2nd UIC Digital Awards: Participants should submit their application before 1 October 2017

For further information please contact Francis Bedel, UIC Chief Digital Officer:

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC visit to newly appointed Board at Portuguese Railways (CP)

Following the appointment of a new Board of Directors within Portuguese Railways (CP), UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux was invited to give a presentation to CP’s Chairman and Members of the Board on the organisation, work and vision of the International Union of Railways (UIC).

This meeting served as an opportunity to have very cordial discussions on the issue of the participatory role of Portuguese Railways as one of the founding members of the International Union of Railways, which takes part in a number of projects and is represented across various platforms.

The development of UIC at world level and the visions at regional level are of particular interest to the new Portuguese Chairman, as well as forthcoming conferences such as the Digital Conference later this year in either Paris or Rome, and the Next Station Conference to be held in Madrid in October.

The other subject of discussion was of course the involvement of Portuguese Railways in CineRail, which is being jointly organised with UIC, and is due to be held at the end of November in Lisbon against a rich cultural backdrop.

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


8th edition of Market Place Seminar 2017 to be held in Duisburg, Germany from 14 – 15 September 2017

Register now!

UIC and FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, are jointly organising the 8th edition of the Market Place Seminar.

This year’s edition of the seminar will take place in Duisburg, Germany on 14 and 15 September under the heading: “Inland Hubs: Key towards rail Freight Corridor Development” and with a special focus on the development of transcontinental corridors. It will be organised around four thematic sessions:

  • Transcontinental corridors: myth or reality for business development?
  • Connecting land-locked regions;
  • Accessibility of Freight Corridors;
  • Paperless, online and real-time.

The UIC-FIATA Market Place Seminars offer a business oriented platform for all stakeholders of the logistics chain and foster interactive and lively exchanges on transport solutions and business opportunities.

Slots will include speakers from renowned companies from the logistics industry, from railway undertakings and corridor development organisations.

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC workshop on “Energy efficiency of future trains” to be held on 4 October 2017 in Rome

Save the Date!

The goal of this workshop is to share knowledge on innovation and research for train traction and energy efficiency, both from a technology perspective and strategic/economic opportunities. The workshop, with an open debate between UIC members and manufacturers, will cover four main themes: alternative fuels (hybrid, biofuels, natural gas, etc.); infrastructure solutions for energy storage; existing solutions for rolling stock energy efficiency and future technologies (e. g. hydrogen and Hyperloop).

The workshop will be co-moderated by Chloé Lima-Vanzeler, Project Manager Traction Energy Savings from SNCF MOBILITES, and by Raimondo Orsini, Managing Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development.

All technical presentations will be followed by ample time for discussions that will allow for cross-pollination and sharing best practices.

The draft programme and practical information on venue can be found here:

As the number of places is limited, secure your place at this important event by registering online here:

For further information please contact Isabelle De Keyzer, Senior Advisor, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development:


Obituary: Rudy Colle has passed away

It is with great sadness that UIC learned of the passing of Mr Rudy Colle, former Director General of the International Union Rail-Road UIRR, the European organisation promoting intermodal rail road transport. Rudy Colle passed away on 14 July in Sint-Agata-Rode in Belgium. He was born in Ghent on 22 February 1940.

All through his UIRR career, Rudy Colle was a key partner of UIC and its Combined Transport Group.

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

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.75 / 5

News from UIC members

United States: U.S. Department of Transportation advances rail plans for Northeast Corridor

On 12 July the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released the Northeast Corridor (NEC) FUTURE Record of Decision (ROD). NEC FUTURE is FRA’s comprehensive planning effort to identify ways to improve the reliability, capacity, connectivity, performance and resiliency of passenger rail service throughout the Northeast Corridor through 2040 and beyond.
The ROD marks the completion of the Tier 1 environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and establishes a long-term strategy for the NEC. The NEC FUTURE ROD expedites the environmental review process by focusing Tier 2 (project-level) environmental planning work and future analysis on priority issues, and by establishing agency relationships and agreements that will expedite and coordinate reviews, and by narrowing the range of possible alternatives that would need to be examined at the project level.

The ROD also allows priority projects to move forward more expeditiously, because the Tier 1 environmental review process will already have been completed.
“Safe, reliable and efficient rail transportation is a vital part of our nation’s infrastructure,” says U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “And expediting the project delivery process is key to delivering needed infrastructure more quickly.”

Developed in concert with NEC states, local communities and railroads and with significant input from the public, the NEC FUTURE ROD lays out a menu of potential ways to improve passenger rail service by:

  • Increasing, and in some areas doubling, the number of regional commuter trains and providing three to five times more intercity trains.
  • Improving travel times between key city centers:
    - Boston to New York City would be 45 minutes faster
    - New York City to Washington, D.C., would be 35 minutes faster
  • Expanding the NEC to a 4-to-6-track modernized, integrated rail network with sufficient capacity to accommodate the projected increase in demand for intercity and commuter rail service.
  • Adding more than 200 miles of expanded track capacity between Washington, D.C., and New Haven, Conn., and between Providence, R.I., and Boston, Mass.
  • Creating a seamless customer experience through integrated ticketing and convenient connections.
  • Preparing for the future by stipulating that “new segments should be designated for 220 mph operations, unless there are unique or exceptional constraints that justify limiting the highest practical speed.”
  • Calling for a New Haven-to-Providence Capacity Planning Study to identify on- and off-corridor infrastructure to address the capacity constraints, speed restrictions and flooding vulnerability along the Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline.
  • “Given the high cost projections of the recommendations in the NEC ROD and the reality of state budgets, the completion of the Tier 1 study will enable states to better prioritize which projects to pursue,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Heath Hall. “Through this effort, localities will have a clearer picture of how their projects will fit in with the rest of the Northeast corridor.”

The NEC mainline is 457 miles long, stretching from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Adding the “connecting corridors” (including Richmond, Virginia, and Albany, New York, etc.) ensures that the corridor rail lines total 899 miles. Every weekday, about 820,000 passenger trips occur along the NEC corridor — 95 percent of them on eight commuter railroads and about 5 percent via Amtrak. The ROD assumes that by 2040, ridership will grow about 70 percent at New York’s Penn Station, greater than 80 percent at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station and 50 percent at Boston’s South Station.

The NEC FUTURE ROD does not include funding recommendations to implement suggested improvements, in recognition that those decisions must be made by local and regional stakeholders. The approximate total cost estimate for all projects known to be within the parameters of the ROD totals $121 billion to $153 billion.

(Source: US DoT)

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Eurostar unveils world’s first onboard virtual reality experience: ‘Eurostar Odyssey’

Taking travellers on an adventure to the depths of the sea bed, with immersive smartphone headsets available throughout the summer

On 12 July Eurostar announced ‘Eurostar Odyssey’, the first virtual reality experience designed to enhance a journey through an immersive onboard adventure, with specially designed headsets distributed throughout the summer at peak travel periods for families.

As travellers make their way at high-speed under the channel, they’ll enter the hidden depths of the sea bed for the first time, looking into a virtual world of sea creatures, sunken treasures and mysterious sea-scapes.

As the summer holidays begin, the unique experience has been created to help the young and the young-at-heart see the journey to Europe in a new dimension. The free adventure is accessed by logging on to Eurostar’s onboard entertainment system on a travellers own Apple or Android device, and opening up the voyage of discovery.

As travellers take their seat, the roof of the virtual train transforms into a glass ceiling revealing the underwater world around them. Guided by two ocean explorers, Rose and Benoit, the journey is packed full of stories from pirates’ legends of lost treasures, to meetings with mermaids and an encounter with a charismatic octopus. A gaming element allows voyagers to count different species along the way, for those that like to compete.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director, Eurostar, said: “Travellers are always asking if they can see the fish when travelling through the channel tunnel, and we’re really excited to make it possible as the first travel company to give its customers an immersive 3D experience. Throughout the summer we’ll be giving younger travellers free headsets so they can enjoy an exciting adventure under the channel, so as the summer holidays begin, why fly when you and your family can have so much fun travelling by Eurostar?”

Available on all of Eurostar’s new e320 and refurbished e300 trains through the on board entertainment system directly to a user’s own device, the experience will be accessible on services between London and Paris, Lille, Brussels, Lyon and the South of France.

All Eurostar e320 and e300 trains offer wifi connectivity with over 300 hours of onboard entertainment streamed to customers’ personal devices, providing travellers with a variety of TV shows, films, documentaries, games and news whilst travelling at high-speed across the European countryside.

(Source: Eurostar)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

Germany: DB Cargo maintains drive to digitalise vehicle fleet

DB Cargo is pushing digitization of its vehicle fleet forward, and the company has now made substantial progress towards achieving its aim of fitting 2,000 locomotives with diagnostic technology by 2020. At present, almost 1,000 of these high-tech locomotives, in service around Europe, provide information about the vehicles’ condition. It has signed a cooperation contract with Siemens to upgrade its existing class 152 electric main-line locomotives and thus transform them into what DB Cargo calls “TechLOKs”. In addition, class 170 and 191 Vectron locomotives from Siemens will also be connected to the TechLOK system.

Based on those telematics units installed in locomotives, DB Cargo uses the TechLOK system to collect, visualise and process diagnostic and constantly generated sensor, no matter where they are in Europe. This information enables the company to make further improvements to its daily operations, and it also forms the basis for approaches towards condition-based, predictive maintenance. In contrast to the current, conventional approach of performing maintenance mileage or time based, locomotives will now be maintained when the data shows that this is necessary. Thanks to this, DB Cargo can continue to increase vehicle availability, transport quality and savings.

Dr. Jürgen Wilder, CEO at DB Cargo, says, “Our fleet digitalisation activities have one main focus: further improvements in quality for our customers and optimisation of the vehicle value chain. The TechLOK system already comprises almost 1,000 locomotives operating on international routes. The deal we have now signed with Siemens and especially the connection of operational knowledge with the knowledge of the vehicle manufacturer ensures that we will keep speed towards our project goals.”

The contract covers not only connecting locomotives to the TechLOK system but also joint activities on developing data analytics models based on the technical insight the locomotive sensors provide. This will result in new algorithms and technical rules to maintain locomotives more flexible and condition-based.

In addition, experts from Siemens and DB Cargo will work conjointly at Deutsche Bahn’s Asset und Maintenance Digital Lab in Frankfurt am Main. Johannes Emmelheinz, head of the rail service business at Siemens, says, “This long-term partnership with Deutsche Bahn is of strong strategic relevance to Siemens. Linking data analytics with locomotive specific knowledge allows us to support Deutsche Bahn on its path towards digitization as well as the overall target to improve asset availability.”

(Source: DB)

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5


Ethiopia-Djibouti railway to start commercial operations in October

The Chinese built 756 km electrified rail project connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti will start commercial operations in October, said the Ethiopian transportation minister on Thursday.

Speaking to Xinhua, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transportation, said the rail project is a showcase of China’s support for Ethiopia’s efforts to transform its economy through infrastructural development.

Shide says Ethiopia is currently doing test runs on the railway and is finalizing preparations to form a joint venture company with Djibouti to manage it.

“We hope the rail project will facilitate expansion of industrial manufacturing and boost Ethiopia’s competitiveness by significantly cutting time needed for Ethiopia’s exports to reach Djibouti port,” he added.

The electrified rail line is expected to cut transportation time needed for goods to reach Djibouti port from the Ethiopian hinterland and vice versa from at least two days to 10 hours.

The rail line will also provide a passenger service, with an average speed of 120 km per hour and a single coach holding 118 passengers at a time.

The first 320 km of the rail project from Sebeta to Mieso was carried out by China Rail Engineering Corporation while the remaining 436 km from Mieso to Djibouti port section was built by China Railway Group.

(Source: Xinhua news agency)

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

Hungary: MÁV-START Co. was National Transportation Partner of the 17th FINA World Championships

On the basis of the agreement with the organisers, it was a pleasure and a special honour for MÁV-START Co. to join the 17th FINA World Championships as a National Transportation Partner for the preparation and smooth running of the prestigious sporting event. In practice, this meant that the railway undertaking provided unique offers and services for the supporters and fans visiting the events of world aquatics championships, participating athletes and organisers.

The ticket buyers of the World Championships were able to purchase a return ticket for trains travelling between Budapest and Balatonfüred with a 50% discount. At the Budapest locations, i.e. at the Danube Arena and at the Margitsziget fan zone, domestic and international train tickets were available, and at Balatonfüred a mobile cashier was provided for the travellers, where they were also able to purchase their domestic and international tickets. Rail tickets were valid for return only if the ticket was accompanied by an entrance ticket of the visitor.

Volunteers assisting the organisers could use their special documents to obtain train tickets free of charge between the venues of the FINA World Championships from 14 to 30 July and the venues of the FINA Masters competition between 7 and 20 August. For the latter event, special trains of MÁV-START Co. carried accredited racers – nearly 1000 athletes – and technical staff. For this purpose, on 10, 11 and 12 August two train pairs consisting of seven coaches each were put into service.

In addition to carrying out passenger transportation tasks, MÁV-START Co. also wished to contribute to the success of the event by promoting the World Championships. In this spirit, a locomotive with the motifs of the sports event was put in service, which could be seen in almost all parts of the country. The uniquely decorative vehicles were observed everywhere, so the railway undertaking provided excellent advertising space.

21st century ticket sales and passenger information at MÁV-START Co.

Nothing justifies MÁV-START Co’s commitment to the use of digital technologies better than the online timetable search engine that has existed since the dawn of the Internet, since 1996. The company expanded this service in 2008 with the online ticket purchase option, while ticket printing at home has been available since November 2011 as a result of the development of the infrastructure required for verification.

Every year more and more people use the option to purchase through the Internet, with an increase of over 30% each year. As a result, almost 7% of the domestic revenues were generated from Internet ticket sales in 2016.

By the emergence of smart devices, an increased demand could be detected for tickets to be used on all trains without printing. In order to reach this, it was necessary to make sure that MÁV-START Co’s passengers already had an electronic train ticket before boarding the train and to avoid that they purchase the tickets on board when seeing the ticket inspector. All these conditions were created by MÁV-START Co. in November 2016 and as a result e-train tickets were introduced.
Passengers received the change positively, since then more than 100 000 e-tickets have been sold monthly, which is twice that of the number of home printed tickets in the previous year.

The growing popularity of the online channel, and in particular the e-train ticket, has also made it possible to provide discounts available only through e-tickets for trains travelling in off-peak periods among this summer’s seasonal products. With this measure, the company wants to reduce the excessive loads at the cashiers, as hundreds of people can get their tickets online at the same time. Besides this, in addition to the e-train ticket discount, the passengers receive additional discounts, encouraging them to use the online channel and use less crowded trains.

MÁV-START Co. has made Vonatinfo application downloadable since March 2016 in which it is possible to get information on the schedule and current traffic information besides the travel planning function. Almost 400 000 users have downloaded the app. The online map showing the position of trains is queried on an average of 50 000 times a day. Since the introduction of the e-train ticket, many passengers are calling for tickets to be purchased through mobile applications. MÁV-START Co. is further developing the Vonatinfo application, by which mobile applications will be available in the autumn of 2017.

In 2016, MÁV-START Co. being the first among the railway undertakings in the region, made its timetable available in the Google Transit service. On Google Maps, the train stations show the trains arriving to / or departing from there, and when you’re planning a route, Google can count on rail travel too.

(Source: MÁV)

2 Votes

Average rating: 2.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Kazakhstan: KTZ contributes to the “green economy” in the transport sector

The delegation of JSC NC “KTZ” led by the chief engineer of the Company B. Kotyryov took part in the round table “Development of the green economy in the transport sector” as part of the Logistics and Transit Week at the international exhibition EXPO-2017.

Environmental action plans are currently being developedwithin the group of the company KTZ in order to reduce the negative impact on the environment and taking into account the priority tasks of the Conception of Kazakhstan “green economy”. The measures taken have reduced emissions of pollutants to the environment from 2 to 5% annually.

“The Company pays much attention to renewal and modernisation of rolling stock fleet, aimed at reducing consumption of fuel and energy resources and, accordingly, emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere,” said B. Kotyrev.

Thus, emissions into the atmosphere during the burning of one ton of diesel fuel by modern domestic diesel locomotives TE33A of the Evolution series in comparison with diesel locomotives 2ТЭ10 have been reduced by 2.18 times.

Within the framework of environmental activities, JSC NC “KTZ” conducts activities to eliminate bacterial contamination of railways and adjacent territories.

In connection with the commissioning of new passenger cars, the Company replaced the heating system with solid fuel with a system with liquid fuel, which significantly reduced emissions to the atmosphere.

According to B. Kotyrev, the Company takes an active part in interstate projects in the field of ecology. For example, in the work of the international centre for environmental safety in the field of railway transport, opened jointly with the railway administrations of Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Estonia and Kyrgyzstan. JSC NC “KTZ” signed an Agreement on the development of cooperation in the field of environmental protection in conjunction with the railway administrations of the Commonwealth countries, and with the members of the International Union of Railways.

JSC NC “KTZ” contributes to the development of the “green economy”, and also participates in the fight against global climate change, including at the international level.

(Source: KTZ)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Czech Republic: SŽDC spent CZK 215 million on repair and construction work in first year of railway station administration

Just a year ago, a long-awaited transfer of railway stations under SŽDC took place. In the first year of the railway station administration, the state organisation spent over CZK 215 million for repairs, building modifications or project preparations. There are fully completed 149 construction projects worth nearly CZK 110 million. Dozens of larger or smaller repairs are in progress. The transformation, for instance, took place at the stations in Kostomlaty nad Labem, Dobříš, or Rakovník. In August, the last stage of the reconstruction of Náchod railway station will have been completed. Passengers are using a new railway station in Karlovy Vary or Česká Lípa.

"Passengers are using a new railway station in Karlovy Vary or Česká Lípa. The transformation also took place at the station buildings in Kostomlaty nad Labem, Dobříš, or Rakovník. In August, the last stage of the reconstruction of Náchod railway station will have been completed. The railway stations are mostly in a poor state, so we will invest into them about 10 billion crowns during the following years”, said Mr Dan Ťok, the Minister of Transport.

The disparity between repairs and more extensive reconstructions in the first year of the station administration is due to the fact that České dráhy (Czech Railways) had not prepared, with a few exceptions, any construction project. Moreover, SŽDC has different ideas about the scale and nature of the reconstruction and revitalization of railway stations.

“This is why there are repairs scheduled to be done this year for almost 600 million crowns. Another 57 million crowns are going to commence more extensive reconstructions of seven railway stations. This year, we will also spend 90 million crowns for the project preparation of almost 70 railway stations. In the coming years, we expect a significant increase in the volume of investment funds in reconstructions”, explained Mr Tomáš Drmola, Deputy DG for Assets Management of SŽDC.

The purchase of the part of assets of České dráhy, which included 1,569 buildings and 1,385,000 square meters of land in nearly 950 locations of passenger stations, was undoubtedly a long-awaited event of the year 2016. České dráhy sold it for 3.31 billion crowns. The transaction did not concern the main station in Brno and Prague Masaryk Station. By the end of last year, the entire process of purchasing of the part of the firm was successfully completed even in terms of necessary legislative formalities.

Six regionally operating Passenger Station Administrations are responsible for management of railway stations in the SŽDC structure. They are situated in Prague, Plzeň, Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové, Olomouc and Brno. Funds are allocated according to the current state of the building, need for acute repairs, density of rail transport, frequency of passengers, number of structures and other factors. Repairs take place across the entire republic.

This year, SŽDC will start reconstructing the railway stations in Břeclav, Kuřim, Hradec Králové, Turnov, Lipník nad Bečvou, Přerov and Sokolov. The estimated total investment costs for the launched reconstructions are approximately CZK 211 million and about 57 million will be invested out of this amount this year. The final stage of the reconstruction of Náchod railway station for about 14 million crowns is before completion.

The actual implementation of the constructions had to be preceded by updates of project documentation, which SŽDC purchased from České dráhy.

The year 2018 will already be marked by major renovations. SŽDC is finalising the preparation of the programme for the reconstruction and revitalisation of passenger stations for the years 2018-2022, which will be presented by the station administrator at the end of the summer holidays.

(Source: SZDC)

News from UIC members

Czech Republic: Czech Railways has ordered 12 new locomotives for CZ LOKO

Czech Railways has ordered 12 new locomotives for the company CZ LOKO. The new locomotives, also known under the trade name EffiShunter 300 (794 series), will replace ČD in particular with more than twenty-year-old 714 locomotives, which were built in the mid-1990s by modernising even older locomotives.

It is a two-axle (Bo) diesel-electric locomotive with a maximum speed of 60 km / h. And with the performance of the CAT C13 328 kW internal combustion engine. The weight of the locomotive is 36 tons, which in combination with diesel-electric transmission optimally uses adhesion and the locomotive thus reaches a maximum tensile strength of 124 kN. The machines are also equipped with digital control system, online diagnostics, multiple control system and, last but not least, sliding protection.

A contract for delivery of 12 pieces of 794 locomotives was signed in June and the machines will be delivered by February 2019. The contract value is CZK 238,980,000. (Approximately EUR 9.2 million).

(Source: ČD)

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 18-20 October 2017 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting UIC
  • 19-22 October 2017 Next Station Conference Madrid
  • 19 October 2017 Freight Steering Committee
  • 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
  • 25 October 2017 OptiYard TMC Meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 25 October 2017 Optiyard SMC meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 26-27 October 2017 OptiYard Kick-off meeting UIC Headquarters
  • 26-27 October 2017 Expertise Development Platform Rome, Italy
  • 30-31 October 2017 16th UIC Asia-Pacific Management Committee Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 30-31 October 2017 Commercial and Distribution Steering Committee Conference Call
  • 30 October 2017 CDF Steering Committee Conference Call
  • 30 October 2017 Commercial and Distribution Forum Steering Committee conference call
  • 31 October 2017 - 1 November 2017 24th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 6 November 2017 Commercial and Distribution Forum plenary meeting Paris
  • 7 November 2017 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2017 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 8-10 November 2017 10th APNRTC (Asia-Pacific Network of Railway Training Centres) Chengdu, China
  • 8-9 November 2017 APNRTC (Asia Pacific Network of Rail Training Centres) SWJTU, Chengdu, China
  • 8 November 2017 91st General Assembly Preparatory Group Paris
  • 13-18 November 2017 5th Training on High Speed Systems Level II Madrid
  • 14 November 2017 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 15 November 2017 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 21-24 November 2017 Commuter and regional Training Rome

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 4 September 2017

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