From 7 – 9 March 2013, Istanbul was home to the world’s third biggest railway event in its field. Among other issues the exhibition covered themes such as the Eurasia Railway, Rolling Stock, Infrastructure and Logistics. The 3rd EURASIA Rail event was organised in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Transport and UIC member TCDD. More than 17,000 professional visitors from 22 countries and 287 exhibitor companies from 25 different countries participated in the exhibition and congress.
EurAsia rail 2013 was officially opened by Mr Binali Yıldırım, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications. Among the other speakers were Mr Mario Garcés, Under-Secretary from the Ministry of Transport in Spain and Mr Süleyman Karaman, General Manager of Turkish State Railways (TCDD). During the opening session the topic of innovation was addressed through direct video communication with the board of directors of all the regional headquarters of Turkish State Railways on some impressive two-storey screens.
Apart from these high level speakers, a number of other executives also attended the exhibition and conference, such as:
- Benoit Schmitt, Executive Director for Europe & Africa, Deutsche Bahn, Germany
- Vaselin Vasilev, General Director of Railway Administration Executive Agency, Bulgaria
- Rafie Yousif Abbas, General Director of Iraq State Railways
- Enis Berisha, General Director of Kosovo Railway Regulatory Authority
- Jerry Kleniewski, Counsellor to the Minister of Poland Ministry of Transport
- Arion Adrian, General Director of Romania State Railways
Many other officials from Ministries of Transport and State Railways from neighbouring countries also attended.
The main themes of the conference which were presented and discussed were:
- Effects of railway restructuring on the sector and transportation
- Rapid freight transport
- Istanbul traffic and railway transport after the Marmaray Project
- Pricing of railway freight transport
- Railway safety
- Advances in rail vehicle technology
- Advances in substructure and superstructure technology
During the three-day conference, there were 31 professional speakers from the following countries: UAE, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, China, Argentina, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Spain, and Turkey.
UIC was presented by Dennis Schut, UIC Research Manager, who presented UIC, its mission, role and services. He went on to discuss the challenges for the rail system and the need for innovation. He gave a short insight into the European Commission Transport Policy (White Paper) and the projected “Single European Transport Area” and the important role and policy support for the rail freight system in particular. From there he made the link to UIC’s involvement in about 25 EC co-funded rail research projects, especially the ones focusing on innovation in many areas of rail freight transport.
Considerable interest was shown in the UIC presentation and especially the part on developments within the on-going freight projects, namely SPECTRUM, which will determine how to effectively integrate low density, high value, time sensitive freight services with existing passenger services without detriment to either service type, taking into consideration operational, technological and logistics requirements; SUSTRAIL designing the freight vehicle – track system for higher delivered tonnage with improved availability at reduced cost and MARATHON, which is designed to show the effectiveness of operating faster, longer and heavier freight trains on selected European routes, spearheading the modernisation of rail freight services.
For the first time during EURASIA, UIC was also represented at the exhibition with its own stand – and very well supported by a member of the TCDD staff – welcoming many interested parties and distributing a variety of its printed dissemination materials and brochures. Hot from the press, “Challenge 2050”, which had also been mentioned during the conference presentation, gathered a lot of interest and was soon “out of stock”.
At the 2012 edition of the Eurasia Rail Exhibition TCDD signed a contract of cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Bulgaria, reflecting how the exhibition represents a good opportunity to develop international collaborative relations regarding the strengthening of the local railway industry. At this year’s edition of Eurasia Rail, there are already several prepared agreements about to be signed both in the state and private sector of the field, so the exhibition will be officially visited by 10 delegations.
The next edition of EURASIA Rail will be held in Istanbul from 6 – 8 March 2014.
For detailed information on the EU Rail Freight research projects mentioned above, see www.marathon-project.eu, www.spectrumrail.info and www.sustrail.eu or contact Dennis Schut, UIC Research Manager at email@example.com.
For all your other rail research related questions, please consult our dedicated website www.railway-research.org