Monday 27 April 2009
Technology and Research

UIC Platform Technology and Research (PTR): Latest Steering Board Meeting and Plenary Session

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The latest PTR Steering Board (held on 25 March) paved the way for the upcoming challenges on the field of railway research and technology in the next years. This approach was finally agreed by the members of the PTR Plenary Session the day after.

Gabriele Maffei, Director of the UIC Technology and Research Department, informed the members of the Steering Board and the Plenary Session about the current status of UIC, the up-coming statutory meetings to be held on March 30th and 31st, 2009 at UIC HQ.

Enno Wiebe, Manager Research Projects and Programmes at the UIC T&R Dept. in Paris presented the draft of the PTR Strategy Programme 2020. This PTR Strategy Programme intends to be the guideline and framework for all future PTR activities on the field of research and technology and is about to be fully harmonised with the other UIC forums and platforms.

The PTR members approved the strategic orientations of the PTR Strategy Programme 2020 with the three following goals as top priority for the future work:

• Driving the Global System (Standardisation and Interoperability)
• Environment and
• Economics

Several PTR ad-hoc teams were set up with the mission to work out several concrete project proposals matching the three above mentioned strategic goals and putting the PTR Strategy Programme 2020 “on track”. All UIC members were addressed during the meeting to support the PTR Strategy Programme 2020 and help shaping the future by having a common approach.
Mr. Mayer will report about this programme at the UIC European Management Committee on May 25th and ask for the approval.

The UIC leaflet 612-2 on “specific sub-system requirements (traction, braking, etc…) for EMU/DMU locomotives and driving coaches” has been approved. Steffen Jank, DB AG, PTR Programme Manager informed the participants that a UIC 612 dissemination workshop was scheduled at UIC on April 3rd (see previous article).

Stefano Guidi, TRENITALIA, PTR Programme Manager, presented the UIC leaflet 508-3/OSJD 524 (common leaflet to UIC and OSJD) “Passenger coaches – general requirements for running gear with dual gauge wheelsets for railways with 1435 mm and 1520 mm gauges” which has been approved in the session. UIC will send a letter to OSJD in that sense.

The Programme Managers (Steffen Jank, Stefano Guidi and Pierre-Etienne Gautier) reported on their sector of activities and presented their work programme for future topics.

S. Guidi reported on the final report of the “Study into the suitability of a Y/Q limit value of 0.8 for empty wagons” which has been approved in the session. A forthcoming project “Evaluation of Y/Q as a safety criteria assessment” is confirmed and will be forwarded with the budget voting list 2010.

P.E. Gautier presented further ideas on future projects:
- Managing extreme storms linked to the EU AEROTRAIN project. The PTR members will be asked in writing on their interest. Other UIC bodies (safety, infrastructure and environment) will also be contacted for further cooperation.

- Optimisation of the characteristics of rail and wheel dampers, rail pads and their interaction for rolling noise mitigation: DEUFRAKO (French-German scientific and technology cooperation project in the domain of surface transport between France and Germany) will be asked to extend this project to further participants. PTR members are requested to communicate their interest in participating in this project and to nominate additional experts in the corresponding SET.

S. Jank also presented further ideas on future projects:
- Optimisation of the interface between contact strip and contact wire (CoStrIM): this important proposal shall close knowledge gaps related to acceptable combination of contact wire and catenary materials. The results are expected to close an open point in the RST TSI, to reduce the number of pantographs on international vehicles and to optimize catenary maintenance regimes including an annual benefit of 25 Mio €..
DB and SNCF have already started a pre-project, NR and ATOC have also announced their interest. All PTR members are requested to commit to a participation in a multilateral project already in 2009. A detailed work plan is to be elaborated by SET 11 (traction and electrical equipment).

He finally presented the common European Train Requirements Database of UIC/PTR and UNIFE EUTREQ for Standards and Regulation (S&R) and reference for tendering. PTR agreed to use a new EUTREQ workflow for elaboration of new and for reviewing of existing UIC leaflets. The progress of the EUTREQ database and experiences with the application of the EUTREQ workflow will be disseminated to the PTR members.

PTR members took note of the Memorandum of Understanding on the edition and publication of common UIC – UNIFE Technical Recommendations (TecRec). The MoU will be signed after check of UIC legal department.

Some items have been postponed to the next Steering body meeting to be held on July 9th at UIC HQ:
1. Interoperable Measurements sites (IMS)
2. Application of a rail noise forecast tool
3. Train bus feasibility study

Gabriele Maffei explained a first draft PTR Budget 2010. The UIC T&R Department will send out a comprehensive documentation on proposed new projects for a first written vote and ask also PTR members to express their interest in some new project ideas.

Dennis Schut, EU Research Manager at UIC T&R Dept. in Brussels, gave some information about the upcoming 3rd call within the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme and the current work RCG and ERRAC and their interactions.

Enno Wiebe informed the members that the PTR workshop “Railways Research in Europe” will be held in Vienna, hosted by ÖBB on April 15th and 16th, 2009.
This workshop’s aim is to provide broad information about future railway research projects, possible ways of project participation, about UIC as service provider and information platform and funding methods for various project ideas. Moreover the workshop will offer a platform for information exchange and finding partners for intended research projects.

Detailed information will be provided in this workshop about the mission of the National Contact Points, the PTR Strategy Programme 2020, the work of ERRAC and the ERRAC Roadmap, FP 7 and the 3rd call with its freight focus, ways of funding outside the 7th Framework Programme and the financial framework and rules among others. This event is a unique chance to get informed about the global framework for rail research in Europe on the one hand and contacting potential partners for research projects and programmes on the other hand.

The PTR chairman considers this event as a good step for a common approach towards new railway research projects in Europe helping to shape our railways’ position for Europe in the year 2020. PTR members are again warmly invited to participate.

Steffen Jank informed that upon the request of the CER support group PTR members are kindly requested to check and comment on the TSI Rolling stock version 2.3 by April 20th, 2009. Louis Michielsen (NS) underlined the importance of the check for any PTR member, as the future TSI will be legally binding and build the frame for the railway business.

Helmut Klaus Schimany presented the EC action plan “Intelligent Transport System (ITS)” to all PTR members. UIC will distribute the draft EC documents with the PTR conclusions.

Finally Gabriele Maffei informed all participants that after more than 4 years spent in Paris he would leave the UIC very soon, his contract being finished by the end of March 2009. Nevertheless he’s been asked to be from time to time at UIC to deal with urgent matters until the end of May 2009. He thanked Mr. Mayer and all PTR participants for their excellent collaboration. Mr. Mayer made also a short speech to thank Mr. Maffei.
All participants wish good luck to Mr. Maffei for his future life back in Italy.

Please note that the next PTR Steering body is to be held on July 9th, 2009.

All PTR Members are invited to participate in the next PTR plenary session foreseen on October 15th, 2009.

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