Wednesday 19 January 2022

First UIC TrainRail hackathon for the Asia-Pacific Region held at Southwest Jiaotong University, China, on 24-26 December

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UIC’s first TrainRail hackathon for the Asia-Pacific Region was held on 24-26 December at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China, with participants attending both in person and online. This hackathon is one in a series being organised globally by UIC as part of a range of attractiveness measures targeting universities and railway undertakings. The first hackathon was held in 2021.

The hackathon focused on the question, “How can railways be resilient in the face of pandemics?” and offered participants and rail enthusiasts the opportunity to imagine the future and develop solutions for railway operators to be better prepared for pandemics.

The competition was organised by Southwest Jiaotong University and guided by the Education Alliance of B&R International Railway Talent and the Joint Research Center of the “Belt and Road” International Science and Technology Organisation. Numerous applications were received from railway universities, railway research institutes and railway companies as soon as the competition information was released.

There were 18 competition sub-venues nationwide, with more than 300 contestants from eight countries – Pakistan, Russia, Yemen, Laos, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Rwanda and China – forming 65 teams in total.

To create a level playing field for all contestants, a review committee of ten experts with different research backgrounds was established, composed of experts from Southwest Jiaotong University, Beijing Jiaotong University, Central South University, China Railway International, CRRC, Singapore MRT, and Shenzhen Beilan Technology. Two rounds of project reviews were arranged to make sure that the result of the competition was fair and justified.

Before the formal opening of the competition, an ice-breaking section was arranged for participants to facilitate networking. A series of activities such as games, quizzes with gifts,project introductions, etc., were organised. The competition rules and review criteria were also explained to the participants. This session facilitated cooperation between team members and prepared the teams for the formal competition.

The competition’s opening ceremony was held on 25 December at Southwest Jiaotong University. Feng Xiaoyun, Vice-President of the TrainRail Committee and the university, Miguel Faro Viana, Chairman of the UIC Talent & Expertise Development Platform (TEDP) and Evgeny Zarechkin on behalf of UIC TrainRail each delivered speeches and expressed their expectations for the contestants in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Before noon on 26 December, after 48 hours of fierce competition, the teams’ presentation materials were handed in to the review committee. Following two rounds of project review, 18 teams were selected as award winners, including three first prize winners, six second prize winners and nine third prize winners. The winners included teams from Southwest Jiaotong University, Guangzhou Railway Group Changsha Freight Center, and Wuhan High-Speed Railway Vocational Training Center (first prize).

The 18 winning teams will participate in the final competition to be held in 2022 in Moscow on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Region. Two more teams from Southwest Jiaotong University and Beijing Jiaotong University will also be invited to take part in the competition in Moscow on behalf of the other award winners from the Asia-Pacific Region.

Projects were centred on the following topics:

  • Virtual railway ecological solutions
  • Railway foldable containers
  • Application of blended training in high-speed railway education
  • Railway reservation service for heterogeneous demand
  • New era travel

The first TrainRail hackathon in the Asia-Pacific Region created a solid platform for innovation and creation in the railway industry. The competition helped to uncover and foster innovative talent, build young, talented teams with an international perspective, and incubate and promote the further development of innovative projects, as well as facilitating cooperation between academic institutes and the industry in attracting young talent to the railways.

For more information, please visit:
UIC hackathon:

For further information, please contact Meryem Belhaj-Clot, Deputy HR Director and Head of HR Development at

Nathalie Amirault, Head of Talent & Expertise Development,

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