Thursday 23 August 2012
Middle-East / High-Level Conference


1st week of November 2012:

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High-level conference “Rail Vision, Projects and Perspectives for the Middle-East – towards a Competitive, Integrated, Rail Transport System for the Region” will be hosted by ARC and JHR in Amman, Jordan

The high-level conference “Rail Vision, Projects and Perspectives for the Middle-East”, prepared in the framework of the UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle-East (RAME) – bringing together the railways of the Middle-Eastern region – and currently chaired by Mr Süleyman Karaman, President and CEO of Turkish State Railways (TCDD), will be hosted by Aqaba Railway (ARC) and Jordan Hejaz Railway (JHR) (both UIC members), in the first week of November 2012 in Amman, Jordan.

The invitation has been confirmed by both Director-Generals, Eng. Hussein Krishan for Aqaba Railway, and Mr Salah Al Louzi for Jordan Hejaz Railway.

This high-level conference is one of the most important activities planned in the 2012-2013 Action Plan of the UIC Middle-East Regional Assembly. This event, initially planned at the end of 2010, had to be postponed due to the crisis situation and internal developments in a number of Arab and Middle-Eastern countries.

The main objectives will consist in:

- Presenting the current status of railway projects in the Middle-Eastern region that are marked by a high number of extremely dynamic changes in the sector (high-speed rail plans, plans for new networks, rail freight corridors and land bridges, new cross-border connections or re-connections, multimodal joint ventures, etc.), underlining the regional coherence of all these projects

- Highlighting the future role of railways in the region in terms of transport policy and sustainable mobility objectives

- Gaining the support of governments, international/regional organisations (in view of international agreements, MoUs, etc.), financial institutions at global or regional level, investors from the private sector, business partners, etc., to encourage these projects

- Attracting interest from potential users or partners of rail companies: ports, shipping lines, intermodal operators, industries such as automobile, oil industries, etc.

- Encouraging governments and railway authorities from the region to work from the beginning towards a genuine regional dimension of the Middle-Eastern rail network, pay close attention to issues of technical harmonisation, interoperability and international railway standards. This need includes technical, operational, commercial, social as well as legal and regulatory interoperability

Transport Ministers of Middle-Eastern countries will be invited to present the challenges for rail transport in their respective national transport policies.
Presidents and CEOs of RAME railways will present their national development plans and their contribution to a regional Middle-Eastern rail transport system (through cross-border connections, new lines, intercontinental corridors, etc.).
High-level representatives of international organisations, regional bodies and financial institutions will be also invited to present the contributions and tools that their respective institutions can provide to support these railway developments in the interest of Middle-Eastern populations.

This high-level conference in Amman will definitively mark a milestone in the development of an international cooperation between railways at regional level.

More detailed information on the conference programme and conditions for registration will be available within the next week.

For more information please contact Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East:

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View of Amman's old town with the ancient Roman theatre
Hejaz railway station in Amman
Diesel locomotive of Aquaba Railway Company (ARC) – freight train carries phosphate from mines at Al-Hassa to the port of Aqaba (260 km)