The latest UIC High Speed Plenary Committee and working group meetings took place from 26 to 28 October on board the SUPERFAST V, one of the ferries of the Attica Group, on the Ancona-Patras-Ancona sea route.
The meeting was chaired by Mr Michel Leboeuf (SNCF) and Mr Ignacio Barron de Angoiti, UIC Director for High Speed. The High Speed Plenary Committee included participants from Europe (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, etc.) as well as Asia (Japan) and America (USA).
In participating in the UIC High Speed Plenary Committee, Attica Group, the only member that is a company, is seeking to integrate high-speed sea lines into the high speed railway network in order to develop intermodal passenger and freight transport. The purpose of Attica Group’s participation is also to bring a greater focus on ports which can establish connections with high speed lines, and push forward the modernisation of the railway lines that can be connected by a sea link. The sea route can then become an integral part of a high speed line.
As is custom during these meetings, various UIC high speed activities were analysed and discussed: recent and ongoing work (study on future high-speed rolling stock needs, the “high speed handbook”, statistics, maps, etc.), studies being performed on work in progress (maintenance of high speed lines, high speed and the city, high speed and urban and rural planning, high speed’s contribution to sustainable mobility) and future projects (world maps, study on energy for high speed services, operational costs of high speed systems, database on high speed networks, assessment of track charges, KPIs and benchmarking, etc.). Particular attention was paid to cooperation between UIC High Speed and ATTICA and APTA (USA) respectively.
The High Speed Group’s emblematic activities are training for high speed systems (in Paris, the USA, etc.), the first Interaction Workshop on High Speed (South Korea, November, 2009) and the World Congress on High Speed (Beijing, December 2010).
Concerning the World Congress on High Speed, to be held in Beijing from 7 to 9 December 2010, the timing of the Superfast ferry trip was also the setting of the first meeting of the Scientific Committee. The initial draft of the Congress programme, its main theme and subjects, ideas for launching the call for tenders, etc, were discussed.
During the ship’s two-hour stay in Patras, Attica Group, in collaboration with ERGA OSE S.A. (subsidiary of the Hellenic Railway Organisation – OSE), gave a presentation on the evolution of the Hellenic railway network as regards high speed lines, providing a general overview as well as a focus on the Athens-Corinth-Patras high speed line.
The two-day meeting was concluded by a highly interesting technical visit of the ship’s equipment (control desk, main engines, etc.). Potential comparative studies between high speed by rail and on the sea (technical, business, market, etc.) were proposed.