RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) hosted the first UIC RailAdapt Workshop in London from 27 – 28 April 2017. Around 30 participants from 10 countries were represented at this event.
After introducing the event, Nick Craven, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit at UIC, and John Dora, consultant and moderator of the workshop, emphasised the importance of adaptation within members at UIC and how it was vital to address this topic during dedicated events such as RailAdapt. The RailAdapt initiative aims at keeping UIC Members informed and prepared in support of national adaptation plans, UN agreements and EU encouragement to reduce risks and costs while improving railways’ resilience in the face of climate change.
The first day of the event focused on policy and strategy for adaptation and resilience.
The key themes addressed were understanding interdependencies as well as the importance of data sharing, especially for weather forecast, metrics related to economy and finally integration across modes of transport. This day allowed participants to discuss the economics and investment challenges on resilience and adaptation, especially with regard to how each organisation and each sector define and manage resilience and related actions such as asset management, maintenance. One of the crucial conclusions of the day was that the understanding of decision makers internally and on local and national levels should be improved on these themes, especially for real time and long term forecasting, with the help of new possible tools and report analysis.
The second day was customised to debate in groups around tools and standards for resilience systems: how to respond to disruptive weather events before they occur and encourage a proactive planning. A key point was made to try to reach a mobility approach and not just a rail approach as rail could indeed be a backbone for an integrated and sustainable transport if we manage to work with an interconnected transport system, other networks. This can only be managed by adopting a more holistic view and by communicating better between sectors and internally on local and higher levels.
Further steps to face the challenge on how adaptation and resilience mix will be for Members to meet regularly, work towards an efficient communication with targeted stakeholders at all levels to raise awareness about adaptation. The creation of a web portal was mentioned as a viable way to share best practice, knowledge and expertise in the field of rail adaptation between members.
You can find more information (agenda, presentations) about the event in London here: http://events.uic.org/railadapt-workshop-london
The next event on adaptation will be hosted by China Railways and will take place in Beijing. UIC is inviting members and other key stakeholders to share experience and outline what support railways have and will need from governments and investors to help make the case and secure funding for improving the resilience of rail services.
The event is free of charge and you can register here, and submit a paper: http://events.uic.org/railadapt-workshop-beijing
Note that on 15 May in Bonn, Germany, a side event will be organised in the frame of the forty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 46).
This event will explore actions taken by the Estonian Government to mitigate transport emissions (electrification, biogas and Kyoto credits) in addition to adaption initiatives taken by leaders in the rail (RailAdapt projects) and broader transport sector including the COP22 Declaration on Accelerated Action on Adaptation in Transport.
The event will be live on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-m2oy1bnLzp5vQEdO1l4WWxwhAJpX7na