Information published on 30 April 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 344.

UIC present at the 3rd ICRARE conference in Tehran via video message of UIC Director-General

  • Middle East

The third International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE2013), which takes place today at the Iran University of Science and Technology Tehran-Iran, aims to bring together engineers and researchers in the field to review and discuss the recent practical and theoretical methods/approaches and to address recent advances, technologies and innovations in all disciplines of Railway Engineering. After the successful experience of ICRARE2009, this conference is now globally recognised and addressed in this area of rail research. The conference is jointly organised by the Centre of Excellence in Railway Transportation – led by Associate Professor Davood Younesian, Dean of the School of Railway Engineering and Director of the Centre of Excellence – and the School of Railway Engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology.

UIC is participating in this 3rd ICRARE conference via a video message delivered by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General:

Esteemed Representatives of the Transport Authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Esteemed Dean, Professors and Researchers of the Iran University of Science and Technology Director and Professors of the Centre of Excellence in Railway Transportation, Dear Representatives of the Iranian Railways, Railway Industry and Rail Research, Dear Colleagues and Friends from Iran and Foreign countries,
It is for me a great honour and a personal pleasure to address authorities and all participants at the opening of this 3rd International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering, ICRARE 2013, organised by the Centre of Excellence in Railway Transportation of Tehran, and I take this opportunity to warmly thank Professor Davood Younesian, Director of this Centre of Excellence at the Iran University of Science and Technology, for his kind invitation to UIC and to me personally to participate in this event.

Unfortunately, the calendar of our international meetings does not allow me to be physically present today in Tehran, but as the Director General of the International Union of Railways, I would first like to convey warm wishes and sincere congratulations to all participants from the world railway community represented at UIC.
UIC is the unique international organisation representing railways at global level. It currently comprises 228 members, railway companies from over 90 countries and all continents, including several members from Iran such as RAI, METRA and NIROO Rail, several other companies currently applying for membership. UIC members are integrated railways, rail infrastructure companies, transport operators, or rail research bodies.

UIC was founded in 1922 with the mission of harmonising the conditions of construction and operations of railways at international level. During its 90 years of existence, its task has been progressively extended to all fields of international railway cooperation including technology, operations, safety and security, passenger and freight business, sustainability of rail transport, competence development and training issues, of research, etc. UIC is the definitive worldwide platform for cooperation among railways on all technical issues.

UIC’s mission can be summarised as follows: “promoting the development of rail transport across the globe, coping with the challenges of mobility and sustainable development”. In the frame of this mission, the newly elected UIC Chairman Vladimir Yakunin announced a number of strategic orientations for UIC in the years to come. First, the action will be guided according to three principles, the three “Is”: Involvement (Involvement of Member railways), Integration (International Integration) and Innovation (in particular through Research).

Among the strategic areas where UIC can contribute to the successful development of rail transport, the UIC Chairman mentioned the development of international freight corridors and better integration of railways in the world’s logistic systems, high speed operations, information technology on railways, security and safety, and improved integration of railways into urban public transport…

Another strategic issue for UIC is the development of International Rail Standards at global level. As railway professionals or researchers, you probably all know the UIC specifications and standards included in the approximately 700 so-called “UIC Leaflets”. These UIC specifications summarise the know-how and expertise of our members in all railway technical fields: infrastructure, rolling stock, safety and signalling equipment, etc. The objective now is to move towards the recognition of part of these UIC specifications as worldwide railway standards, in particular through our cooperation with ISO and other standard bodies. This objective is very important in the perspective of opening up rail industry markets, achieving worldwide interoperability and reducing costs.

UIC has become a leading actor in the field of railway research. Currently 180 international projects are either led or coordinated by UIC, among them a number of European R&D projects co-funded by the European Union and also involving the rail industry. These technical or research projects relate to all domains of railway activity. UIC also plays a leading and coordinating role in the European Rail Research Advisory Board which advises the EU on the future direction of Rail Research.

At global level, the UIC International Railway Research Board (IRBB) has the task of exchanging information and coordinating international activities between all main rail research bodies across the world. You can benefit from several activities including access to the Rail Research Portal (, participation in the next World Congress on Rail Research (25 – 27 November 2013 in Sydney, Australia), and participation of your University in research proposals, with the next UIC Research and Innovation Awards to take place at the end of 2014.

Iranian Railways are invited to participate in all technical activities and projects decided by UIC. Other actors such as Industry, Universities, Research bodies, are cordially invited to attend around 85 seminars, workshops, conferences, congresses, held every year on specialised topics of interest to the railways. Each week you can receive brief information on UIC’s life, meetings and main achievements.

Some other important cooperation activities are conducted at Regional level, within the UIC Middle-East Region. This UIC Region is chaired by the President of Turkish Railways and the 1st Vice Chairman is Mr. Abdol Ali Saheb-Mohammadi, Vice Minister of Transport and President of RAI in Iran. I take this opportunity to warmly thank and congratulate the action and leadership of Mr. Saheb-Mohammadi in this UIC Region and I assume that you will receive direct information on these activities from Iranian Railways.

So, again, I hope that this message will motivate some of you to play an active part in UIC projects, in particular technical projects aiming to make rail transport more attractive, more competitive and customer-oriented, more interoperable, more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly, more cost-effective, and finally more successful in all transport markets across the world.

On behalf of UIC and in my own name, I wish all of you a very informative and fruitful conference in Tehran! And thank you very much for your kind attention!"

Video of the UIC Director-General Address is available here: