Monday 5 September 2022

The world of railways supported by the Czech EU Presidency

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The International Railway Forum & Conference (IRFC) is taking place in Prague at the Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague, Vysočany from 5 to 7 October 2022, under the patronage of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference exhibition area will give organisations and companies the opportunity to introduce themselves. Registration for the conference is already open here, and for those interested in having a display or a stand at the exhibition, please find the information here.

The conference will be launched by the OLTIS Group Executive Director, Miroslav Fukan, with subsequent speeches by the Czech Minister of Transport, Martin Kupka, and the Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean. HE Fredrik Jörgensen, Ambassador of Sweden to the Czech Republic receiving the symbolic presidential torch from Czechia will also give a speech.

The conference is divided into five expert technical sessions and will offer the opportunity to dive into new technology through a technical visit.

The technical sessions will focus on the most important areas for the rail sector, looking at strategic, technical, R&I, and infrastructure points of view. Each session will finish with a moderated discussion, so that every participant can expect a rich 3-day programme, alongside having the chance to meet with notable representatives from the rail sector of Czechia and the EU.

The first session “The Rail Sector Contribution to the EU Green Deal”, moderated by Libor Lochman, will be opened by the Czech Minister of Transport, Martin Kupka, and Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean. Their presentations will cover Czechia’s and the EU’s rail transport priorities in the coming years, and how rail can contribute to the European Green Deal’s goals being acheived. Philippe Froissard from DG RTD of the European Commission will also cover this topic in greater detail. Then the CER Executive Director, Alberto Mazzola, UNIFE Director General, Philippe Citroën, and UIC Director General, François Davenne, will discuss the rail sector’s position in this matter. The Czech rail sector will be represented in a moderated discussion by the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Czech Railways, Michal Krapinec, and the Správa železnic Director General, Jiří Svoboda.

The second session, moderated by Josef Doppelbauer, the EU Agency for Railways’ Executive Director, is called “Railway Interoperability and Standardisation”. The key topics in this session are TSI revisions in the 2022 revision cycle, ERTMS and its further development, and the Digital Automated Coupler (DAC). Each individual area will be addressed by a different person, these being most notably Keir Fitch from DG MOVE, Matthias Ruette from DG MOVE (European ERTMS coordinator), the Chairman of the Board ČD Cargo, Tomáš Tóth, as well as other distinguished speakers from the industry sector and national safety authorities.

The first day of the conference will end with a gala dinner at the conference venue.

The second day of the conference will begin with “Breakfast with Carlo Borghini” who is also going to moderate the post-breakfast third session of the conference, “EU’s Research and Innovations in Globalised World”. This session will introduce EUROPE’s Rail JU, which manages the funding for rail research and innovations within the EU. Keynote speakers in this session are Czech representatives of EUROPE’s Rail JU founding members (Czech Railways, AŽD Praha).

The fourth session “The High-Speed Railway System as a Mobility Driver” will be moderated by Správa železnic Director General, Jiří Svoboda, and will focus on the development and construction of high speed railways in Central and Eastern Europe. This session will include a presentation introducing the business model of high-speed rail in Japan.

The fifth and the last session “TEN-T – A Transcontinental Resilience Network” will be moderated by Herald Ruijters from DG MOVE. The session will focus on the development of European transport networks, and fulfilling multimodal principles as well as legal frameworks on these networks. The presentations will cover topics such as the future of military mobility and specific responses to current geopolitical matters. Key speakers will be Peter Hrapko from the Slovak Ministry of Transport and Construction, Erik Evtimov from CIT, Boris Leštinský, Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, and Radek Čech from Správa železnic.

The technical visit to the Plum line will take place on the third day (7/10) –where visitors will see new R&D technology being presented and afterwards will take part in a Czech wine tasting.

The technical part of the conference will finish at 17:00, followed by a Czech dinner.
Do not hesitate to take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet key experts of the rail world!

Please find up-to-date information about IRFC 2022 at

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