Tuesday 23 March 2021

Online workshop on work trains decarbonisation held on 18 March

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UIC held a two-hour online workshop on 18 March with a focus on strategies, experience and projects to reduce or phase out the use of internal combustion engines and fossil fuels in work trains and machinery for track maintenance.

The workshop was split into two sessions. During the first session, infrastructure managers gave insights into their policies on climate neutrality and the challenges they are facing.

Reinout Wissenburg of ProRail opened the workshop and provided an overview of decarbonisation in the Dutch railway sector and the challenges involved in decarbonising work trains, suggesting that international cooperation is needed to move forward effectively.

Hakan Johansson of Trafikverket then took the floor and presented the road and rail sector in Sweden and its average annual emissions. He also talked about the Swedish Transport Administration’s goals for climate neutrality and incentivising policies for reduction of CO2 emissions in procurement.

Jonathan Brown of Ricardo gave the third presentation, outlining challenges for infrastructure managers in delivering zero carbon emissions by 2050 and explaining that accurate forecasts for technology evolution need to be part of decision-making. In his concluding statements, Mr Brown described decarbonisation as a disruptive force re-shaping all transport sectors.

The final insights during this first session came from Marco Meier of SBB, who provided important facts on work trains and requirements engineering. Wrapping up his presentation, he noted that new procurements need to use renewable energies and that renewable fuels were the last choice.

The second hour-long session was dedicated to contractors, suppliers and machine manufacturers. They demonstrated their commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of their services and the possibilities they can offer, as well as the obstacles they are facing. They underlined their efforts with regard to:

  • electrification of machinery,
  • overall reduction of CO2 emissions in works,
  • smart maintenance,
  • sustainability in fleet renewal,
  • harmonisation of the sector’s needs.

Time was set aside during each session to allow for questions and discussion.
The presentations and the recording of the workshop will soon be available at https://uic.org/events/decarbonisation-of-work-trains

Upcoming workshops on best practice:

  • Hydrogen train best practice workshop to be held online on 12 May
  • Battery train best practice workshop to be held online on 19 May

For further information, please contact Philippe Stefanos: stefanos@uic.org

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