The 1st FERROWORLD 2015 Global Forum under the theme “Train for All” was successfully held on 9 September in Geneva (Palexpo, Villa Sarasin).
This first edition of this FERROWORLD Global Forum initiated by Mr Alain Primatesta, aimed to promote reflection and exchanges at high level between the various stakeholders and players of rail transport, international institutions and organisations with responsibilities in the transport field, economic actors, industries, etc. Participants represented a number of global organisations and included participants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle-East.
The Plenary Session of FERROWORLD organised in form of a high level Round Table, provided an opportunity for rich and lively exchanges on the theme of the Forum “Train for All – The Railway of Tomorrow, Institutional Insights”.
Panellists were Mrs Eva Molnar, Director, UNECE Transport Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe-UNECE (Geneva), Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways UIC (Paris), Mr François Davenne, Secretary General, Intergovernmental Organisation for International Transport by Rail – OTIF (Berne), Mr Cesare Brand, Secretary General, International Rail Transport Committee – CIT (Berne).
HE Eng. Mohammad Khalid Al Suwaiket, President of Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) and Vice Chairman of the UIC Region Middle-East, provided an overview on the latest developments of the ambitious railway projects in Saudi Arabia and the Middle-East.
During this Plenary Session, the leaders of the main global organisations represented in FERROWORLD presented their own views as well as the views of their respective organisations on the main challenges to be coped with by railways in the years and decades to come: technical, operational and marketing challenges (the customer is now in the centre of the system), interoperability on a broader scale, in particular in view of intercontinental corridors, harmonisation of rail transport law at global level, etc.
In the afternoon, a message was delivered by Mr Luc Barthassat, Geneva State Councillor for the Environment, Transport and Agriculture, who warmly welcomed all participants in Geneva and highlighted the importance of the transport and environmental issues addressed during this FERROWORLD Forum.
A workshop, moderated by Trevor Garrod, Chairman of the European Passengers’ Federation, was also held on experiences in cross-border rail services, illustrated by the viewpoint of European rail passengers.