23rd Meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for Asia-Pacific (APRA) was held in Beijing

Wish to build new rail connections between East and West, to meet the challenge of decreasing delivery time between countries

The 23rd Meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for Asia-Pacific (APRA) was held in Beijing on 21 June 2017. This Regional Assembly, dedicated to discussing regional issues in the Asia-Pacific region, was composed of 40 members, and was attended by 20 member representatives.

Mr. BELOZEOV Oleg, Chairman of RZD and new Chairman of the APRA, Chairman of Russian Railways RZD, greeted Members of the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly. He opened the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, followed by welcoming statements by the Host and Vice Chairman Mr. LU Dongfu, General Manager of China Railway Corporation (CR), Mr. ALPYSBAYEV Kanat, Chairman of Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) and Vice-Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Region. Mr BELOZEROV finally invited UIC Director General Mr. Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX to make a brief welcoming comment and update APRA members on the relevant activities of UIC Headquarters.

In terms of Membership, the 23rd UIC Regional Assembly for Asia-Pacific approved the provisional accession of a new Member, MASKA, Masyarakat Perkertaapian Indonesia (Indonesia Railway society). The final decision will be given at the UIC General assembly in July 2017.

During this meeting, three strategic pillars were also underlined: Productivity, Professionalism, Promotion.

Among the main messages was also the wish to build new rail connections between East and West, to meet the challenge of decreasing delivery time between countries. The aim is to grow, attract new Members, develop an interregional trade and tourism, create a quality management system for APRA in order to increase the quality of APRA project initiatives.

In addition, 47 project proposals for 2018 were presented to the Assembly.
The Regional Representatives Function Report was presented by Mr. Tom SARGANT, representative of the UIC Oceania area, Mr. Milko PAPAZOFF, representative of UIC South-East Asia and by Mrs. Irina PETRUNINA, representative of UIC Asia CIS.
Participants also took note of future workshops and meetings scheduled in the framework of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region:

  • Future training UIC MITT training session, Moscow, October 2017 and workshop on Technology of freight traffic organisation according to the energy-optimised schedule with Energy efficiency in timetable: proposals and synergies, Moscow, 11-13 October, MIIT, Moscow
  • Round Table on the development of rail infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific Region in Russia, 30 or 31 October 2017
  • Next 17th APMC/24th APRA in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 30 or 31 October 2017
  • 10th Asia-Pacific Network of Training Centres in Chengdu, China, 8-9 November 2017

After the success of the conference on Asset Management on Brisbane, a Workshop on Telecoms in Sydney, Australia from 30 April - 4 May 2018, was also proposed.

Technical Visit

On 22 June, a technical visit was organised during the day for the participants, hosted by China Railway (CR). The participants had the opportunity to visit the following:

  • Operation Control Centre of the Chinese Railway network at CR Headquarters
  • Beijing South Railway Station which operates high speed services
  • Round trip from Beijing-Tianjin Intercity HSR Line

For further information please contact Vincent Vu, UIC Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region:

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Products & Services

Project Group Security of Stations has launched an online survey – Please take part!

The aim of this project group is to analyse effective solutions for station security measures and their impact on station business elements and customer perception.
In addition to the expert workshops (we have kept you informed regularly through our eNews editions) the project group has launched a dedicated online survey which will be used to:

  • Get the opinion of both security and station managers;
  • Help to get ideas on the attitude to security of stations in different countries;
  • Help to elaborate the typology of stations;
  • Get expert evaluation of the impact of different measures on station business areas.

The survey consists of 43 questions of different types and has refers to country and company. We kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire. It takes around 10 minutes and is available at the following link:

The survey will close on 8 July. We thank you in advance for your participation.
The results of this survey and the expert workshops will be summarised in a dedicated handbook and presented during the NextStation Conference, which will be held from 19 – 20 October 2017 in Madrid.

The next meetings with security and station manager experts will take place on the following dates:

  • 27 July 2017 via web conference – Results of the survey
  • 5 September 2017 in Paris, France – Content of the handbook

If you are interested in participating in the meetings, or for further information, please contact:

Kathrin Faber, Senior Advisor Security Division: or

Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor Passenger Transport:

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TopRail meeting held from 20 – 21 June 2017 in Barcelona

The TopRail (Tourist Opportunities for Railways), working group meeting took place on 20 and 21 June in Barcelona, kindly hosted by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC).

The meeting was chaired by Mr Carles Casas (FGC), president of the group. UIC was represented by Mr Ignacio Barrón, Director of the Passenger Department and Ms Vanessa Pérez, Advisor for the same department. Representatives from 10 different countries and companies FSI, JR Group, Irish Rail, RENFE, MÁV-START, Korail, SBB, Tren de Ecuador, as well as, UNECTO and FEDECRAIL attended the meeting.

The market for tourism by train is growing and evidence for this can be found in the numerous new special trains launched in the last months. During this TopRail meeting two of them were explained in detail to the rest of the participants: the Shiki-Shima, from Japan, and the Gotthard Panorama Express, from Switzerland.
Ms Nami Mizuguchi presented the new Shiki-Shima train suite. She highlighted the incredible effort that has been made by all the members of JR East over the last 10 years to create one of the most luxurious sleeper trains in Japan. Designated to be the icon of the company, every detail (from the design to the gastronomy on board) has been taken into consideration in the Shiki-Shima to create an unforgettable experience by rail based on East Japan culture.

Mr Jörg Ostwald presented a new SBB tourist oriented product that will join the ranks of similar premium Swiss Alpine narrow-gauge services such as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Golden Pass Panoramic.

When the new Gotthard Tunnel was opened in December 2016 and most of SBB’s long long-distance passenger services between Lucerne and Bellinzona were routed through this line, the opportunity of creating a new tourist train arose. The Gotthard Panorama Express was launched last April and will run between Flüelen, Bellinzona and Lugano combined with a steamer trip across Lake Lucerne from Flüelen to Lucerne.

After an enriching discussion about the challenges of creating a new tourist product by rail, the second part of the meeting was dedicated to the work that has been developed by the group during the last months: The Guidelines on Sustainable Tourism by Rail.

On the second day, the participants went on a technical visit from Barcelona to Montserrat. During the visit, they had the opportunity to discover this special mountain rack railway and funiculars. With these services, FGC contributes to a more sustainable tourism in the Barcelona area by providing organised access to the popular sacred mountain of Montserrat with its Benedictine abbey and amazing landscapes.

Notice that the UIC members have been encouraged to sign the Charter for Sustainable Tourism by Rail. Interested members are welcome to send the Charter and their best practices regarding sustainable tourism within the next few weeks to participate in the United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism.

The next TopRail meeting will be held on 3 October 2017.

For further information please contact Vanessa Perez Miranda, Advisor for the UIC Passenger Department:

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Appointment: Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Mobility, has been elected new Chairman of UNIFE

On 22 June, Jochen Eickholt, the CEO of Siemens Mobility Division, was appointed the new Chairman of UNIFE, the Association of the European Rail Industry.

Previous to his appointment, Mr Eickholt was an active Member of the UNIFE Presiding Board.

Jochen Eickholt joined Siemens in 1999 where he held various positions and starting 2014 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Siemens Mobility Division.

UIC congratulates Mr Eickholt on his appointment and wishes him every success in his new role.

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Israel Railways launches the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) 2017

In an effort to increase public safety awareness at level crossings, Israel Railways is joining forces with the Traffic Police, the Ministry of Education’s Road Safety Department and the Association for Safer Driving in Israel to bring home the message of safety among specific target audiences and the general public.

Dangerous crossing of railway tracks is a recognized international phenomenon, which poses a significant challenge to the operation of trains at a very high risk to those travelling in cars and trains. To raise public awareness of this danger, rail companies from 43 countries around the world joined forces and set up an International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD).

Israel Railways takes part in the global effort of the International Union of Railways and will be holding the International Safety Week for the 6th consecutive year, in cooperation with the Traffic Department of the Israel Police and the Ministry of Education’s Road Safety Department. During this week, Israel Railways will promote a series of activities to raise public awareness with regards the safety of all road users at level crossings and their personal responsibility and commitment to behave in a considerate and law-abiding manner.

Activities to be held this year include:

  • Nationwide training in schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education’s Department of Road Safety. A unique lesson plan has been developed for this purpose, in the belief that behavioral change begins with education at a young age.
  • Cooperating with the Association for Safer Driving in Israel with the aim of significantly reducing incidences of truck drivers smashing through level crossing barriers.
  • Placing cautionary road signs at selected level crossings.
  • Cooperating with the traffic police in distributing to the public informational pamphlets about road safety, with the aim of increasing enforcement through advocacy rather than punishment.
  • Radio broadcasts by various radio stations throughout the country, with the message: Either follow the safety rules or don’t cross the road at all!
  • Public relations campaign on Facebook.

During 2016, 13,892 vehicles crossed a level crossing after the barrier had begun to drop, disrupting railway traffic, causing emergency stops and endangering human life. In 2016, 81 barrier arms were smashed a few seconds before the train entered the level crossing, 63 of which were caused by vehicles.

According to Israel Railways data, there is a 22% increase in the incidents of barrier smashing during the summer months.

Almost all accidents result from the dangerous behavior of road users who did not comply with the traffic laws and barrier signs. Even though there are relatively few level crossings in Israel compared to other countries its size, Israel’s investment in safety measures is one of the highest in the world.

In recent years, Israel Railways has invested considerable resources in dealing with accidents. This includes developing and upgrading the railway infrastructure, installing lookout points, and initiating educational programs in areas where the incidence of accidents is high. In addition, Israel Railways has developed innovative technology intended to alert approaching trains, to enhance level crossing and barrier visibility, and to monitor vehicles on the tracks. This technology includes:
Advance traffic lights – aimed at preventing vehicles from entering the level crossing when a train is approaching and / or when there is a long line of vehicles in the direction of the tracks.

Video Motion Detection (VMD) cameras - designed to detect a vehicle stuck in the “forbidden zone” (the area between the two barriers) of the level crossing, and to alert the railway’s safety call center.

Radar scanners – that scan the area of the level crossing after the barriers have dropped. If a vehicle or other obstacle is detected, the signal system of the approaching train displays a red light to the driver. If the train does not stop, an automatic braking system is activated.

Vehicle monitoring system on the tracks - a system is based on loop detectors installed in the area between the barriers that identify vehicles that have been sitting for a while on the level crossing, or vehicles entering the level crossing after the barriers begin to drop.

Advance road signage - warns the driver of the approaching vehicle about the oncoming train. The advance signs are usually installed in level crossings where there is a problem of visibility for the driver of the approaching vehicle due to a sharp bend in the road or another obstacle.

All the above technology will not prevent a fatal incident unless drivers and pedestrians comply with traffic laws and procedures at level crossings and exercise caution.

At the link below you will find the following:

  1. Tutorial on the subject
    • Click here to view the tutorial
    • Click here to view the announcement
  2. Cross-sectional Information for target audiences - students

(Source: Israel Railways)

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News from UIC members

Italy: Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni opens the new Napoli Afragola station

Zaha Hadid’s great architectural project becomes reality

The President of the Council of Ministers, Paolo Gentiloni, has opened the new Napoli Afragola station, designed by star architect Zaha Hadid.

The new station will begin first-phase operations on Sunday 11 June and will welcome 36 high speed trains every day.

The premier arrived at the new stop on board a Frecciarossa 1000, together with the Infrastructure and Transport Minister Graziano Delrio, the President of FS Italiane, Gioia Ghezzi and company CEO Renato Mazzoncini. Welcoming them to the new station were the President of the Campania Region Vincenzo De Luca, the Mayor of Afragola Domenico Tuccillo, with Claudia Cattani and Maurizio Gentile, CEO and President of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana respectively, and Riccardo Maria Monti and Carlo Carganico, President and CEO of Italferr.

The new station, which was designed by Zaha Hadid, will receive 18 pairs of high speed trains each day. From Sunday 11 June these will link the new stop with all the main cities on the Turin – Salerno backbone, as well as with Venice and Reggio Calabria. Napoli Afragola will add to the services from Napoli Centrale: 32 trains out of 36 will stop in both stations, since although the user areas served by each are complementary, they are also different. Just 55 minutes will be needed to reach Roma Termini station, while the journey time between Napoli Centrale station and the Italian capital will be unchanged at one hour and ten minutes.

The new stop will become, with the activation of the second phase, the interconnection hub between the high speed Turin – Salerno line, the new Naples – Bari line, the Circumvesuviana local service and the regional trains to and from Caserta, Benevento and north Naples. All of which favours intermodality. Afragola station will also have 1,400 parking spaces, with 500 already available from 11 June. When fully functional, the new hub will serve an urban user base of around three million people. The activation of the second phase is scheduled for 2022.
The station is a strategic point in the regional and national transport system and is a splendid building to be admired for its architectural beauty. It is also a real chance to redesign and repurpose the surrounding area. Zaha Hadid’s project for the new Napoli Afragola station really meets FS Italiane’s engineering and architectural needs, and offers a completely innovative interpretation: creating infrastructure that can be a catalysing element and a symbol of a change in direction of a heavily urbanised area like the north of Naples.

The central body of the station is 400 metres long and crosses the tracks like a large bridge, with 30,000 square metres laid out over four levels. The investment in the tender process for this first phase is 60 million euros.

With Napoli Afragola station, FS Italiane confirms its position as the main promoter of quality modern architecture in Italy. The Napoli Afragola project followed an international competition which was launched in 2003, with which the FS Italiane Group relaunched, after over 50 years, the idea of great architecture in a railway context. This has always been considered a fundamental part of city structure, and which has led to the building of innovative stations like Torino Porta Susa, Roma Tiburtina, Bologna Centrale AV and Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana.

(Source: FS)

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Average rating: 2.5 / 5

News from UIC members

Montenegro: New board appointments within rail freight operator Montecargo

Montecargo, the Montenegrin rail freight operator, has announced the appointments of Mr Slavenko Jovanović as new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Montecargo JSC Podgorica and Mr Muradif Grbović as new Executive Director.

UIC congratulates Mr Slavenko Jovanović and Mr Muradif Grbović on their appointments and wishes them every success in their new roles.

(Source: Montecargo)

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News from UIC members

Germany: DB Schenker transports over 100,000 tons of power station components to Egypt

The final push for a gigantic order: Until September, DB Schenker will be transporting a total of 100,000 tons with 400,000 cbm of freight to Egypt for Siemens AG, which is building one of the largest gas-fired power stations in the world. Burullus is the site of one of three Siemens power stations. Powered by natural gas, each plant has a capacity of 4.8 gigawatts, which will be generated by eight Siemens gas turbines and four steam turbines. This technology has been selected for its high efficiency.

The individual components include turbines, generators, transformers, and boilers, with single weights up to almost 500 tons. Each of the three power stations requires 248 of these massive components in total.
The heavy components from Europe and the USA are shipped straight to the Burullus fishing port. Parts from Asia arrive first at the port of Alexandria by ocean-going ship. There, they are reloaded onto smaller coasters which can access the port at Burullus, some 80 kilometers away, thanks to their smaller draft.

DB Schenker undertook the necessary preparation work to ensure the massive components could be unloaded at Burullus harbor: Its depth had to be increased to 5.50 meters and a pier needed reinforcement, while access routes and facilities for temporary storage had to be constructed. A 600 ton crane was installed to discharge the individual components to low-bed trailers. The port at Burullus is just 16 kilometers from the construction site.

All three power stations are going on stream successively already since the end of 2016.

(Source: DB)

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News from UIC members

Czech Republic: SŽDC will present new rolling stock at the Czech Raildays Fair

SŽDC is a regular exhibitor at the Ostrava railway technology fair Czech Raildays. This year, it will present and ceremonially christen a special new vehicle MTW 100.013/7 for checking, maintenance and repairs of the catenary. The infrastructure manager will also symbolically take over an integrated compact diagnostic unit DJ NDT for measuring flaws on rails. An integral part of the exposition is a presentation of the SŽDC Fire Rescue Service. On the occasion of the fair, lifts at Ostrava-Hlavní nádraží (Ostrava Main Station) will be ceremonially put into operation in the morning.

MTW 100.013/7 is a new vehicle specially designed for maintenance of the catenary. In the past, frames of railcars used mostly for passenger transport were always being modified. This is a four-axle vehicle with hydrodynamic power transmission and 520 kW engine power. A freight crane with a possibility of connecting a basket is installed on the vehicle as well as a lifting platform, jibs for manipulating the catenary conductor and cable, a tower for height calibration of the catenary conductor and a measuring current collector.

The vehicle is specific by its length (21,400 mm), which is by 2,500 mm greater than the Series MTW 100 vehicles standardly produced. Moreover, it has a camera set which provides the driver and the crew not only a perfect view on the vehicles’ surroundings but also supervision on the state and activity of equipment and the measuring current collector.

The vehicle has been produced by the company Plasser & Theurer. In October 2015, SŽDC signed a contract with this Austrian company for a delivery of three vehicles in total. The other two vehicles will be delivered by the Austrian side this autumn.

(Source: SZDC)

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News from UIC members

Finland: Seaborne trade between Finland and foreign countries increased by almost 6 million tonnes in 2016

In 2016, the volume of goods transported in international seaborne trade totalled 94.9 million tonnes, which was 5.7 million tonnes more than in 2015. There was also a significant increase in passenger volumes. This information is available in the recent 2016 statistics on international shipping.

The export volumes transported in international seaborne trade were 48.4 million tonnes, or 8.3 per cent more than in 2015. Imports accounted for 46.5 million tonnes. The import volumes grew by 4.5 per cent.
Regarding exports, there was especially a boost in the transport volumes of oil products, ores and concentrates, sawn timber, pulp and products of the chemical industry. Regarding imports, the growth especially pertained to crude oil, coal, metals and general cargo.

In 2016, the number of vessels calling at Finnish ports amounted to almost 30,500, which was 0.7 per cent more than the previous year. The share of vessels that were Finnish, about 10,200, remained at the same level.

In transit traffic through Finnish ports, exports increased by seven per cent, whereas imports decreased by 4.1 per cent. The volumes transported in transit traffic totalled at 6.7 million tonnes, which was an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to 2015.
Passenger volumes increased by almost two per cent.

The number of seaborne passengers in international maritime transport totalled at about 18.9 million in 2016. This was an increase of 1.7 per cent compared to 2015.
Passenger volumes to and from Estonia grew by four per cent, and the number of passengers amounted to 8.76 million. A total of 8.84 passengers travelled by sea to and from Sweden, an increase of 0.1 per cent compared to the previous year. In international maritime transport, Sweden is still a slightly more popular destination than Estonia. A total of 814,000 passengers on foreign-flagged cruise ships visited Finland in 2016. This was 68,000 passengers less than in 2015.

(Source: FTA)

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