The Steering Board meeting of the Rail System Forum took place on 15 May 2012 in Paris and was chaired by Zbigniew Szafrański from PKP PLK. Mr Szafrański will hand over the chairmanship at the end of June 2012.
Emilio Maestrini will retire as Director of the Rail System Department at the end of May. UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux announced Hans Günther Kersten from DB AG – selected as one of 14 candidates – as his successor.
The Steering Board discussed the future financing of UIC Leaflets and whether they should be considered as “global” or “European” in terms of which budget funds them. This issue will be discussed further at the forthcoming UIC General Assembly in July in Philadelphia.
An updated version of the “RSF Outlook and Vision” document including an annex on the criteria for essential projects was presented by Mr Szafrański. All Steering Board members agreed to propose this revised version for approval at the next RSF Plenary Session in October.
The five Sector Chairmen (Andy Doherty, Michele Elia, Joachim Mayer, Pierre-Etienne Gautier and Sam Berggren) gave short summary reports on their respective areas, and Andrea Schaer, one of the two new RCG chairmen, was welcomed as a new member of the Steering Board.
Andy Doherty, Sector Chairman, reported on the main activities in the Track & Structures Sector including the ongoing Innotrack dissemination, inputs delivered by the Panel of Structural Experts to EN 1991-2 and EN 15528 about dynamic behaviour of bridges induced by multiple train units, and the future question of the impact of lighter vehicles for Infrastructure.
Joachim Mayer, Rolling Stock Sector Chairman, gave a summary of the Steering Committee meeting held the day before and highlighted subjects such as the updating of UIC standardisation of TCMS on rolling stock with regard to how to operate a train and standardisation of interfaces, TecRec (Technical Recommendations) and also whether any benefits could be gained by light weight materials for rolling stock and operators.
CCS & OPE Sector Chairman, Michele Elia, was represented by UIC CCS coordinator George Barbu, who gave a detailed report on the work carried out in the field of Regional ERTMS, now in commercial use in Sweden (Borlänge-Malung), the finalisation of the EU INESS Project (Integrated European Signalling System) and the effects of having signed the ERTMS MOU. In this context the sector has established priorities such as the consolidation of the ERTMS Regional Specifications, use of INESS results by means of TecRecs in cooperation with UNIFE, and forwarding the research for the future use of satellite navigation technology (GNSS) in the area of ETCS.
In the radio domain important emphasis has been given to identification of interferences and awareness of solutions for their elimination, and the future use of GPRS in compatibility with existing telecommunications.
Pierre-Etienne Gautier, Sector Chairman for Train Track Interaction, updated members on the main projects, namely the Y/Q effect of vehicle instability on track fatigue and resistance and a proposal within the 6th call of the 7FP about track optimisation and monitoring for further noise reduction.
Energy Management Sector Chairman Sam Berggren reported on the updating of Energy Leaflets as well as the progress of work for revision of Leaflet 797 (Coordination of protection) with the first draft available in October 2012.
The Chairman of the Asset Management Working Group, Dominique Gardin, was represented by UIC Senior Advisor Teodor Gradinariu, who updated members on the Lasting Infrastructure Cost Benchmarking (LICB), among other topics. The LICB database comprises information collected over the last 15 years and represents a valuable tool for infrastructure managers for the calculation of their maintenance costs. In this context members of the RSF Steering Board discussed the issue of geographical and financial data transmission via GIS technology and both PKP and ÖBB confirmed that they were already linking financial and asset data within their railways.
Andrea Schaer, Joint Chairman of RCG (Research Coordination Group), reported on research issues of the FP7 6th Call, the status of the ERRAC Roadmap, and gave an overview of RCG actions planned in 2012.
Stefano Guidi, Chairman of the Standardisation Working Group (SWG), gave a progress report on the work carried out by this group since its creation in early 2011. The Rail System Forum is responsible for 394 Leaflets which have now been divided into groups and categorised by the Working Group in close cooperation with the RSF Sectors and expert groups. 91 leaflets have been selected to be transferred into an “International Rail Standard”. This selection will be presented to the General Assembly for approval in July.