News from UIC members

U.S. DOT announces $10 million TIGER grant to Extend Amtrak Service to Burlington

Project includes new passenger platforms in Middlebury, Vergennes, and Burlington

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg joined Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and U.S. Congressman Peter Welch at an event on May 6 to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide $10 million to extend Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express passenger train service all the way to Burlington, Vermont. Currently, the service begins in New York City and stops in Rutland, Vermont.

“Transportation is always about the future. If we’re just fixing today’s problems, we’ll fall further and further behind. We already know that a growing population and increasing freight traffic will require our system to do more,” said Secretary Foxx. “In this round of TIGER grants, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future: safer, more innovative, and more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America.”

The $10 million grant will fund approximately 11 miles of new rail track along the state-owned line and three passenger platforms in Middlebury, Vergennes, and Burlington. The project will also reduce long-term maintenance costs for the state, allow passenger trains to operate up to 60 miles per hour and enhance safety at multiple railroad crossings.

The project is one of 39 federally funded transportation projects in 34 states selected to receive a total of nearly $500 million under the Department’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2015 program. Secretary Foxx announced project selections for this round of TIGER grants on October 29, 2015. The Department received 627 eligible applications from 50 states and several U.S. territories, including tribal governments, requesting 20 times the $500 million available for the program, or $10.1 billion, for needed transportation projects.

“This is a day Burlington has been waiting a long time for – this funding will help not only take us back to a time when passenger rail extended to Burlington, but more importantly, it will take us into the future,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E Feinberg.
With this latest round of funding, TIGER continues to invest in transformative projects that will provide significant and measurable improvements over existing conditions. The awards recognize projects nationwide that will advance key transportation goals such as safety, innovation, and opportunity.

This grant is part of the seventh round of TIGER grants since 2009, bringing the total grant amount to more than $4.6 billion provided to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including 134 projects supporting rural and tribal communities. Demand for the program has been overwhelming: to date, the U.S. Department of Transportation has received more than 6,700 applications requesting more than $134 billion for transportation projects across the country.

(Source: US Department of Transportation)

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News from UIC members

Norway: Tunnel excavators heading for Norway

Two of the four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) customised for the rock conditions in the Follo Line Project are now ready from the factory. The second TBM for this Norwegian large scale project has now been accepted by Jernbaneverket at Herrenknechts factory in Germany.

Another two tunnel borers are still in production, and the four will be operational by the end of this year. The TBMs will work their way through Norwegian granite and produce the whole 18,5 km TBM-tunnel by the end of 2018 according to plan. Starting from the installation site in Åsland, two will head northwards to the capital of Oslo, the other two will head south towards the regional transport hub at Ski.

“The excavation method for the main part of the long tunnel in the Follo Line Project was decided at the end of 2012, after careful consideration. For this project in particular, TBM was considered the best solution due to the environment and the fact that we have access to one large rig area for the total TBM tunnel construction work. We are impressed by the TBM production, and are pleased to see two TBMs now finished one year after the contract was signed. We are looking forward to our further cooperation”, said Mrs Anne Kathrine Kalager, Project Manager TBM for the client Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket).

Largest Norwegian tunnelling contract to date
The joint venture between the Spanish company Acciona and Italian Ghella was awarded the 1 billion euro contract by Jernbaneverket in the spring of 2015 for the TBM tunnelling.

Fernando Vara, Project Director at Acciona Ghella Joint Venture, said, “The cooperation between Herrenknecht, Jernbaneverket and AGJV has been very good, which is reflected in a delivery ahead of schedule, with good quality.”

Start in September
The now completed TBMs will arrive at the construction site in pieces and be assembled in an underground cavern at the construction site. According to plan, the first TBM will start boring towards Oslo in September 2016, the second one month later.

Double Shield TBMs are among the most technically sophisticated tunnel boring machines. They combine the functional principles of Gripper and Single Shield TBMs in one machine. In stable geological conditions, combining these methods permits the installation of concrete segments parallel to the drive, resulting in very high performance rates. This powerful technology is ideal for the construction of the future longest tunnel in Scandinavia.

TBMs excavate rock using cutter disks in the cutter head at the front of the machine. Inside the TBM, there are a number of installations, including a conveyor for the transport of rocks and the lining of concrete segments.

The twin railway tunnels made by the TBMs will be 8.75 metres in internal diameter, and 18.5 km long. In total, the tunnel will have a length of 20 km. The four TBMs will each have a length of 150 m and weigh 2400 tonnes.

(Source: Jernbaneverket)

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News from UIC members

Russia: RZD will make every effort to ensure that journeys are more comfortable and that passengers notice service improvements

A joint meeting of the heads of Russian Railways and the Russian Federal Service for the Surveillance of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing – known in Russian as Rospotrebnadzor – was held in Moscow on 10 May 2016.

The meeting was attended by the President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, the Head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova, the Vice-President of Russian Railways Mikhail Akulov, the Head of Rospotrebnadzor for Rail Transport Yuri Kaskov and the Deputy Chairman of the Consumer Council for Russian Railways Kirill Yankov.

In his address to the meeting, Oleg Belozerov expressed his thanks to the Federal Service for Surveillance for its cooperation in implementing the agreement signed between the two organisations in December 2015.

“We understand the need for independent control, and we know that you will accurately provide that control for us,” said the President of Russian Railways. “The mechanism for our interaction, which includes regular summaries of the results, has already been launched, and we are now seeing the impact and the changes.”

The President of Russian Railways also cited the results from a study carried out by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM), the oldest marketing and opinion research company in the post-Soviet space, according to which 47% of respondents who had travelled long distance in the last year had noted positive changes in rail transportation, while 32% of Russians were fully satisfied with the quality of service on the railways and another 40% were “rather satisfied.”

“Our task is to do everything we can to increase the number of our passengers. This will be possible if the entire passenger infrastructure – from the stations, platforms and trains through the ticket offices to the online services – is convenient, if the quality of service is predictable, reliable and good, and our employees are polite and always ready to help,” said Oleg Belozerov.

Anna Popova in turn highly praised the Company’s social position and in particular stressed the measures that it has put in place in the children’s transportation segment in the run-up to the summer season. From 1 June to 31 August 2016, children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 will receive a 50% discount on journeys in second-class and common carriages, carriages with seating in the categories long-distance “fast” and “passenger” trains on domestic routes, and 2nd and 3rd class carriages in multiple unit rolling stock.

“The role of the railways in facilitating summer holidays is very significant,” said Anna Popova. “For us it is always a high-risk period, and I am sure that together we can reduce this risk to a minimum, and even better, reduce it to zero.”

For his part, Oleg Belozerov promised that the Company would make every effort to ensure that journeys would become more comfortable and that passengers would notice more and more that the service is improving noticeably.

“In order to make ticket purchases more convenient, we have launched a new mobile application which enables passengers to buy tickets for long-distance trains without any commission,” said Oleg Belozerov. “We are testing the Unified Service Portal platform. Once passengers have registered and connected to Wi-Fi at the departure station, they will be able to continue using the Unified Service Portal on the train and have access to content.”

Speaking about the procurement of rolling stock, Oleg Belozerov noted that, in addition to upgrading suburban electric trains and high-speed trains, Russian Railways also planned to renew its fleet of second-class carriages for long-distance trains.

“We have conducted market research and come to the conclusion that we have to retain the economy class carriages,” said the President of Russian Railways. “We need second-class carriages, not only for specialised transportation, for example to carry groups of children. This is a service that is in general in demand, that people want to use. But there should, of course, be other second-class carriages which are more comfortable. We therefore plan to replace the old rolling stock with new carriages over the next four years.”

(Source: RZD)

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News from UIC members

Japan: New appointments at East Japan Railway Company

At its meeting held on 17 May 2016, the Board of Directors made a determination to propose Representative Director changes and nominate Director and Corporate Auditor candidates for election at the 29th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 23 June 2016.

The candidates comprise current Directors other than those who will retire at the conclusion of such Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, as well as new Director and Corporate Auditor candidates.

The relevant resolutions are expected to be adopted at the 29th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders and the meeting of the Board of Directors to be held thereafter.

To see the full details of the appointments please click here:

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Fourth UIC World Congress on Rail Training 2017: “Unite, Inspire, Connect”

Less than three weeks left to submit your abstracts!

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 10 June 2016

Further to the success of the previous WCRT (World Congress on Rail Training) editions (over 200 participants from 40 countries (Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Middle East) attended the third WCRT in Lisbon in 2015), UIC together with its partners, DB Training, Learning & Consulting and SNCF, are pleased to announce the fourth UIC World Congress on Rail Training, which will be held at DB Akademie, Potsdam/Berlin, Germany, from 5 – 7 April 2017.

The World Congress on Rail Training 2017 is being organised at the initiative of the UIC Expertise Development Platform, which draws its expertise from the regional Rail Training Centre Networks (Europe, Asia, Middle East,.). Its main purpose is to enhance workforce development through sharing best practice in rail training across the entire industry.

The key congress aims are to:

  • Promote excellence in railway training through best practice models
  • Highlight research findings in this area which bring innovation and have practical application to the industry
  • Identify new challenges for training and training technologies
  • Provide a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experience amongst training professionals and managers

The congress is targeted at human resources and training directors, training executives, training and workforce development experts. The congress will be held in English, French and German.

You can obtain more information about the call for abstracts as well as submit one at the following link:

Further information about the congress (how to become a partner/sponsor, registration fees) will follow later.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of Unit – Expertise Development:

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News from UIC members

Russia: “We intend to actively develop cooperation with Iran in the sphere of railway transport,” says President of Russian Railways

Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways, Abbas Akhund, Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Mohsen Pour Seyed Agay, President of Iranian Railways, have held a meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran.

At the meeting, the parties discussed the prospects of cooperation between Russia and Iran in developing the railway infrastructure of the Caspian Sea region, as well as attracting additional cargo traffic to rail.

“The potential for our cooperation is now very far from being fully realised,” said Oleg Belozerov. “At the same time, Russian Railways and Iranian Railways have accumulated experience in the joint implementation of infrastructure projects. In 2012, Russian Railways completed the electrification of the Tabriz - Azarshahr railway line.”

During the meeting with the President of Iranian Railways, the subject of a direct rail link along the west branch of the North - South International Transport Corridor was discussed. This project envisages the construction of the Rasht - Astara railway line, which will connect the railway networks of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. The new infrastructure will facilitate faster freight delivery between Europe, the Persian Gulf and South Asia.

The sides also discussed the conditions for the implementation of the project to electrify the 495-kilometre Garmsar - Ince Burun line, including the 203 km which pass through a mountainous area. The modernisation of this infrastructure will increase train capacity and speeds.

Following the meeting, a protocol was signed on the main directions of further cooperation between Russian Railways and Iranian Railways. The document was signed by Oleg Belozerov and Mohsen Pour Seyed Agay. The parties will continue to work to realise joint projects, strengthen cooperation and attract additional freight traffic to the North - South International Transport Corridor.

The delegation of Russian Railways also took part in the First International Conference on Cooperation between Railways, Ports and Oil Producers, which was organised with the participation of the International Union of Railways as part of RailExpo 2016. In his speech at the conference, Oleg Belozerov noted that foreign economic cooperation between Russia and Iran was now going from strength to strength, which in turn is leading to increases in the volume of rail traffic.

“If last year there was a decrease in traffic volume on railway transport, the first four months of 2016 the transportation of goods between Russia and Iran has seen an increase of more than 25%,” said Oleg Belozerov.

Belozerov also noted that the development of railway connections between Iran and Russia has great potential. For its part, Russian Railways is doing everything possible to ensure unhindered freight flows across the Russian territory. The Company is developing approaches to the ports of the South Basin and Astrakhan transport hub and provides a range of transportation and logistics services in the direction of the North - South International Transport Corridor.

Oleg Belozerov, who is also chairman of the International Union of Railways, said that Iranian Railways were an active participant in the UIC’s Middle East Assembly and that collaboration in international organisations also strengthens cooperation, attracts additional cargo and promotes and develops railway business on the Eurasian continent.

“We intend to actively develop cooperation with Iran in the field of rail transport in both bilateral and multilateral formats, which facilitates the sustainable development of our economies,” said Oleg Belozerov.

(Source: RZD)

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UIC participated in the International Transport Forum (ITF) from 18 – 20 May 2016 in Leipzig

UIC actively participated in the 2016 Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) held from 18 to 20 May 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, under the Presidency of Hans Christian Schmidt, Transport Minister of Denmark.

This year, over the course of three days, more than 1,000 participants from 70 countries attended the International Transport Forum Summit. Among them 38 Ministers and Vice Ministers, as well as leaders from the economy and transport industry, representatives from international organisations, awareness associations and international media who met and discussed together the central role played by transport for societies in the framework of 55 sessions and events.

ITF’s 2016 Summit organised this year on the theme of “Green and Inclusive Transport” explored the importance of low-carbon transport as an essential element in the transition to a green growth economy as well as the changes needed to make transport more inclusive.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, was invited by ITF to represent the global rail sector and express the intrinsic benefits from the railway sector.

The transport sector currently represents around 25% of CO2 emissions and the outlook for the mobility of goods and people is expected to increase over the coming decades.
At global level it is essential that transport commits to finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions as well as energy consumption.
Against this background, the railway represents 2% of this 25% and is therefore a particularly efficient and sustainable mode of transport.

A number of efforts have already been made to achieve this result; however during COP21, UIC on behalf of the world’s networks issued a declaration to reduce these emissions and energy consumption even further and to promote modal shift. This modal shift is part of a new strategy of inclusive transport policy and a new mix of transport modes aiming to maximise the advantages of each mode in conjunction with one another. This is thus a logistics chain which aims to improve its energy performance and in this context the railways form an important backbone for intercity routes or for large inter-regional and inter-continental corridors in conjunction with the other most relevant modes to promote either urban penetration or access in precautionary areas, or complimentary with maritime routes between ports, or flight paths between airports.

During two different sessions, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux expressed the railway view at global level:

Plenary session on “Infrastructure renewal for greener and more inclusive transport”

He said:

“Railway projects provide the backbone of sustainable transport systems – these provide the high levels of transport capacity and efficiency but come with a need for a long term planning and construction programme. For every dollar invested in a new railway, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission per passenger-km is 100 times lower than if that dollar was spent on a new road – IEA analysis.

He added:

“There is no space in this world for infrastructure that is not interoperable, both technically and administratively."

Restricted Ministers’ Round Table: “Preparing for major disruptions to transport systems”

This Round Table provided an opportunity for UIC to express the railway view at the worldwide level concerning the priorities for intervention during disruption to minimise the human and economic cost of disruptions, the keys to making supply chains robust and able to respond quickly to disruption, or the opportunities that digital data can provide for better understanding stresses and better adapting the transport system to extreme events.

UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed:

“In these such circumstances of disruptions, whatever the nature of them, terrorism, climate change effects, we have to remain modest and keep in mind three steps: anticipation, thanks to technology (sensors, cameras, etc ..) and education; coordination between actors; reaction, which is the key, as time is invaluable and as time is life. UIC, which produces standards, integrating all the elements necessary to the overall comprehension / operation of the railway system at the worldwide level, benchmarking experience or crisis scenarios which are good sources of information and learning to progress. And in this context, digital can help but planning everything … is not the solution and the human dimension must prevail and education is important."

Launch of the Global Decarbonising Transport Project

During the 2016 ITF edition, a declaration from Ministers was made ( and the transport sector also officially launched the Global Decarbonising Transport Project, involving UIC.

ITF Secretary General José Viegas said:
““This is a very ambitious project. But ambition is what the world needs to stop climate change. Ambition is also something that has characterised the transport sector throughout its long history of innovation. Our challenge is to reduce transport CO2 without sacrificing the access and opportunities offered by transport, keeping our societies together and making our economies turn.””

The Decarbonising Transport project aims to:

  • Provide a common assessment tool based on a comprehensive modelling framework supported by dialogue with key stakeholders. This is essential for “clarity, transparency and understanding” of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions as required in the Paris Agreement for carbon emissions. This approach will enable the ITF and its partners to evaluate the impacts of different sets of measures on carbon reduction. Enable countries and other stakeholders to translate roadmaps into actions that deliver results grounded in quantitative data.
  • Support actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals along with the decarbonisation of the transport sector. The Decarbonising Transport project is supported by a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector companies, multilateral development banks, intergovernmental organisations, sector associations, NGOs and research institutions. It is anchored in the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board, the organisation’s platform for discussions with the private sector.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) applauded the Decarbonising Transport initiative and said: “Governments must have the tools to understand whether or not policy is working as intended, and robust, responsive tools give policymakers a better sense of what can be accomplished. I welcome the launch of the Decarbonising Transport project. This common assessment tool […] should unite the transport sector worldwide in the push towards climate neutrality.”

The preliminary results of the project will be presented at the next ITF Summit in May 2017. The work will be completed by 2018/19, in time for the first round of reviews of the COP21 decarbonisation targets in 2020.

A video interview of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is available here:

For further information please visit the ITF website:

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Station Managers’ Global Group (SMGG) took place on 19 May 2016 in Paris at SNCF Gares et Connexions

On 19 May 2015 the SMGG meeting took place in Paris at the kind invitation of SNCF – Gares et Connexions (SNCF’s Stations and Connections subsidiary).

SMGG is the UIC group dedicated to railway stations. It comprises station managers of UIC members and is managed by Carlos Ventura, Director of Passenger Stations at ADIF (Spain).

UIC members represented at the meeting were: ADIF, SNCF Gares & Connexions, SNCB, RFI, RZD, ONCF, Korail and Japanese Railways.

UIC Headquarters was represented by Iñaki Barrón (Director of the High Speed and Passenger Department), Marie-Hélène Bonneau (the Security Division), Virginie Papillault (Security Division), Gabriel Castañares (Senior Advisor of Energy and CO2), and Marc Guigon (Senior Advisor for Passenger Transport).

The main points discussed during the SMGG meeting were:

  • The leaflet concerning information and signage in stations (181, ex 413) will be updated and extended at global level. It has been decided to carry out this task in 2016 and 2017 with a contract with AREP
  • Sustainable stations. A study will be launched in June 2016 concerning the best practices on sustainable stations, addressed to managers and designers of stations: environment, technologies, organisations…
  • The UIC security division represented by Virginie Papillault and Marie-Hélène Bonneau presented the security of stations following the decision taken during the last meeting held in Moscow on 24 March 2016 to work jointly between the UIC security division and the SMGG on this topic. It was decided to create a project group with a co-leader ship of station managers (RZD) and security managers (SNCF to be confirmed). A workshop on the security of stations will be organised on 17 October 2016. Furthermore, as it was decided after the 2015 Delhi UIC World Security Congress it will be the theme of the next congress that will be held on 23-25 November 2016 in Helsinki. Beyond that, the main results of the project should be ready for the Next Station conference that will be held in October 2017 in Madrid.
  • Discussion about the scientific content of the next international conference on railway stations Next Station 2017 which will take place in Madrid on 19-20 October 2017. The slogan is “Smart stations in Smart cities” which contains smart governance, smart economy, smart living, smart mobility, smart environment and smart people.

During the meeting, Etienne Riot from AREP presented the AREP Designlab where architects, designers and researchers design public spaces (railway stations) and urban mobility.

The next SMGG meeting will take place on 12 and 13 October 2016 in Seoul (Korea).

For further information please contact Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor UIC Passenger Department:

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Mr Isa Apaydin appointed Chairman of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD)

Mr Isa Apaydin has been appointed the new Chairman of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) as of 13 May 2016. He succeeds Mr Ömer Yildiz as the Head of Turkish Railways.

Born in 1965 in Ankara, Mr Isa Apaydin graduated from Istanbul Technical University – Department of Metallurgical Engineering – in 1987 and received a Master’s Degree from the same department at Sakarya University in 1996. Initially an engineer within the Directorate General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and assigned different positions, Mr Apaydin finally took over the office of Deputy Director General and Member of the Board of TCDD between 2005 and 2015.

Mr Apaydin has put his signature to numerous fields in Turkish Railways, such as the construction and commissioning of high speed and rapid railway projects, rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing network and National Train Project, improvement of structures for research-development and training, for the establishment of the domestic railway industry.

On behalf of the international railway family, UIC expresses its warmest congratulations and wishes to Mr Isa Apaydin on his appointment as the new President and Director General of Turkish Railways and looks forward to further developing the excellent cooperation between TCDD and UIC in the UIC’s global framework as well as in the framework of regional activities (Middle-East and Europe).

(Source: TCDD)

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1st International Oil, Rail & Port Conference organised by UIC and ITE-EUF in cooperation with Iranian Railways successfully held in Tehran

Focus placed on perspectives for promising partnerships and synergies between shipping lines, ports and railways in the Middle-Eastern Region

The 1st International Oil, Rail and Port Conference, organised by UIC -the worldwide railway association, ITE Group – the organiser of 240 events across the globe together with the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI), was successfully held from 15 – 16 May 2016 in Tehran in conjunction with the RAILEXPO 2016 Rail Exhibition.

This first ever international event organised by the rail sector in Iran on the topic of enhancing partnerships between rail, ports, shipping lines and other actors of the freight and multimodal transport chain, was attended by over 600 participants, including over 100 international delegates from 27 countries. Participants represented government authorities, international institutions, foreign embassies, railways and other stakeholders of the logistics and transport chain interested in developing business in the region. The lifting of international sanctions on Iran is helping to open up broad perspectives for new cooperation and business in the region and added to the debate.

The inauguration ceremony of the 1st Oil, Rail & Ports Conference and RAILEXPO 2016 Exhibition was moderated by Mr Laurent Noël, Director Transport & Logistics portfolio at ITE Group. Several high-level representatives addressed the conference participants, in particular Dr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, Vice Minister for Roads and Urban Development, President of Iranian Railways RAI, Mr Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade of Iran, Dr Abbas Akhoundi, Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mr Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD), UIC Chairman, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, Mr Francois Davenne, Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail OTIF.

UIC Chairman and Russian Railways President Mr Oleg Belozerov expressed warm greetings to all participants and underlined the excellent cooperation between Iranian Railways RAI and UIC, as well as OSJD and CIS countries.

During the Welcome ceremony, Mr Belozerov also signed on behalf of Russian Railways (RZD) a cooperation agreement with the President of RAI Dr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaie.

In his welcome address, UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux underlined:

““UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, is particularly committed to supporting the development of an effective railway and multimodal transport system in the Middle-East. Currently the Middle-East is one of the most dynamic and promising regions for Railways. Let us just mention the large number of railway projects for introduction on high speed rail and new freight services, new cross-border connections, the creation of long distance corridors for freight, as for example along the new Rail Silk Roads. The UIC Strategic Vision for the Middle-East clearly highlights all the potential for the development of a successful rail transport system, offering optimal interfaces with ports, shipping lines and intermodal terminals - including oil and gas terminals – for the optimisation of the global transport chain”.”

The two-day conference programme was structured around several main topics relating to cooperation with ports on the one hand, and with the oil and gas industry (markets, regulations & logistical efficiency) on the other.

Invited speakers addressed the following issues:

  • ’The Challenges of keeping position in a fast changing environment’ (Mr Armand Toubol, Honorary Deputy Director General of SNCF, Chairman of the session, Mr Hervé de Tarade, International Intermodal Services IIS, Mr Hervé Cornede, Haropa Ports, Mr Mohammed Saeedi, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines IRISL)
  • ’Investment Opportunities created by the present environment of Low global Oil and Gas prices’ (Mr Ed Osterwald, Competition Economist Group CEG Europe)
  • ’Policies and Developments of Ports and Multimodal Transport’ (Mr Mohammad Saeed Nezhad, Vice Minister for Roads and Urban Developments, President of Ports and Maritime Organization, Iran)
  • ’The Strategic Vision and Action Plan 2016-2020 for the Railways of the UIC Middle-East Region’ (Mr Abbas Nazari, Director General International Affairs, RAI, Director of UIC Middle-East Regional Office, Tehran)
  • ’Developing Rail Transit with the participation of Ports of Iran’ (Mr Hossein Ashourri, Vice President for Operations and Movement, Iranian Railways RAI)
  • ’Iran Case Study’ (Mr Ali Sangian, Seven Seas Shipping Agency and International Transportation Co. Ltd)
  • ’The Legal and Regulatory Framework for International Rail Transport - Interoperability and Safety Standards’ (Mr Jean-Georges Heintz, Industrial Risk Expert, SNCF and UIC, Mr Jochen Conrad, Head of Dangerous Goods Section, OTIF)
  • ’The Role of Oil industry in developing Ports and Railway lines’ (Mr Amin Hossein Zamaninia, Deputy Minister for International Affairs and Trading, Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, Mr Ali Akbar Safaie, Managing Director, National Iranian Tanker Company NITC)
  • ’Navigating Iranian Sanctions Microseminar’ (Mr Nigel Kushner, W Legal Limited)
  • ’The Multimodal Revolution in Oil & Gas Transport’ (Mr Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Security Division, Mr Vasco Paul Kolmorgen, CEO Bahnkonzept, Germany, Mr Andrey Ushakov, Honorary Railroader & Managing Director, Apatech

UIC: Mr Paul Véron, Director of Communications, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East,

ITE Group: Mr Mark Jakobsen, Head of Portfolio Marketing & VIP Buyers Programme- ITE Transportation and Logistics,

RAI - UIC Regional Office for the Middle-East:

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GRFC 2016, the 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference will bring together all Rail Freight and Global Logistics stakeholders on 22 – 23 June in Rotterdam

Only one month left to register!

The 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference, “GRFC 2016”, is organised by UIC under the patronage of the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment, and in cooperation with ProRail (NL). It is officially supported by OTIF, UNECE and ITF, the International Transport Forum of the OECD.

Many European and international associations representing the transport and rail sector are partners in this 5th UIC Global Rail Freight Conference: BIC, CIT, GCU, IHHA, UNIFE, UIP, ERFA, UIRR, Global Shippers Forum, CLECAT, Rail Forum, Rail Cargo Group.

This edition of GRFC will be held in Rotterdam and will run back-to-back with the TEN-T Days organised by the European Commission (20-21 June) and the European Rail Freight Corridor event (21 June) organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment under the Dutch Presidency of the European Union.

The Business Conference

The main theme of the 5th UIC GRFC: “Shaping Together the Business of the Future”. The main conference topics will be addressed at a series of high-level panel discussions organised around the following themes and moderated by Paul Barrett (, who has considerable experience in hosting and moderating high-level events with a global dimension.

Under the heading ‘Shaping together the business of the future’, the Global Rail Freight Conference will review the challenges facing rail freight at global and European level through 4 thematic sessions:

“From Shanghai to Rotterdam: the landbridge concept 10 years on”
“Strategies to deliver opportunities and enhance effectiveness”
“Rail Freight 4.0: innovation and digitalization for global solutions”
“The workforce of the future: digital skills and human capital”

“From Shanghai to Rotterdam: the land bridge concept 10 years on”

  • Opportunities for Rail Freight between Europe and Asia

Almost half a million TEU or standard containers could already be transported on the railways between Europe and Asia. How is rail positioning itself in that market? How can the corridor concept boost business initiatives? Come and engage in discussions with high level panellists from the entire transport chain at UIC’s Global Rail Freight Conference in Rotterdam on 22&23 June.

Long-term (2030), rail transport between Asia and Europe is forecasted to reach a level of around 950,000 TEU p.a. This includes traffic from East Asia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan to the EU in both directions. Traffic from South Asia could add another 150,000 TEU in the long-term.

On Eurasian developments, find out about:

  • Rail’s potential as a unique component of the transport chain for transcontinental traffic
  • Market opportunities
  • Innovative digital solutions to ensure transport integrity
  • European rail freight corridors as support for transcontinental developments
  • Legal breakthroughs
  • And much more

Key stakeholders in the transport chain will review the latest transport volume projections between Asia and Europe and will discuss opportunities for rail freight and innovative business models with the maritime sector and share best practices.

Already today, rail could hypothetically achieve a potential of 480,000 TEU p.a. if requirements were already fulfilled.

“Strategies to deliver opportunities and enhance effectiveness”

The transport industry is a very competitive sector and rail freight is facing many challenges. In order to secure a prominent position in the 21st century, rail freight has to tailor its approach to business accordingly, maybe revisit its business models, and forge partnerships. These concepts will foster lively debates between key stakeholders in the transport chain and the audience.

“Rail Freight 4.0: innovation and digitalisation for global solutions”

Being competitive in the rail freight business of the 21st century implies adapting processes and rolling stock to the era of digitalisation, innovation and automation. It also means ensuring their suitability to the operational requirements of the future. Automation also implies data generation, which in turn needs to be managed, filtered and protected.

“The workforce of the future: digital skills and human capital”

Adapting processes to the digital era requires the appropriate skills to be developed at the right time. Training is essential. New models also need to be developed. Young professionals will share their vision of / for the rail industry, which they will have formed through interviews with GRFC participants and speakers. They will then engage in a discussion with the audience and business professionals.

Speakers will include:

  • Mark Frequin, Director-General Mobility, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
  • Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General, UIC
  • Salman Babayev, Vice-President of Russian Railways (RZD)
  • Pex Langenberg, Vice Mayor of Rotterdam in charge of Mobility
  • Pierre Inga, CEO Prorail
  • Emile Hoogsteden, Vice-President, Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.
  • François Davenne, Secretary-General, OTIF
  • Eva Molnar, Director of the Transport Division, UNECE
  • José Viegas, Secretary-General, International Transport Forum, OECD
  • Fraenz Benoy, CEO CFLMM
  • Hossein Ashoori, Vice President for the Operation and Movement of Iranian Railways (RAI)
  • Hüseyin Teker, Freight Department, Turkish State Railways TCDD
  • Oliver Sellnick, VP European Corridor Management, DB Netz
  • Rodan Senekl, Presidium Member, Czech Logistics Association
  • André Thiniéres, Managing Director, Objectif OFP
  • Paweł Wojciechowski, European Coordinator of the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor
  • Ferdinand Schmidt, CEO, Rail Cargo Group RCG
  • Baher El-Hifnaw, Senior Economist in the Transport Unit, World Bank
  • Joris D’Inca, Partner at Oliver Wyman
  • Robert van der Waal, Director Logistics Operations, Samsung
  • Bernhard Kunz, Managing Director, Hupac
  • Dirk Stahl, CEO BLS Cargo AG
  • Fabrice Walewski, General Partner & CEO, Touax Group
  • Miroslav Obrenovic, Head of Asset Strategy & Programs, DB Cargo
  • Cédric Lévy-Bencheton, Expert in Network and Information Security, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)
  • Peter Boom, Manager Business Development, RailWatch
  • Harald Jony, Director of Energy Management, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG
  • Esther Marconi, FS Italiane, Chair of the UIC Expertise Development Platform
  • Thierry Vanelslaner, BNP Fortis & University of Antwerp
  • Patrick Philipp, Head of IRU Academy
  • An interview with Yves Tyrode, Chairman of the UIC Digital Platform, and Brogan Bambrogan, Hyperloop
  • Thorsten Bomke, in charge of the Service Market Portfolio, Alstom
  • Philippe Dume, Managing Director Services and Rolling Stock in Romania and Bulgaria at Alstom

Register now!

Registration online at:

View full conference programme:

Download conference brochure:

For further information please contact:

UIC Communications Department : Barbara Mouchel, or

GRFC Project Manager: Sandra Gehenot, UIC Freight Senior Advisor,

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


Christian Kern, CEO of Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB, has resigned to become Chancellor of the Republic of Austria

Mr Christian Kern, CEO of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), has resigned from his functions as of 17 May 2016 to become Chancellor of the Republic of Austria.

Mr Christian Kern joined ÖBB in 2010. Under his leadership ÖBB turned into a modern mobility service provider with a sound financial basis.

He was also appointed Chairman of the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER) in January 2014 and reconfirmed in September 2016.

ÖBB has always been an active member of UIC and its Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux would particularly like to thank Mr Christian Kern, who has remained committed to UIC and has personally contributed in a very professional way throughout his mandate.

The organisation of GRFC in 2014 and the forthcoming UIC Sustainability Conference in Vienna are only two examples of ÖBB’s active participation in the work and challenges of UIC.

(Source: ÖBB)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

President of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov and President of Iranian Railways Dr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaie sign cooperation agreement during the UIC/ITE International Oil, Rail & Port Conference in Tehran

The President of JSC Russian Railways (RZD) Mr Oleg Belozerov – also Chairman of UIC – met the Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Abbas Akhoundi, together with the Vice Minister, President of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI), Dr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaie, on 15 May in Tehran on the occasion of the first international conference organised by UIC and ITE in cooperation with RAI on the Oil, Rail & Port cooperation. During these meetings, RZD and RAI discussed the perspectives of cooperation between Russia and Iran for the development of the railway infrastructure in the region of the Caspian Sea, and the possibility of attracting more freight volume for rail transport.

As Russian Railway President Oleg Belozerov underlined, “the potential of our cooperation is, by far, not used to its maximum. At the same time, Russian Railways and Railways of the I.R. of Iran gained common experience in the joint implementation of infrastructure projects: in 2012, Russian Railways (RZD) completed the electrification of the railway line Tabriz-Azarshahr.”

At this meeting in Tehran, the President of Iranian Railways addressed the possibility to create a direct railway link on the western part of the international “North-South corridor”. This project includes the construction of the Recht-Astara railway line that will connect railway networks of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. The new infrastructure will accelerate the transport of goods between the countries of Europe, the Persian Gulf and South Asia.

RZD and RAI also discussed the conditions for the realisation of an electrification project for the Garmsar-Ince Burun railway line, a line with 495 km, 203 km being located in mountains. The modernisation of this infrastructure will increase capacity and speed in train operations.

During the opening ceremony of the UIC/ITE international Oil, Rail & Port Conference, a cooperation agreement was signed between RZD President Mr Oleg Belozerov and RAI President, Vice Minister Dr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaie. Objectives are the enhancement of cooperation on joint projects, as well as the cooperation to attract more freight volume to the international “North-South” transport corridor.

(Source: JSC Russian Railways, RZD)

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

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