Tuesday 20 June 2023

Highlights from the HSR Committee Meeting on June 14th in Cordoba, Spain

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The last plenary session of the Intercity & High-Speed Committee chaired by M. HUO Baoshi, CRCC China, in coordination with the vice chairmen Eduardo Romo (FCH, Spain) and Benoit Chevalier (SNCF Réseau) brought together its members in Cordoba and online and provided again an opportunity to review the progress of various ongoing projects, road map discussions, and studies entrusted to universities and experts in the fields of intercity, long-distance and high-speed travel. Together, the committee members from China, Sweden, the Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain, as well as more participating online from France Germany, Japan, gathered to discuss:

  • Outcomes of the latest UIC WCHSR congress held in Marrakech on 7-10 March, which brought together nearly 1500 participants, including 150 speakers and 25 CEOs and senior executives.
  • Follow-up actions in the field of HSR as defined during the UIC CEO meeting held on 7 March.
  • Advancement of numerous studies specific to high-speed rail, covering topics such as cooperation with the aviation industry, applications of AI in railway operations, eco-comparators, ticket pricing, and project financing modelling. These subjects were all addressed by the ICHS committee.

The committee decided also to resume with high-speed rail training, starting with a foundation course in the spring 2024.

Moreover, the committee engaged in discussions and decisions regarding specifics of overnight train services. An atlas of overnight trains is currently being developed, serving as a new addition to the existing atlas of high-speed trains, whose next edition is set to be released this autumn on the basis of accurate and reliable data provided by UIC members.

The committee members then actively participated in the 16th edition of the Cordoba Conferences, organised by the Spanish member FCH and which consisted of three days of high-level presentations on the liberalisation of passenger services, given the uniqueness of the Spanish market, the only country in the world with four high-speed operators. The exchanges also focused on the comparison of high-speed rail versus autonomous vehicles and the track gauge singularity in the context of interoperability. The conferences were followed by a technical visit organised by ADIF to show the result of the MERCAVE project in the Variable Gauge Technology for Freight Rail Vehicles Test Centre, the technology for track visualisation.

On behalf of the InterCity and High-Speed Committee, M. HUO Baoshi, chairman, and Philippe Lorand, UIC Senior Advisor HSR extended their heartfelt gratitude to Eduardo Romo and the FCH team for their impeccable organisation of these meetings in the exceptional setting of Cordoba. They also thanked the committee members of ADIF, Renfe, Ouigo Espana (SNCF), and Iryo (Trenitalia), who have been actively involved in the Spanish market and have shared the initial outcomes of the liberalisation of HSR operations in Spain.

For further information, please contact Philippe Lorand: lorand@uic.org

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Wenshan Fang (China Railway Economic and Planning Research Institute ), Victorino Pérez (Renfe), Pär Färnlöf (Trafikverket Sweden), Eduardo Romo (FCH), Almuneda Hernando (ADIF), Philippe Lorand (UIC), Huo Baoshi (China Railways), Marc Guigon (UIC), Petr Košťák (SŽDC), Hongwei Yan (China Railway Economic and Planning Research Institute) Also attending and online : Stéphanie Jung (SNCF Voyageurs), Anne-Elisabeth Gautier-Dugor (SNCF Réseau), Asako Togari (JR East), Joël Meierfeldt (Deutsche Bahn), Michel Leboeuf (UIC consultant), Kenta Takashina (UIC), Michele Gesualdi 5UIC), Xinyan Wu and Guangbin Ni (Fang (China Railway Economic and Planning Research Institute ).
Almuneda Hernando (ADIF), Mauro Capurso (Trenitalia), Eduardo Romo (FCH), Huo Baoshi (China Railways), Philippe Lorand (UIC), Petr Košťák (SŽDC), Victorino Pérez (Renfe), Michele Gesualdi (UIC), Ignacio Barron (CIAF)