Capacity-building for the development and operation of Dry Ports of International Importance – UNESCAP (Bangkok, 18 March 2014)

UNESCAP Seminar on Dry Ports of International Importance 2014 took place with the support of UIC and the Government of the Russian Federation at UNESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok from 18 – 19 March 2014. Following the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports by 14 members States on 7 November 2013, the seminar was meant to be a networking event between government officials and high-level experts, involved in the planning, design, development and operation of dry ports of international importance.

Experts and participants took an active part in the seminar and agreed that this primary objective had been fully met. The various interventions have shown agreements on the fact that the dry ports concept offers countries opportunities to improve their logistics industry, facilitate complementarity between different transport modes, reduce transport costs, minimise technical matters and that, to be successful, the process requires the involvement of a broad spectrum of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. The dry ports implementation can start on a limited scale with infrastructure and facilities being gradually expanded as volumes may come. Multiple integration is needed in logistics hubs, individual company strategy, and in national as well as intra-regional structures. If the combination of all these factors is achieved, there is a good chance that dry ports can be developed and operated successfully. This seminar was an opportunity to establish new friendships and new connections to build on as countries go through the process of developing dry ports of international importance.

Developed under the aegis of UNESCAP, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports will be open for signature at the UN headquarters in New York until 31 December 2014. It complements the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network that entered into force in July 2005 and the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network that entered into force in June 2009. All three agreements are administered by UNESCAP.


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Vote in the ILCAD drawing contest!

UIC has recently organised the 4th international drawing contest for children on level crossing safety as part of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) to take place on 3 June 2014.

This fourth edition has again been a great success with over 600 drawings:

  • 274 drawings in the 4 – 7 age group
  • 321 drawings in the 8 – 12 age group
  • And 5 in the “disabled children” category

from different countries around the world. We would like to thank all children, their parents and teachers.

The competition is now closed and the vote is open to all of you. You may choose only one drawing in each category.

Deadline to vote for your favourite drawing in each category: 11 April 2014.

Please use this link to vote for the 4 – 7 age group:,277.html

Please use this link to vote for the 8 – 12 age group:,275.html

Please use this link to vote for an additional category: disabled children,276.html

For each category click on the drawing you prefer. You will then see a number which you need to enter in the voting box.

The best drawings will be announced by 25 April and will be awarded a prize that will be communicated at a later date. The winning drawings will be uploaded to the ILCAD website in advance of the international campaign date of 3 June 2014 and may be exhibited during the campaign.

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


6th Market Place Seminar to be held next week in Trieste, Italy

The Market Place Seminar which UIC and FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, are jointly organising, is holding its 6th conference this year in Trieste, Italy, on 2 and 3 April. The previous editions in Prague, Barcelona, Istanbul, Hamburg and Vienna focused on Rail Transport in Eastern Europe, the French-Iberian Rail Link, Rail Transport connecting South-Eastern Europe and the Middle-East, Challenges of Intermodal Hinterland Traffic, and Intercontinental Corridors respectively.

The Market Place Seminar aims to create opportunities for increased cooperation and business development within the rail sector by offering a common platform for railway undertakings, freight forwarders and customers.

The overall topic of this event is “Strategic Interchange between sea and rail freight: What’s new?"

We will also discuss significant topics such as:

  • Trends and developments when connecting sea and rail modes;
  • New Central European Projects and innovative loading technologies;
  • Rail connectivity between hinterland and ports: corridors;
  • Best practice in rail shunting and IT terminal technologies.

The key aim of the seminar is to provide a lively exchange platform for railway undertakings, freight forwarders and customers, and their cooperation with sea carriers. By bringing together all participants of the logistics chain, we would like to create an opportunity to brainstorm effective transport solutions and attractive business opportunities. As in previous years, the conference will be conducted in a highly interactive format.

The seminar, which will take place at Trieste’s Government Palace, will be co-hosted by Fedespedi, Federazione Nazionale Delle Imprese Di Spedizioni Internazionali. The social event will be organised on 2 April and a visit of the port will take place after the conference on 3 April.

As we are keen to use this event to bring together business people from both Asia and Europe, we would like to inform you that simultaneous interpreting will be provided into and out of Russian, English and Italian.

You can find detailed information on this seminar regarding the venue, accommodation, registration as well as the latest version of the seminar programme on our website

  • Mrs. Maria Grazia Santoro (on behalf of the Government of the Friuli Venezia Giuliaregion)
  • Mr. Roberto Cosolini (Mayor of Trieste)
  • Mr. Mauro Moretti (CEO FSI – Trenitalia)
  • Mrs. Debora Serracchiani (Governor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region)
  • Mr. Francesco Parisi (Fiata President)
  • Mr. Ivan Petrov (Chairman of the Fiata WGRail - Co-chairman UIC/FIATA Contact Group)
  • Mrs. Marie Anne Menguy (SNCF – Co-chairlady UIC/FIATA Contact Group)
  • Mr. Piero Lazzeri (Fedespedi President)
  • FSI: Mr. Mario Castaldo
  • RCI/RCA: Mr. Roberto Castelnovo
  • Cemat: Mr. Gian Luigi Tacelli
  • Captrain: Mr. Mauro Pessano
  • Hupac: Mr. Alberto Grisone
  • Marcegaglia: Mr. Mario Leoni
  • U.N. Ro-Ro Isletmeleri A.S.: Mr. Sedat Gumusoglu
  • Central European new Projects and innovative loading technologies
  • Adria Kombi SLO: Mr. Rok Svetek
  • Metrans Danubia SLK: Mr. Kiss
  • Duslo Sala/Chemlog: Mr. Jaroslav Cermak
  • DHL Estonia: Mr. Claudio Richardson
  • CLECAT: Mrs. Nicolette van der Jagt
  • UIRR: Mr. Ralf-Charley Schultze
  • Unione Interporti Riuniti: Mr. Alessandro Ricci
  • RFI: Mr. Andrea Galluzzi
  • Rail Traction Company: Mr. Harald Schmittner
  • Fercargo: Mr. Giacomo Di Patrizi
  • Inrail: Mr. Guido Porta
  • Assoferr: Mr. Guido Nicolini
  • Hub telematica: Mr. Giorgio Cavo
  • DBA Lab: Mr. Riccardo Gajo
  • Fretless Idea: Mr. Paolo Righetti
  • Savona Port Authority: Mrs. Rossana Varna

2 Votes

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Netherlands to host the 2014 Brunel Awards’ International Railway Design Competition

UIC organising partner together with ProRail, NS and the Watford Group

On the occasion of 175 years of rail transport in the Netherlands and the 125th anniversary of Amsterdam Central Station, ProRail and Dutch Railways (NS) announced that the Netherlands will serve as host of the prestigious 2014 Brunel Awards’ International Railway Design Competition. The Brunel Awards is an initiative of the Watford Group of International Railway Designers, an organisation of railway professionals from 20 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The competition is jointly hosted by the International Union of Railways (UIC), NS and ProRail, the event organisers.

The Brunel Awards competition recognises and promotes the best in railway architecture, engineering, landscape and environmental design, product design, rolling stock design, graphic arts, and corporate branding amongst the world’s railways.

The competition is open to all public and private railway organisations that own or operate common carrier rail services on classic mainline or high-speed rail infrastructure, and public or private railroad infrastructure owner/managers. Projects must be completed between 1 January 2010 and December 2014. The deadline for submission is 31 May 2014. The awards will be presented at a formal ceremony in Amsterdam on 15 October 2014.

The Brunel Jury is chaired by the Dutch State Architect Frits van Dongen and composed of international design leaders.

The Brunel Awards were created in 1985 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of England’s Great Western Railway which was designed by the renowned British architect and engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The competition has been held at three-year intervals rotating among the member nations of the Watford Group and was last held in the United States in 2011.

Entry information and competition rules can be downloaded at

Invitation letter is available here:

Call for entries is available here:

Entry form is available here:

For further information please contact Rob Stringa, Watford Secretary:

6 Votes

Average rating: 2.83 / 5


1 – 3 April 2014 in Istanbul

All players involved in the implementation and development of ERTMS, ETCS, GSM-R across the world, will meet at the 11th UIC ERTMS World Conference jointly organised with Turkish State Railways (TCDD)

  • Registration on site will be available on 2 April at the Registration Desk in the HCC Centre

Over 450 delegates and exhibitors from 33 countries all over the world are already registered to participate in the 11th UIC ERTMS World Conference jointly organised with Turkish State Railways (TCDD) under the High Patronage of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications. All major actors involved in ERTMS – including ETCS for train control and GSM-R for radio communications for railways – will attend this unique international railway event and exchange on the latest developments and best practice.

Supply industries producing ERTMS, ETCS and GSM-R systems for railway operators and rail infrastructure managers will all be present with their solutions and achievements and actively participate as speakers in the various sessions, exhibitors at the trade show or sponsors of the event.

The main theme of the 11th UIC ERTMS World Conference is “ERTMS – Optimising Rail Investments Worldwide”. Specific sessions will be dedicated to user requirements, the state-of-the-art and target situation for ERTMS, the ERTMS supplier experience, reducing costs, implementation strategies, technological progress on ERTMS, etc.

Keynote speakers at the Opening Session will include Mr Lütfi Elvan, Turkish Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, Mr Süleyman Karaman, Director-General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and Chairman of the UIC Middle-East Region, Mr Marcel Verslype, Executive Director, European Railway Agency (ERA), Mr Philippe Citroën, General Director, European Rail Industries UNIFE, Mr Libor Lochman, Executive Director, CER, Mr Luc Lallemand, CEO of Belgian rail infrastructure manager Infrabel, EIM Vice Chairman, Mr Kari Kapsch, GSM-R Industry Group,…

On 1 April TCDD will organise technical visits which will focus in particular on the Marmaray link (tunnel under the Bosphorus) inaugurated last autumn and linking Europe to Asia by rail.

Representatives of international media are cordially invited to participate in the 11th UIC ERTMS World Conference.

For accreditation requests please complete the Media Registration Form and return it to the UIC Communications Department:

Media Registration Form:

To register please visit the following address: or contact Ms Barbara Mouchel, Conference Manager:

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Dr Choi Yeon Hye, CEO of KORAIL, visits UIC

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux was visited by Dr Choi Yeon Hye, the CEO of KORAIL, and shared views on the vision of a trans-continental railway network.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux congratulated Dr Choi on KORAIL’s entry to OSJD, saying it will “mark the starting point for realising the vision of a trans-Eurasian railway pursued by the Republic of Korea” and added that it is important to prepare in advance for any institutional and technical issues that could arise in the operation of a trans-continental railway, through cooperation with the member organisations.

UIC and KORAIL also agreed to further develop mutual cooperation.

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Save the Date! Training on Railway Security to be held in Rabat (ONCF Training Centre, 19 – 31 May 2014)

As part of the implementation of the 2013 action plan for the UIC African Region chaired by Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chief Executive of ONCF, the initiative to create specific training on railway security is a result of the new medium-term strategy entitled “Revitalisation of Railways in Africa – objective 2040” to support, through concrete actions, African railways in their process of upgrading and development. Special attention has been given to the aspect of “Security” which constitutes one of the undeniable strengths of rail transport, if not the key to its competitiveness and durability to serve the sustainable mobility of goods and services.

Following the successful 1st training session on railway security held within the UIC Africa Region in Rabat last year (rated more than 90% satisfactory), the UIC, in cooperation with ONCF is happy to open the registration for the 2014 cohort which will be able to participate in the 12 courses, three technical conferences given by UIC experts and three on-site technical visits in Morocco.

The programme will be the occasion for the participants to improve their knowledge in security and safety matters as well as to benchmark their local experience and create an international network due to the participation of railway experts within the world.

To register, please contact Mr Chandid: or Mr Belarbi:

1 vote

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The MAINLINE European railway project coordinated by UIC enters its third and final year

The MAINLINE European railway project coordinated by UIC with support from ARTTIC and funded under the 7th Framework Programme is now in its third and final year.
The objective of the project is to develop methods and tools contributing to an improved railway system by taking into consideration the whole life of specific infrastructure – tunnels, bridges, track, switches & crossings, earthworks and retaining walls.

The results of the project will enable a more effective planning of maintenance by the railway Infrastructure Managers (IMs). IMs will have access to new and improved renewal/strengthening/refurbishment solutions. MAINLINE will also provide them with evaluation tools capable of accurately comparing cost-efficiency on a whole life basis, taking into account traffic situation, environmental and economic criteria for specific assets.

The result produced so far is promising and the MAINLINE project is also keeping the foreseen time schedule and plans to end in September 2014.

In 2013 MAINLINE organised its first public event, a common workshop with another EU project, SMARTRAIL, funded under the same theme “Cost-effective improvement of rail transport infrastructure”. This workshop helped to identify common work areas and to set up meetings and efficient exchanges of data and deliverables.

As work progressed and the first results were available, MAINLINE partners attended many international events to present the project, including Bridges Asia Conference, Roads Australia Summit, Railway Solutions Asia, IABSE Conference, Railway Engineering Conference and European Transport Conference.

To start 2014 MAINLINE had the opportunity to attend a UIC Track and Structure joint meeting in January. The members of the Track Expert Group (TEG) and of the Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) were informed about project progress – methods for life extension and replacement of elderly infrastructure as well as development of the Life Cycle Assessment Tools – and planned events for the coming months.

MAINLINE will indeed organise three events in 2014 to communicate its results.

  • Workshop for Central and Eastern Europe life extension, exchange and monitoring, Life Cycle Assessment Tool (LCAT): 15 May 2014 in Budapest
  • Training session for the use of the Life Cycle Assessment Tool
  • 1st step: from 11 – 12 June in London
  • 2nd step: from 11 – 12 September at UIC in Paris
  • Final workshop presenting all the results of the project (LCAT, guidelines): 30 September 2014 in Paris

MAINLINE will also participate in a mini symposium at IABMAS 2014 in Shanghai in July:

Please visit the MAINLINE website:

For further information please contact Laurent Schmitt:

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5


Invitation to the EURAXLES Final Conference (Brussels, 29 April 2014)

We are pleased to invite you to the Final Conference of the EURAXLES project (, a key European project in the field of railway axle safety.

EURAXLES is a 3.5 year R&D project led by UNIFE – the Association of the European Rail Industry – uniting 23 partners across Europe and co-funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development.

This final event will be the occasion to present the main results and achievements of the project in relation to new approaches to axle design, improved axle protection against corrosion, alternative coating solutions, as well as results of investigation in NDT inspection methods.

The agenda for the event will be communicated to confirmed participants.

The event is free of charge. To register, please send an email to Léa Paties: by 11 April 2014.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Brussels.

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5


Photo contest organised in the context of a dedicated UIC Asia-Pacific eNews to be published soon

Prize for Best Railway Picture – Deadline 10 April 2014

UIC is organising a photo contest for the Asia-Pacific members.

The gallery will be published in a dedicated UIC Asia-Pacific eNews on 15 April 2014. Attractive prizes will be given to the best, nicest or most amazing picture of stations, rolling-stock, infrastructure, passengers or staff to be voted by 4800 e-News readers.

The ceremony will take place at the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly in Taipei on 13 May 2014.

Participate here:

1 vote

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members

Switzerland: study released by the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) on ballast projection

EPFL and SBB help to improve railway safety in winter

The results of an EPFL study on ballast projection in exceptional winter conditions have enabled SBB to take measures to improve track-side safety. SBB carries almost one million passengers a day in all weather, including particularly difficult winter conditions. With the aim of improving safety, in 2012 SBB mandated the EPFL Transport Centre to study the ballast projection phenomenon during cold spells.

The study allowed researchers to determine which areas were the most affected: typically the western and central parts of Switzerland registered the highest number of incidents. Researchers noted that in each case the maximum authorised speed on the stretch was between 140 – 160 km/hour, there was heavy snowfall along the stretch and often the train ran alongside a lake or river. One possible explanation is that snow-laden trains descending the Bern-Fribourg route warmed up in Lausanne, resulting in ballast spray along the Geneva-Lausanne stretch. It is also worth noting that many cases of flying ballast occur inside tunnels, particularly on the Olten-Basel stretch. There too, the warming of snow and ice blocks as the train passes through the tunnel could be the cause.

EPFL researchers have tried to identify all possible causes, looking, for example at wagons themselves. They also investigated at track level to determine if wheel passage across glued joints (between two rail sections), as well as on switches, could cause ice to fall and thus induce the flying ballast phenomenon. According to researchers, there are many possibilities to help better understand the evolution of the phenomenon. One of the measures taken by SBB is to impose speed restrictions on trains in heavy snow conditions.

EPFL researchers have also recommended addressing various weaknesses: replace glued joints by continuous welded rails in heavily populated areas, use recent ICN type trains on sensitive stretches and consider erecting noise barriers, which would also serve to stop potential flying ballast. With the aim of improving railway safety, in December 2012 SBB imposed local weather-dependent speed limits for a few hours. This caused delay to passengers, but it guaranteed maximum safety. The railway company also conducted additional wintertime inspections on rolling stock, lowered the ballast level to reduce the effects of falling ice blocks and treated the undercarriages with a lacquer to prevent ice from accumulating. As the winter of 2013 – 2014 has been rather mild, speed restrictions have not been necessary along the network.

(Source: SBB)

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

Belgium: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – EcoVadis awards Thalys “Gold” rating

Thalys has been awarded Gold Level ranking (7/10) by the CSR assessment platform operated by EcoVadis. Only 2% of the 20,000 companies assessed obtained this grade.

EcoVadis, a rating agency specialised in sustainable development and which has centralised projects and monitored initiatives since 2008 – notably carbon footprint measurement – operates a CSR assessment platform dedicated to responsible purchasing practices. The methodology and criteria are compatible with internationally recognised standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact and ISO 26000.

Thalys’ sustainable development report, with a twofold aim of transparency and raising public awareness, has been made available to all on its website (latest version posted online in December: 2013 addendum on the 2012 database):

The environmental performance report published by Thalys in December 2013 takes stock of the progress conducted and the projects launched for each key area: traction energy, onboard services and intermodality. The main points in this area for 2014 are as follows:

Traction energy: the figures used in Thalys’ carbon footprint results are henceforth audited by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – a first in the sector. A trial programme has been launched with prototype energy meters installed in a railway carriage.

Onboard services: considerable effort made by Thalys and its provider Railrest has reduced carbon emissions by 55% in catering operations between 2007 and 2011. The call for tender conducted by Thalys in 2014 includes the continued pursuit of these objectives.

Intermodality: Thalys’ carbon footprint reveals that the emissions produced by modes of transport used by passengers prior to and following Thalys are similar in magnitude to those directly linked to the Thalys journey. Against this backdrop, Thalys is pursuing the programme launched in 2005 to simplify any movements before and after the Thalys journey by facilitating access to less polluting alternatives, in particular with other operators in the transport sector.

(Source: Thalys)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


International seminar on the occasion of 100 years of railways in Morocco and 50 years of ONCF:

The EIB Contribution

Previous editions of the UIC newsletter ‘UIC e-news’ included reports on the International Railway Seminar that was jointly organised by Moroccan Railways (ONCF) and UIC on 6 March in Marrakech.
Under the overall title “Railways between Past, Present and Future”, the seminar provided a unique opportunity to exchange in the frame of three round tables on:

  • Rail Visions for the Revitalisation of Railways in all parts of the world,
  • the challenges of international harmonisation, railway standardisation,
  • Societal and managerial challenges for railways: financing, sustainable development, security, educational and management programmes,...

We are very pleased to publish the English translation on the speech entitled “Challenges of Investment and Financing” held in Marrakech during the round table on “Societal and managerial challenges” by Mr Henry Marty-Gauquié, Director, Liaison with International Organisations, EIB Group Representative in France.

His address is available here:

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UIC calendar

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 25 March 2014

  Contact the UIC e-News team