In its effort to become an official UIC working body, the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) has come to an agreement on its Terms of Reference, which Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux presented, together with the chairmanship nomination and IRRB’s future action plan, at the UIC General Assembly in Beijing on 6 December 2010. The IRRB new Charter and Strategic Paper (setting out the IRRB’s activities) will be further developed by the chair team who will then implement it in 2011 together with a standard IRRB agenda.
Mr Loubinoux has put forward a “team” for the IRRB chairmanship in order to match various aspects (political, balance between the members, regional/global aspects and technical approach), composed of one chairperson – Mr Boris Lapidus (RZD – VNIIZhT) and three vice-chairs Mr David George (CRC), Mr Jens Engelmann (DB AG) and Mr Andy Doherty (NR). The IRRB members approved the idea of a complementary “team” for this transverse body with the right balance between the chair and three team members. The Research Unit of the UIC Fundamental Values Department will provide the secretariat to support IRRB’s activities. The chair “team” will also develop links with the other UIC statutory bodies.
The IRRB members confirmed their desire to support the World Congress Railway Research (WCRR) and are looking to promote knowledge-sharing more widely in cooperation with the WCRR which will be held from 22 to 26 May 2011 in Lille. The next IRRB meeting will be aligned with the WCRR for closer and more efficient cooperation. Mr David George (CRC), participating in IRRB activities as well as in the WCRR Organising Committee, will serve as the “linking pin” between both bodies.
Dennis Schut presented the background of the recently developed Railway Research Portal provided by UIC, followed by Nadia Debachy demonstrating a demo-version of the portal and its functionalities. The initiative was very much welcomed as an important tool for UIC members, with compliments received on the design and achievement to date. The Railway Research Portal will be operational from early 2011 and open to all, except for restricted internal research documents, which will only be accessible to UIC members via the UIC Extranet.