The Rail System Forum (RSF) Plenary Session met on 29 March 2012 at UIC in Paris to discuss the Forum’s projects for 2013. The meeting was chaired by Zbigniew Szafrański, CEO of PKP, bringing together 60 members from Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings. Members from oversees such as Jeff Moller from AAR were able to follow the meeting via web conferencing whereas JR-East and KORAIL sent representatives to be present at this high-level meeting.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, updated members from 26 different railway organisations and official representatives from CER on the major events planned in 2012, in particular outlining the importance of Standardisation issues, Essential Projects and Railway Research.
All members unanimously approved the final version of the RSF Terms of Reference which – together with the “RSF Outlook and Vision document” – provides a sound basis for this technical platform and its five sectors. An appendix to the RSF Outlook and Vision document, including the selection criteria for Essential Projects, will be prepared and presented at the next Plenary Session in October.
Andy Doherty, chairman of the RSF Track & Structures Sector, Michele Mario Elia, chairman of the Control Command and Signalling & Operations Sector, Pierre-Etienne Gautier, chairman of the Train Track Interaction Sector and Sam Berggren, chairman of the Energy Management Sector, gave an overview on the highlights for each domain and outlined the work plan for 2012. Joachim Mayer, chairman of the Rolling Stock Sector was represented by Laurent Lasnier.
Several UIC Senior Advisors presented the new project proposals for 2013, covering the standardisation of interfaces, energy and power supply, and the maintenance of UIC leaflets. For the first time a new proposal has been put forward by a railway member, ZSR, to deal with electromagnetic interactions in traction electrification systems.
Emilio Maestrini, director of the Rail System Department, stressed the importance of the maintenance of UIC leaflets and its drivers on the railway market (cost reduction, protection of fundamental values of railway service and performance).
Several projects came to completion in 2011/beginning of 2012 and a number of eligible project managers presented the results to the Rail System Forum members:
Patrick Dupont, SNCF, reported on the results of the Equivalent Conicity project which is going to provide an important input to the Europe Train project whereas Gerard Auditeau, SNCF, updated members on the results of the project on Contact Strip wires carried out jointly with the Energy and Electric Traction Experts Group. The final report has been established and will be published in the coming weeks.
In the area of signalling the results of the EIRENE specifications and the latest development of GSM-R Frequency Management were presented by Dan Mandoc, UIC, and George Barbu, UIC, gave a detailed report on ERTMS activities with a special focus on ERTMS Regional and the joint European Project SATLOC (Satellite based operation and management of local low traffics lines).
The latest developments on the work of the UIC Asset Management Expert Group was delivered by the chairman of the group, Dominique Gardin, Infrabel, and a short update on the finalised EPR (European Performance Regime) and the ERIM database (European Rail Infrastructure Masterplan) was given by Mrs Erika Nissi, UIC.
At the end of the Plenary Session chairman Szafrański thanked all speakers and members for their active contribution and thanked Mr Maestrini for his work within the Rail system department and Christophe Cheron for his staunch support as chairman of the Research Coordination Group (RCG). The next RSF Plenary Session will take place on 30 October 2012 at UIC.