the Dynafreight consortium.

Bernard Schmitt, UIC project manager, reported on the kick-off meeting of the Heavy and Long Train Platform held in December 2016 in St Petersburg. He stressed the significant involvement of UIC in the Heavy and Long train issues. He presented the specifications for the benchmarking initiated by the International Heavy Haul Association. He reiterated the workplan of the working group from the freight CEO’s task force on trains from 850 to 1500m.

The need to ensure regular information and coordinate the work was highlighted.
During the lunch break the participants visited the MAV traffic operation centre in Martonvasar.

The second meeting 2017 will take place in Madrid on 17 October at the invitation of Adif.

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

schmitt@uic.org

3 Votes

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Promoting
  

Presentation of the SKILLFUL Project

The UIC Expertise Development Unit is also a stakeholder of European Projects, drawing on its pool of expertise and concrete knowledge regarding training and workforce development in the railway sector. At the interface between Expertise Development platform, partner universities and rail training centre networks, the Unit hopes to facilitate and increase exchange of information and speed up the development of these networks.

SKILLFUL

Presentation of the project:

The transport sector employs over 10 million people in the EU today. At the same time, transport is a social sector that is rapidly developing, changing and being influenced to the maximum extent by the development of automation, electrification and greening of transport, among others, thus facing problems in staffing its several domains with appropriate and qualified personnel. This fact makes the need for changes in training and education content, curricula, tools and methodologies absolutely imperative, incorporating lifelong learning aspects for the professionals in all transport areas.

Objectives:

The SKILLFUL project’s aims are threefold:

  • To critically review the existing, emerging and future knowledge and skills requirements of workers at all levels in the transportation sector, with emphasis on competences required by important game changers and paradigm shifters (such as electrification and greening of transport, automation, MaaS, etc.)
  • To structure the key specifications and components of the curricula and training courses that will be needed to meet these competence requirements optimally, with emphasis on multidisciplinary education and training programme
  • To identify and propose new business roles in the education and training chain, in particular those of “knowledge aggregator”, “training certifier” and “training promoter”, in order to achieve European wide competence development and take-up in a sustainable way

The role of UIC Expertise Development Unit will be mainly to:

  • Promote the project among UIC members and its various stakeholders
  • Share its experience and knowledge in training activities for the railway industry
  • Provide recommendations on training modalities (topics, training methodologies teaching methods)

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of the Expertise Development Unit:

amirault@uic.org

Or visit: http://skillfulproject.eu/

News from UIC members
  

Ethiopia: Ethio-Djibouti railway commences regular test run

The Ethio-Djibouti electric railway has started regular test runs from 9 May 2017, according to the Ethiopian Railway Corporation.

Ethiopia and Djibouti had already established a joint company which will manage the 758 km railway line.

The two Chinese firms CCC and CRC were chosen to oversee the 3.4 billion US dollars railway line for the coming six years to give time for local employees to be trained.

The companies will have their head offices in Addis Ababa, and be responsible for the provision of passenger, freight and maintenance services.

According to Dereje Tefrea, communication service head of the corporation, the test run will be conducted in two directions – from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa and from Dire Dawa to Djibouti.

A total of 30 locomotives (15 for passenger and 15 for freight) will be used in the test run, he said.

The passenger trains will conduct the test run at a speed of 60 km/h which will be raised to 120 km/h once it has successfully completed the trial run.

The standard gauge Ethio-Djibouti electrified double-track railway was inaugurated early last October.

(Source: Ethiopian Railways Corporation)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Belgium: SNCB fits three of its buildings out with 1,886 photovoltaic solar panels

SNCB has just installed three sets of photovoltaic solar panels at its premises in Schaerbeek. Supplied by Orka, the 1,886 panels will enable SNCB to produce 500,000 kWh of electricity every year, as much as is used by around 140 households.

For the project, SNCB concluded a public-private partnership for the installation of solar panels on the roofs of three buildings close to Schaerbeek station: the “Train World” museum, a train maintenance depot, and an office building. With a total generating power of 518 kWp, the new equipment will increase the number of photovoltaic roof panels on SNCB buildings fourfold.

Choosing a third-party investor (via a competitive public tender) will thus boost the share of SNCB’s daily energy consumption which comes from renewables. SNCB has given Orka the right to use the three buildings’ roofs for a period of 10 years. For its part, Orka bore the investment cost and will operate and maintain the three sets of panels, in return for which the company will receive green certificates. SNCB will benefit from sustainable electricity at competitive rates, and will eventually become the owner of the installation in 10 years’ time. At that point, the panels should have another 10 to 15 years of generating lifespan left in them.

Most of the power produced by the 1,886 panels will be used in situ by the three buildings. Should the panels produce more electricity than the buildings need, the surplus will be fed back into the grid and be used to cover other railway needs, e.g. Brussels Nord or Brussels Central stations.

Finally, in order to further boost the proportion of renewables in the railways’ energy mix, SNCB is set to issue another tender for photovoltaic panels, this time for the roof of the Forest train maintenance depot. This public tender will be for the installation of 1000 kWp of rooftop generating power, around double the capacity available at Schaerbeek.

(Source: SNCB)

4 Votes

Average rating: 3.75 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Spain: Adif announces 25th anniversary of the Spanish High Speed network

Adif is proud to announce the 25th anniversary of the Spanish high speed network, which started operating on 21 April 1992, when the first train ran on the Madrid-Seville line.

This important event is being celebrated by our company throughout this whole year, alongside RENFE and the whole Spanish railways sector, as a crucial moment in the history of railways in Spain. The decision to embark in such an ambitious project as deploying a high speed rail system in the 1980s has proved to be a complete success, considering the multiple economic and social benefits it has brought to the country, increasing territorial cohesion, and boosting our economy and tourism industry.

The Spanish high speed network is more than 3000 kilometres long, the largest in Europe, and second in the world. It is also an example of state-of-the-art technologies. The process that led to the deployment of the whole system has contributed to create one of the most powerful clusters of railway-related companies in the world. These companies are currently working on different phases of the design, construction or operation of some of the main lines in the world. Adif itself is currently working in crucial projects such as the Haramain High Speed Line, in Saudi Arabia, as well as in India, or Egypt, among many other places.

High speed in Spain has grown steadily over the last 25 years, with the economic support of the European Union. It currently serves 47 stations, giving access to around 70% of the Spanish population, partly through the innovative track gauge changeover system, developed by Spanish companies, that allow for HS regional services, running partly on the HS line and then shifting to the conventional network, thus benefitting thousands of new passengers who spend less time on their journeys.

Citizens favour this reliable, fast and safe transport system: there has been a continuous increase in the number of high speed passengers, many of whom did not use railways at all before this system was deployed. The number of HS passengers has nearly doubled over the last 10 years.

Adif International proudly represents the talent and expertise of our more than 13,000 professionals, working to share our knowledge with new partners around the globe, who are interested in modernising their railways system, not only to implement high speed, but also conventional and commuter systems,.

(Source: Adif)

For more information, please watch the following video:

https://vimeo.com/200792887 or contact Adif International at adifinternational@adif.es

1 vote

Average rating: 2 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Chinese Taipei: TRA Train Step-less Project increases safety and convenience for passengers aboard

In order to increase boarding quality for passengers, TRA is making efforts to remove the steps for 1,351 cars by 2020 in an attempt to reduce the gap between the cars and platforms. This action allows passengers to better enjoy barrier-free environment by boarding and disembarking the trains without taking any steps, largely raising the safety and convenience for passengers aboard.

With hundred-year operation history, the platforms constructed at early stage were as high as 76 cm. Such height forces passengers to take an extra two steps to board and disembark the trains.

In order to provide better transport service and in line with the trend of aging society, TRA started to eliminate the gap between car and platform in 2001. However, the gap of 30 cm in height cannot be removed with a one-stage project. Considering that transport operation cannot be suspended, this step-less project is implemented with two stages. The first stage was completed in 2011 in which the stairs for all passenger cars are reduced to one step.

It is estimated that the second stage will be carried out by 2020. At that time, a total of 1,351 passenger cars will become step-less.

(Source: TRA)

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Czech Republic: Victoria tunnel boring machine has has excavated a three-kilometre section of the Ejpovice Tunnel

The second tunnel tube of the Ejpovice tunnel (part of Homolka) is almost 70% complete. These days, the Victoria tunnel boring machine has excavated nearly three kilometres of a four-kilometre-long north section of the tunnel. SŽDC is on schedule with regard to the most important section of the modernisation of the Rokycany-Plzeň line. The full opening of the tunnel is expected in December 2018.

The modernised section is part of the backbone of the trans-national transport network and Czech Railway Transit Corridor III which leads from Prague via Plzeň and Cheb to the state border with Germany. The track length is shortened by more than six kilometres in this section. The key issue of the modernisation of the entire line is the construction of two single-track tunnels which will be structurally prepared for the ultimate line speed of 160 kilometres per hour.

The construction of both tunnels was launched on 1 February 2015. In mid-2016, the excavation of the southern tunnel tube of the Ejpovice tunnel was completed (part of Chlum). A total of 2056 rings were built there which represents 4,112 metres. In the part of the tunnel under the Chlum hill, concrete bases were also built for the rail superstructure necessary for the installation of a fixed runway. The drainage pipeline is also completed along the entire length of the tunnel. On 26 September 2016, the excavation of the northern tunnel tube (part of Homolka) began to reach a length of three kilometres.

"Plzeň is one of the cities that should be accessible from Prague by train within one hour. Only the tunnel itself will shorten travel time between Prague and Plzeň by ten minutes. Thanks to the modernisation of the entire line, the journey will be one third faster than today. We expect to increase the frequency of express trains from Prague to Plzeň, Domažlice and to Bavaria“, said Mr Dan Ťok, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic.

Special attention was also paid to safeguarding traffic in the tunnel. The design of technological equipment meets the requirements of FRS of Plzeň Region. One of them was the construction of escape passages between the two tunnels serving for passenger evacuation and access for rescue workers. The passages are built in approximately 480 metres from one another. Until now, escape passages No. 1 and 6 have been excavated. The passage No. 2 is built from around two-thirds. All construction activities outside the tunnels are basically completed. Only work on the gabion walls and the sloping of the line in the section Ejpovice - the entrance portal are ongoing.

”I believe that as soon as we are able to transport our passengers comfortably and peacefully between Prague and Plzeň in less than an hour, many people will reconsider their views on the railway in general. After the completion of the entire line, when the modern train sets will be able to use the line speed up to 160 kilometres per hour, the railway will once again become a strong and confident competitor to the highway“, said Mr Pavel Surý, Director General of SŽDC.

The Victoria tunnel boring machine has a cutting head diameter of almost 10 metres, a length of 115 metres and its weight is about 1800 tonnes. Its heaviest parts were transported from the German manufacturer Herrenknecht to the Czech Republic in an environmentally friendly way - by ship. The applied TBM technology (Tunnel Boring Machines) is one of the most modern tunnelling methods of work. Its advantage is above all speed, safety and environmental friendliness. Metrostav, as the only construction company in the Czech Republic, owns this machine and has an experience with its use.

“The current course of work creates preconditions for finishing the excavation at the turn of September and October“, said Mr Pavel Pilát, Director General of Metrostav. "Our drifters manage their job excellently, even gaining recognition worldwide. It is sad that there is no similar project in our country where we would use their high level of expertise and experience. To keep crews trained, we need to seek work for them abroad”, added Mr Pavel Pilát.

(Source: SZDC)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Finland: International praise for the Finnish Hydrographic Office – Mr Juha Korhonen of the Finnish Transport Agency awarded in Monaco

On 2 May, Senior Engineer Juha Korhonen, recently retired from the Finnish Transport Agency, was awarded the Prince Albert 1st Medal for Hydrography at the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization) conference in recognition of his active involvement in international hydrographic activities, such as the development of standards and regional cooperation. Prince Albert II of Monaco presented the medal to Juha Korhonen.

Juha Korhonen received the award for his significant role in the first ENC/ECDIS testing programmes, as well as for his decades-long participation in various IHO committees and working groups. Korhonen was also awarded for his contribution to the development and standardisation of hydrographic products and services in the Baltic Sea region.

“Finland, and especially Juha, has been the driving force of development in international hydrography forums”, says Korhonen’s former superior, National Hydrographer Rainer Mustaniemi, Head of Unit at the Finnish Transport Agency.

“Thanks to Juha, the outstanding cooperation in the Baltic Sea region now serves as an example to other countries. Even though the medal was awarded to Juha, it was recognition of the work of the entire Finnish Hydrographic Office”, says Mustaniemi.

Korhonen’s career working with nautical charts and hydrographic surveys spanned from 1975 at the Finnish Maritime Administration to his recent retirement from the Finnish Transport Agency. In addition to developing the cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, Korhonen has also played an important role in the development of electronic navigation charts.

Korhonen was nominated for the award by Sweden and Finland. The award was granted by a jury consisting of the IHO’s secretary general and directors. In a future the award is granted every three years to an individual who has contributed significantly to development in the field of hydrography and international cooperation.

What is hydrography? And what does the IHO do?

The task of the Hydrographic Office is to collect, manage and update the hydrographic data and related services required to ensure safe navigation. The Hydrographic Office also makes certain that nautical charts and maritime publications are as standardised as possible and comply with international recommendations. Updated hydrographic and navigational information must be available worldwide, and the information must be reliable and unambiguous. The Hydrographic Office at the Finnish Transport Agency ensures that Finland meets these obligations.

IHO, together with its member states, ensures that all the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters are adequately surveyed and charted. The mission of the IHO is to create a global environment in which states provide adequate and timely hydrographic data, products and services, and ensure their widest possible use.

(Source: FTA)

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Kazakhstan: Japanese business shows interest in the New Silk Way routes

The “Development of transit container trains from Japan to Europe through China and Kazakhstan” Seminar was held on 25 April 2017 in Tokyo. The event was organised by representatives of the logistics block of Kazakhstan Railways National Company with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Japan.

More than hundred representatives of Japanese business community, trade and industrial companies, as well as scientific circles of Japan attended the seminar.

The aim of the seminar was to represent the advantages and prospects of the New Silk Way route, passing through the port of Lianyungang (China), logistics infrastructure of Kazakhstan and further to Europe and in the opposite direction, using regular container service.

A positive assessment of transport development between Japan and Eurasia prospects was given by the administrations of Hakata Port (Japan), SITC International Holdings shipping company, specialised Japanese research centres, Japan Maritime Newspaper, and other logistics companies of the Far East Asia.

The Kazakh-Chinese logistics terminal in the port of Lianyungang is a key point of consolidation of Japanese and Korean cargo on a multimodal high-speed route between the trading point of Eurasia.

The participants also noted the great potential of the Trans-Caspian international transport route, offering transport of cargo to Turkey, Eastern and Southern Europe from the region of the Far East, as well as in the opposite direction.

Working on the logistics chains of supplying Japanese goods to foreign markets, on 26 April 2017, the delegation of Kazakhstan Railways held negotiations with the City of Fukuoka and the Hakata Port Authority (Japan).

The Japanese side expressed a deep interest in arranging such shipments with the use of feeder shipping lines between the ports of Hakata and Lianyungang.

(Source: KTZ)

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