Wednesday 11 May 2022

World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR) to be held from 6 -10 June 2022

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The World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR), the world’s largest international congress on railway research, was founded by UIC together with SNCF (France), DB AG (Germany), Trenitalia (Italy), RTRI (Japan), RSSB (UK) and TTCI (USA). The first Congress was hosted by SNCF in 1994.

The 13th Congress, WCRR 2022, will be held in Birmingham, UK from 6 to 10 June 2022. This is a major gathering for the global railway research and innovation community to exchange ideas and present the latest technology being developed all around the world. It provides opportunities to gain an overview of railway technical development and discuss its future direction from the management perspective of the world’s railway operators. WCRR is the only cross-thematic congress in the world dedicated to the subject of innovation in the railway sector and is relevant to everyone, from railway companies to industry and research institutions.

The theme for the 2022 Congress is ‘Reshaping our railways post-pandemic: Research with an impact’. The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge and long-lasting impact on the rail sector, and consequently, new knowledge and novel solutions generated by research are of greater importance than ever before and will be essential in our recovery. Increasing research quality and speed, putting findings into action, demonstrating benefits, and fostering international collaboration on the shared challenges faced by the railways are all essential for the railway to attract customers back, encourage modal shift and deliver excellent value for money.

UIC and its working groups will be presenting 24 papers to the Congress, on topics spanning a wide range of technical developments, innovations and related issues. These include papers on:

  • Protection from cyber-physical attacks, increasing rail freight, and under-sleeper pads (Day 1);
  • Digitalising SMS, circular economy in railways, drone-based bridge inspection, Covid-19 and tourism, and biodiversity (Day 2);
  • Broken rail detection, infrastructure lifetime assessment, connecting level crossings with cars, homelessness and stations, standardisation for passenger rail distribution, and 5G’s role in facilitating FRMCS (Day 3).

Many of these topics feature in the UIC publication ‘Technical Solutions for the Operational Railway’, available at

UIC Director General, François Davenne will be a main speaker at the Plenary 2 ‘Celebrating Success’ which will focus on research and development’s contribution to the operation of the railway during Covid-19, moving to a low-emissions railway, and data-driven maintenance and operations. Other senior UIC participants include:

  • Marc Guigon, who will chair the panel on passenger accessibility comfort and information, and Stefano Guidi, who will chair the session on freight performance and safety (Day 2);
  • Christian Chavanel who will chair the discussions on autonomous operation (Day 3);
  • Lucie Anderton, who will chair a session on countermeasures to disasters and extreme events, and Simon Fletcher, who will chair a session dedicated to safety and security (Day 4).

The UIC booth in Hall 3 will be the focal point for the communication of UIC’s work to all participants, facilitating meetings with visitors and offering a base for networking with the other members of the railway research and innovation community.

For more information on UIC at WCRR 2022, please contact Martin Brennan brennan@uic.orggro.ciu:nannerb’)]

For general information on WCRR 2022 see the website (

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