From 8 to 10 July 2015, the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering (MIIT) hosted a UIC training session intended for member countries of the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly of UIC. The subject of the session, chosen last year by the members of the UIC Asian Pacific Network of Rail Training Centres, was entitled “Reforms in railway sector: experience and optimal decision-making”.
It was attended by about 30 participants and speakers, representing railway companies from countries in Asia (Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia) and Europe (Belgium, France, Lithuania, Portugal), Kazakhstan, and the JSC “Russian Railways”, at the level of department heads and leading experts. The session saw special participation of OSD Executive Secretary Attila Kiss. The session was organised as part of the Expertise Development unit, whose head, Nathalie Amirault, presided over the training session on behalf of the UIC.
When he opened the training session, Prof. Boris A. Lievin, rector of host MIIT University, outlined the importance of bringing together key of representatives of railway companies and organisations in the Asian and European regions for professional dialogue under UIC, and the bridging role played by the MIIT University in interconnecting training issues common to both continents. He also focused on the growing role that the MIIT University would be able to play in this context as it has recently acquired the status of an affiliated member of UIC. The systemic nature of railway reform was underlined, a concentrated approach of solving technical, engineering, administrative, economic and financial problems while taking account of regional and national particularities.
The Head of the UIC Expertise Development unit, Natalie Amirault, inaugurated the session by emphasising the interrelation of railway talent development, the importance of raising a new generation of leaders and the broad exchange of international experience for the qualitative promotion of railways.
The training session was a special success as a meeting point for active professional contribution and dialogue, interactive discussion and the intensive exchange of experience by managers and senior experts who could use their double speaker-participant role to become better acquainted with the practices of their colleagues. Another feature was an interregional discussion which led to a wider comparative overview of approaches to the implementation of railway reform in integrated regional and interregional environments such as OSJD 1520, the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Community and the UIC.
The session provided a forum for the discussion of programmed functional and operation issues of rail reform and restructuring, including changing legal regulations, the scale and scope of business and public involvement in decision making and implementation of reforms, fission of infrastructure maintenance and transportation activities, liberalisation, tariff regulation, corporate governance and management, shaping out of optimal management systems, and the role of staff training aimed at improving employees’ involvement in achieving the objectives of the reforms. More than 20 reports and presentations on best practices in the UIC, OSJD, Russia, Vietnam, Korea, Belgium, Lithuania and France were made and discussed.
Under the guidance of Evgeny Yu.Zarechkin, the Head of the Centre for HRM and social engineering, the participants summarised the session’s results, underlining the usefulness of discussing international best practices for the development of their national railway management and corporate governance systems. The growing impact of regional and interregional cooperation was noted by Vytautas Kinderis, the representative of the UIC Standardisation Platform, as well as the development of integration mechanisms and interregional and interorganisational standardisation, which, while maintaining full consideration for national features, require rational adaptation to the rail reforms. Participants also noted the expediency of further dialogue in a wide format and running such events for discussion of the most topical issues of reform.
Participants at the training session had the opportunity to get acquainted with the scientific and educational activities of MIIT, its training centres (multimodal transportation, freight stations, prototyping), and the recently opened museum of mechanical construction sets. With the assistance of JSC “Russian Railways”, they also visited the Railway Museum of its Moscow branch and the training facilities of the Presnya branch of Moscow’s centre of development of staff professional competences.