On 2 September, UIC was pleased to participate in Lisbon at the events organised by the European Commision upon the occasion of the start of the European journey of the Connecting Europe Express.
Amongst many other opportunities that the train brings, the Connecting Europe Express can be considered as a laboratory for the development of a single European network.
Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Chairman of UIC Europe together with Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, represented UIC at the « High speed rail and city-to-city connections » conference and at the symbolic departure of the train. These events gave them the opportunity to have fruitful exchanges with colleagues and stakeholders present in Lisbon. Mr Cardoso dos Reis accompanied the train on its journey through Portugal to the border with Spain where he was able to be part of the handover to Spanish colleagues for the next leg of the journey.
Among the key messages heard, it was mentioned that rail, as the backbone of a sustainable and clean transport network, will be at the centre of transport mobility.
To achieve this there is the need to develop services that are attractive to the end user and which will facilitate and improve the user experience. Increased competitiveness of railway services will also drive an increase in demand but this must be coupled with efficient optimisation of existing network capacity.
UIC is delighted to be actively supporting the train on its journey and will be present in Bucharest this Friday and participating in the second conference in the series organised by the Commission, this one being on railway infrastructure investment for the green deal. This is a topic which is of significant importance to the work of the UIC and at the core of the work undertaken by the team.
Next week there will be a senior UIC presence in Gdansk as the train makes a stop there as part of the TRAKO fair. The team will also be in Ljubljana at the end of the week as the train makes a stop there in he presence of the EU Commissioner for Transport and will participate in the ‘Green and Digital Transformation of Railway Corridors’ event which is being arranged by SEESARI - https://seesari.org/ - as part of their plenary meeting.