A Seminar on “Rehabilitation of old rolling stock: a reliable economic solution for the modernisation and optimisation of the fleet” took place from 3 – 4 March in Algiers at the International Conference Centre under the patronage of the Algerian Minister of Public Works and Transport.
The two-day seminar was jointly organised by UIC, SNTF and CFTM, as part of the 34th meeting of the CFTM and inauguration of the new Coradia Algiers-Oran train, and was attended by over 200 participants.
The seminar opened with an official ceremony and welcome address delivered by the Minister of Public Works and Transport Mr Abdelghani Zaalane, General Director of SNTF Mr Yacine Bendjaballah, a recorded video-message of UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – presented by Mr Thierry Bera, UIC Coordinator of the UIC Africa Region & Chief Financial officer.
In the opening speech the Minister underlined that the State supported the Railways of Algeria in the renovation and rehabilitation of its infrastructure, stating that renewing traction and transport equipment was an economic and efficient solution required to implement effective economic policies and to maintain the necessary quality. The priority of the agenda of the 34th CFTM meeting and of the seminar was to learn about modern technologies, exchange experience and best practices.
In the video message Mr Loubinoux presented the UIC-Africa region programme, stressed the importance of the Africa region within UIC, and outlined the main events of 2018 including the upcoming Conference of Railway Safety and Security in Djibouti from 28 – 29 March, the training sessions in Rabat in spring and in autumn, and a Digital Conference in Addis Ababa in October.
Mr Bera explained the work of UIC and invited members of CFTM to join the UIC working groups.
The four panels of the seminar focused on: Existing rolling stock and infrastructure and methods used; Why is refurbishment of old rolling stock worthwhile?; Expertise in refurbishment and modernisation of railway rolling stock and Sharing expertise and Labour force skills across networks. Speakers included representatives of SNTF, ONCF and Alstom. UIC was represented by Jean-Georges Heintz, UIC expert, who presented OTIF European and International Regulations as well as work managed by UIC in the domain of dangerous goods; Bernard Penners, UIC Head of Safety Division, presented the human factors aspect; the UIC Consultant Jésus Providence Niazaire, spoke about maintenance, and Maria Lafont, UIC Finance Projects & Africa Region. During the seminar the aspect of joint railway cooperation between North-South, South-South and UIC was underlined by all participants.
The seminar presentations followed by Q&A periods enabled interesting discussions to be held between experts of different domains on modernisation of rolling stock. In his conclusions Thierry Bera stressed the importance of fleet renovation as a major economic, human-factor and environmental issue of tomorrow and UIC’s cooperation with Africa Region.
Video message delivered by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux during the opening ceremony: