Tuesday 1 February 2022

Kick-off workshop on Malaysian rail standards held on 24 December 2021 with active participation from UIC

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Through its new unit, the National Rail Centre of Excellence, the Ministry of Transport of Malaysia held a kick-off meeting on Malaysian rail standards (MRS) on 24 December 2021 at its premises in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Around 100 participants from the Malaysian railway industry (operators, manufacturers and suppliers, related government agencies, service providers, etc.) were invited to the session and UIC, through its ASEAN Representative, Mr Milko P. Papazoff, was asked to deliver a presentation on its role in railway standards and standardisation.

The one-day workshop was also an opportunity for MOT Malaysia and the NRCOE to officially launch their programme for the development of MRS to facilitate progress for local industry in view of various upcoming rail transport projects (urban, main lines and high speed) to be further implemented in Malaysia and in the ASEAN region.

NRCOE started to work closely with UIC in late 2020 and has proposed that UIC act as the official “verifier” for MRS to ensure conformity with international requirements in accordance with the International Railway Solutions (IRS). China Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), also a UIC member, has been appointed as the Standard Technical Advisor for the MRS.

Mr Shahriman Shafein, Director General of Rail at MOT Malaysia, recalled in his opening speech that the railways are the future of sustainable transport for Malaysia, and that the National Standard Committee-Land (NSC-L) will supervise the work of the NRCOE in terms of standards preparation and creation in close partnership with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM), as well as the relevant technical committees and working groups.

Mr Hasry Harun, Head Consultant at the NRCOE, then delivered his presentation, recalling the major steps in the MRS programme towards 2030 based on human capital development, rail industry development, testing and certification, and research and technology. Three major projects will help spur railway development and economic development in Malaysia: the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), the MRT3 (circular metro line for Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley) and the SKRL (Singapore-Kunming Rail Link, and especially its Corridor 2, Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand-Laos-China in standard gauge enabling high-speed rail development, as well as its Corridor 1 passing through Cambodia and Vietnam). They will also help to develop and enhance around 70 Malaysian industrial companies by 2030, as well as develop the local systems industry in the areas of engineering and consultancy services.

After the third and final presentation on UIC’s role in international railway standards and standardisation, the rest of the day was dedicated to an initial brainstorming session with five working groups relating to rolling stock (two on components – high volume and low volume), systems (signalling, telecommunications, AFC, etc.), track works and electrification, and operation and standards. A report on the work of the five groups was provided after lunch, and this led to the recommendation of considering the creation of 70 initial Malaysian standards and 12 facilities.

In his conclusion, Mr Harun mentioned that the NRCOE project would also focus on interoperability development, national procurement policy and the quality/sustainable development of railway operations and maintenance. Further dialogue and workshops will take place regularly from January 2022 onwards, and UIC will be a regular contributor to these events.

For further information, please contact Milko Papazoff, UIC ASEAN Representative, at fapmilko@gmail.com

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