Wednesday 15 September 2021

François Davenne, UIC Director General, gave a keynote speech in the two-day online event - Digital Rail Revolution organised by Global Railway Review

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His keynote focused on Digital transformation in the Railway industry.

He particularly insisted on the fact that Railways have ten years to implement the UN strategy: avoid-shift-improve.

He highlighted the central issue: how to select the transformal projects able to reshape the current mobility paradigm in the short period of time that is still left before we damage our climate without remedy.

He added that digitalisation will lead to seamless interconnection with other modes and capacity increase of the existing infrastructures has a central role to play.

Digital projects will be a driver for the modal shift to rail and public transport in order to achieve the objective of the SDGs fast enough to have an impact”.

He then explained concretely how digital technologies can help to achieve this goal.

François Davenne mentioned all the amazing work done by the Rail Freight Forward, in which UIC coordinates the technical dimension, the project INTERTRAN, or the need to revolutionise the customer experience through the creation of seamless intermodal transport chains that places rail at its backbone. In this field, he mentioned the development of FRMCS, providing a 5G backbone for railway allowing the implementation of innovative network management solutions.

And: “Finally, we can draw a credible perspective that in the next ten years rail will not become more disrupted”.

As we are all managing the same network, we need to have a collaborative approach. All tools are to be mutualised. Railways are resilient, oriented to the customer, but we need to be as smooth as possible in terms of collaboration”.

He finished by reminding that Railways have an important role to play by demonstrating realistic solutions making modal shift desirable.

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