All our eNews are a very practical and precise means of communication to give our 5000 subscribers around the world a weekly update and current information on all our UIC actions and activities. Dedicated eNews editions also allow the possibility to place special focus on important topics such as recent eNews being prepared on stations, research or high speed.
It can also be the best way to explain to all our subscribers the main activities and developments which are occurring in our UIC regions. Such is the intention with this issue dedicated to our Asia-Oceania UIC region. Among our five UIC regions, Asia-Oceania is very important, geographically, politically, and economically, as well as for rail activity and development around the world.
While UIC in total represents one million kilometres of railway lines, 10,000 billion tonne kilometres and 3000 billion passenger kilometres every year, the Asia-Oceania region represents a quarter of the network, 40% of the tonne kilometres and 75% of the passenger kilometres.
UIC Asia-Oceania counts 39 members, among which three are the biggest railways in the world: from west to east Russian Railways - RZD, Indian Railways and Chinese Railways. This region, with a relatively sustained economic growth rate, is also developing a large number of railway projects for intra-city and inter-city mobility with a number of high speed links and projects, but also for freight corridors linking Europe with eastern markets.
As highlighted in our Strategic Action Plan for UIC Asia-Pacific, this region has a number of very interesting projects such as, to name a few, the development of inter-continental corridors, the linking of South Korea with the Chinese railway network and further on to Europe-Asia transport links, the development of missing links between India and Myanmar for instance, or another railway project linking the various countries in South Asia under the Great Mekong Project linking Singapore with Kunming in China.
UIC is developing a very active programme of workshops, training sessions and technical projects with its Asian members.
I can highlight the optimisation of sleeper design, the layout of the driver’s cab in railway vehicles, the non-destructive testing and cost-effective rail maintenance strategy, the development of long heavy haul freight trains or the various training sessions organised through our IRaTCA training body.
I should also mention that in this region we can already see several high speed lines in operation and several others in preparation. This will be highlighted with the organisation in one year from now of the 9th High Speed Congress organised with JR East in Tokyo, where the first high speed train started running 50 years ago.
I hope that this dedicated issue of regional eNews will bring all our members and all our subscribers in the world some better inside information on the activities of our members and the role that UIC is coordinating with them for the better promotion of rail at the service of the mobility of goods and people.