Wednesday 25 January 2023

Towards a stronger sector collaboration: UIC and RNE sign a Memorandum of Understanding

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RailNetEurope (RNE) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) will collaborate more closely to contribute to a more efficient, competitive, digital, and sustainable European rail system.

Paul Mazataud, President of RNE, and François Davenne, Director General of UIC, formalised this strengthened collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding at the UIC headquarters in Paris on January 25, 2023. The partnership will leverage the strengths of both organisations to drive innovation and digital transformation in the rail sector. RNE, an association of European Rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs), coordinates its members’ international processes in the areas of Capacity Management, Traffic Management, Corridor Management, and IT, with a focus on digitalisation solutions to support operational processes linked to international rail traffic. UIC, the International Union of Railways, brings a deep understanding of the business needs of the rail community and works with its members on innovation programmes and solutions required to foster modal shift by harmonising business, operational, and information processes.

This initiative is welcomed by Clemens Först, Chairman of the UIC Freight Forum, founder and Chairman of the Rail Freight Forward coalition (RFF) which, through the priorities stated below, aims to drive modal shift through innovation, a more intelligent transport mix and a strengthened cooperation with infrastructure managers.

The priorities of the UIC-RNE collaboration are:

  • Improving the Capacity Management of the sector by collaborating in the programme “Redesign of the International Timetabling Process” (“TTR for Smart Capacity Management”) to assure efficiently planned cross-border capacity, from origin to destination, and to provide the market with the maximum available capacity as well as market-oriented high-quality capacity products.
  • Improving the Traffic Management by collaborating in the “Digital Platform Rail (DP-Rail)” project which will enable a seamless exchange of data among different stakeholders in the rail freight ecosystem, and by investing in the “Language Programme” which aims to remove the language barriers in cross-border train operations.
  • Contributing towards an Integrated system approach in alignment with Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail) which aims to deliver a high-capacity, flexible, multimodal, sustainable, reliable and integrated EU railway network for European passengers and freight.

Paul Mazataud, President of RNE, said: “RNE is pleased to expand its cooperation with UIC. Both our associations strongly believe in the development of the rail transport mode and the considerable leverage that digital technologies represent to achieve this.”

François Davenne, Director General of UIC, confirmed that:”UIC is pleased to join forces with RNE in this partnership. We are confident that this collaboration will lead to significant improvements in the efficiency and reliability of digital rail freight services. We look forward to working together to drive digital transformation and data-driven decision making in the rail freight sector. For us, this strengthened collaboration is also an important step towards the creation of a European Rail Freight Data Space.

Clemens Först, founder and Chairman of RFF added: “For RFF, 2022 was branded “The Year of IM””. Capacity issues are key for rail freight operators and the close collaboration with RNE on Digital Capacity Management and DP-RAIL (https://dp-rail.eu/) are essential milestones towards an efficient system approach for driving modal shift.

For more information on RNE, please visit the website at www.rne.eu or contact them at mailbox@rne.eu
For more information on UIC, please visit the website at www.uic.org or contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director at gehenot@uic.org
For more information on RFF, please visit the website at www.railfreightforward.eu

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