Michele Mario Elia, CEO of RFI and Chairman of the Rail System Forum welcomed over 40 railways to the 7th Plenary Session which was held on 24 October 2013 at UIC in Paris.
UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, opened the session with very strong and encouraging words to members of this technical platform which in itself carries out about 80% of all UIC projects.
RSF’s Five Sector Chairman – Thomas Joindot, Pierre-Etienne Gautier, Sam Berggren, Joachim Mayer, Andy Doherty – presented personally or via delegation their ideas for future International Railway Standards (IRS) and outlined their respective work plans for 2014.
UIC Senior Advisors had the opportunity to list a number of deliverables obtained in the course of 2013 with two reports distributed to members, namely the “IP introduction to Railways” and the “15 year benchmarking report – LICB”.
Simon Fletcher, Director of the UIC European Region, informed members of the latest development of the Shift2Rail initiative. Several members expressed their interest to participate on behalf of the Railway Operating Community.
Gianfranco Cau, UIC Senior Advisor, presented a provisional list of leaflets to be proposed for updating in 2014 for the Rail System. He invited SET (Sector Experts Team) and programme managers who have not yet sent in their contributions to do so and thus help to finalise and improve the presented list.
Piero Petruccioli, UIC Senior Advisor, presented a first vision on the status of ETCS in commercial operation in 2013 in Europe and updated the audience on the current situation of ETCS and Implementation on Corridors A and B.
George Barbu explained that the experience of Trafikverket and Bombardier in Sweden would be a most valuable contribution to a study on the potential use of ERTMS Regional on low traffic lines that UIC is going to carry out for the Institute of Traffic and Transport Ljubljana.
A major decision was approved by the Plenary:
The Rail System Forum decided upon the approval of a Master document in the English language for all future RSF leaflet approvals. Once the English Master document is approved the translation into French and German will be undertaken immediately. A quality check on the technical and linguistic content will be guaranteed by the UIC L&T department.
Consequently it was suggested to undertake a general revision of version 21.0 of the RSF Terms of Reference (TOR) approved in October 2011 with regard to changed proceedings of the leaflet approval and new topics such as Global Standardisation and IRS – both missing in the old version of the TOR. Members were requested to send their comments or approval of the new TOR version 22.0 to UIC by 4 November 2013.
It has been further decided that a parallel enquiry for comments/approval will be undertaken for four Leaflets in the Combined Transport area. The leaflets have been produced by members of the SET 03 (Sector Experts Team dealing with Freight related items), under the chairmanship of Stefano Guidi, Trenitalia. This unusual procedure has been accepted to avoid delay, and in order to allow them to enter into force in January 2014.
A number of Leaflets in the Rolling Stock and Energy Management Sectors were approved during the session following valuable comments received by SNCF and RFI.
A total of 19 Leaflets have been either updated or produced by the Rail System Forum and its Technical Experts in 2013.