Monday 8 April 2024

The European Management Committee (EMC) met in Brussels on 4 April 2024

Ticketing, Digital Twins, FRMCS and Resilience as focus topics of the meeting

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Under the chairmanship of Luigi Ferraris, CEO FS, the European Management Committee (EMC) of UIC met in Brussels on 4 April 2024 for its second meeting of the year.
The EMC is the Region’s strategic body and the place where CEOs address topics requiring a collective approach to deliver business value for the industry.

The four topics under review were:

  • Sector Ticketing Roadmap which aims at improving cross border journeys of rail passengers. A number of actions and initiatives were reviewed and aligned. The current priority is to continue the implementation of the OSDM standard ( The Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM) is a rail sector (Railways, Ticket Vendors and System Integrators) specification enabling interoperable ticket sales for trains and other modes of transport and is defined in the UIC International Railway Solution (IRS) 90918-10. OSDM supports both offline and online distribution modes in a consistent way. The OSDM specification is open source for all market participants, freely and non-discriminatorily available. The OSDM-technical specification has been commonly written by a large number of railway and ticket vendors, ensuring neutrality in the distribution market. Commercial freedom is preserved by concluding commercial contracts between the distributors (railways and non-railways).
  • Digital Twins: with the launch of an expert think tank with a remit to review work on hand and gaps as the case may be by September.
  • FRMCS: led by Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Director Telecom, Signalling and Digital Applications, and Director Financial Controlling and Project Operations. The FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System) is an advanced communications system designed to evolve the currently used GSM-R system, with two major objectives:
  • Ensure the rapid replacement of the GSM-R system in Europe and outside Europe, because of the obsolescence of this system foreseen by the industry in the period 2030-2035.
  • Provide the necessary foundation for the digitalisation of the CCS domain and then improve capacity, reliability, punctuality and quality of service: it is clearly a digitalisation enabler for ETCS evolution, ATO, TCMS and other future train applications (smart maintenance, video, etc.).

The European railways currently use the GSM-R system for operational communications and as a support to ETCS signalling, as it is the telecoms part of ERTMS.
Designed and specified 25 years ago by UIC and completely interoperable across borders, GSM-R is a 2G based system deployed today on more than 130,000 kilometres of track in Europe (with 90,000 activated on-board Cab radios) and on some 210,000 kilometres worldwide.

Even independently from ETCS, which is not deployed on the same scale, GSM-R is then considered a mandatory element of train operations. Thus, its obsolescence happening in the next period creates a sense of emergency for its migration to FRMCS.

EMC participants saluted the work done by UIC and were informed about the next steps regarding testing. Discussions focused on migration plans from GSMR and on the need to start preparing national investment plans.

  • Resilience: PKP’s representative Krzysztof Skrobich underlined that resilience is crucial for the rail industry in order to mitigate the financial impact of disruptions and enhance safety and operational continuity. The EMC requested the delivery of a milestone plan for the region which could also support, from a practical and operational standpoint, lobbying and communication efforts which are felt to be increasing in the near future.

The EMC members were represented by:

Luigi Ferraris, FS, CEO & Chair Europe
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail, Group Safety & Engineering Director & Vice-Chair Europe
François Davenne, UIC Director General,
Sandra Géhénot, UIC Director Europe
Fernando Nicolas, ADIF, International Director
Joaquim Guerra, CP, Board Member
Richard Lutz, Deutsche Bahn AG, CEO
Mário João Alves Fernandes, IP Infraestruturas de Portugal, Head of Concessions
Rinalds Plavnieks, LDz, CEO
Tomasz Lachowicz, PKP, Director Brussels Representative office
Zoltan Pafferi, CEO, MAV
Justus Hartkamp, ProRail, European Affairs Director
Jean-Pierre Farandou, SNCF Group , Chairman and CEO
Christer Löfving, Trafikverket , Chief Strategist
Christine Stockhammer-Kostelka, ÖBB Holding AG, Austrian Federal Railways, Head EU and International Affairs

For further information about the EMC please contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Director Europe:

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