Wednesday 4 October 2023

European Management Committee meets on 21 September 2023 in Riga (Latvia) and online

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The European Management Committee (EMC) met on 21 September 2023 in hybrid format, with participants present in both Riga (Latvia) and online.

Martin Frobisher, the region’s acting Chair, alongside Sandra Géhénot, uIC Coordinator Europe, and François Davenne, UIC Director General, welcomed participants from UIC member railways and partner organisations across Europe (ADIF, CP, DB, FS Italiane, LDz, MAV, Network Rail, ÖBB, PKP, ProRail, SNCF, SNCB, EIM as well as UIC HQ) and in particular Kaspar Briskens, Latvian Transport Minister.

On 20 September the UIC team was pleased to visit the Rail Baltica Central Hub construction site with key stakeholders and experts from Rail Baltica global project delivery organisations RB Rail AS and the national implementing body “Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas.” Rail Baltica is the region’s largest railway infrastructure project to date and will be an important corridor for freeing up the mobility of passengers and freight.

A press briefing was held just before the meeting on 21 September, notably with Rinalds Plavnieks, Chairman of the Board LDz, François Davenne, Martin Frobisher, and Sandra Généhot, to inform the media of key messages including:

  • LDz’s involvement in UIC is a chance to tackle significant concerns for Latvia and the Baltic region and at the same time, LDz is actively pursuing initiatives to enhance freight transportation between the Baltic States/Finland and Central and Western Europe.
  • UIC’s vision for the future development of the railway sector and the role of rail in achieving the EU’s Green Deal objectives.
  • Focus on the Baltic States’ function within the European rail network, their potential, and the feasibility of linking the historically disconnected rail infrastructure with railways in other countries due to the different rail gauge.
  • An evaluation of the European freight mobility with a particular focus on the involvement of Baltic railways.

In his welcome speech Rinalds Plavnieks highlighted LDz’s efforts to increase the role of railways in the Latvian transport system through effective management, increased mobility and commercial activity, and facilitate a positive impact on the environment and society. Railways are and will continue to serve as the backbone of the transport system, ensuring fast, convenient, secure and green passenger and cargo mobility.

With regard to the governance of EMC College 2024-25, the EMC recommended Mr Luigi Ferraris, CEO of FS Italiane, to be Chair of the EMC College and Martin Frobisher, Network Rail, to be Vice-Chair. The EMC recommends that the RA-Europe approves this proposal for 2024 – 2025 and that those companies which enjoy observer status as per their Chair of CER or EIM may apply, if they wish, to one of the vacant seats of their respective member category in case they leave the Chair of the aforementioned association.

As part of the 2022 – 2023 European Work Programme, updates were given on:

ERJU – DAC presented by Frédéric Hénon, UIC Head of Operations and Safety.
DAC, which is part of Europe’s Rail and the Innovation Pillar, is a 36-month project aimed at supporting modal shift to deliver the Green Deal objectives.
The project:

  • enables digital transformation and fully automated railway operations
  • unlocks capacity (longer, heavier, faster trains) thus optimising costs
  • improves safety at all levels (operations, maintenance, etc.)

The project will be implemented in global synchronisation with other UIC projects focused on digitisation and automation in railway freight transport.

Other topics included:
Ticketing (Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director)
DP-RAIL (Sandra Géhénot, UIC Coordinator for Europe)
Hydrogen (Jo Lewington, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer, Network Rail)
Cost reduction of catenary electrification (Philip Doughty, Network Rail)
Sustainability (Joo Hyun Ha, UIC Senior Sustainability Advisor)

Sandra Géhénot gave a brief update on the 2024 – 2025 Programme, highlighting the need to prepare a future roadmap for the region and college with a small number of priorities that member CEOs want to discuss.

In conclusion, Martin Frobisher thanked the audience, both online and in the room, for their participation, with special thanks to Sandra Géhénot.

For further information about the EMC please contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Coordinator Europe:

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