Thursday 26 October 2023

Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) meeting is held in Stuttgart

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The Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) is a permanent activity group within the Rail System Forum (RSF) that works on issues relating to bridges, tunnels, and earthworks, as well as other structural elements in the field of civil engineering. The focus is on design and maintenance strategies and processes for these assets.

The meeting was held in-person at the DB premises in Stuttgart on 12 and 13 September 2023. Together with Tuomas Kaira, UIC Senior Advisor for Asset Management, Infrastructure, and TTI, Didier Van de Velde, the Chair of the PoSE, welcomed the 19 participants, representing European UIC members, to the meeting. The former Chair, Martin Muncke, and former Secretary of PoSE, Jean-Jacques Reber, were also in attendance as special guests.

The agenda of the first day included news from UIC and the Rail System Department, UIC’s leaflet migration plan, and updates on the ongoing PoSE projects. Franco Iacobini from RFI, Chair of the Infrastructure Subsystem Sector raised some points regarding the migration plan and working group projects.

On the morning of 13 September, DB organised a technical visit, which centred around the construction site “Stuttgart 21” at Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof. This is a new underground station, where 8 lines will enter and exit the station via a tunnel, with the focus being the curved supporting pillars with large skylight windows (see pictures). Therefore, these concrete pillars are not your average supports, and were time-consuming to construct. The new station will also incorporate the old station building, which will be used as an entrance hall at street level. The new station is planned to open in 2027.

After the technical visit, the meeting continued in the afternoon, with the current projects under PoSE and projects relating to PoSE being discussed, in addition to ideas for upcoming projects.

The PoSE group’s ongoing work includes:

  • Migration of UIC Leaflets to IRSs
  • EOLE: A project on exceptional overloads and their effects on infrastructure, as well as assessing infrastructure for heavy load consignments (2017 – 2024)
  • Mitig4Derail: A project about derailment mitigation measures adapted to infrastructure (2023 – 2025)
  • Review of IRS 70779-10 “Tunnel Asset Management and Maintenance Principles” and catalogues
  • A opt-in project for 2024 regarding load models for the bridge fatigue assessment of existing bridges
  • CO2Free 2: An opt-in project for 2024 on the use of low-carbon concrete in structures and other ways to reduce the CO2 emissions of new concrete structures

For further information, please contact Tuomas Kaira, Senior Advisor, Infrastructure Unit Railway System Department at

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