As part of a series of meetings in São Paulo, Brazil, today UIC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Latin American Railway Association ALAF, in the presence of Jean Carlos Pejo, National Secretary of Mobility and Urban Services, Guilherme Quintella, Chairman of the UIC Latin American Region and José Nicanor Villafañe, Secretary General of ALAF. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, who signed the Memorandum, was represented by Marc Guigon, UIC Coordinator for the UIC Latin American Region.
Headquartered in the Argentine Republic, ALAF was created with the purpose of promoting safe, efficient and economic rail transport, promoting and strengthening the Latin American integration axes, counting among its associates almost all railroads in Latin America and industries of the area.
The Memorandum covers the following areas:
- Staff training and education
- Railway engineering
- Transport of passengers
- Cargo transport and logistics
- Tourist trains
- Exchange of data
For the past several years, more regular action has been carried out, basically by Brazil.
Today, EDLP, ANTT (Brazilian Federal Secretary of State of Land Transport), ADIFSE (Ferrocariles Argentinos Sociedad del Estado) are members of UIC. More companies, from both passenger and freight, are in the process of becoming UIC members in the near future.
UIC can play an important role in Latin America, with, among others, the following main objectives:
- Assist in building awareness of the advantages of rail in Latin American countries and the region as a whole
- Establish and improve cooperation between railway companies in Latin America
- Improve cooperation between railways and industry
- Promote interoperability
The ultimate objective of the UIC Latin America Regional Assembly can be summarised as the “creation of a professional environment that maximises the potential in available competencies, guaranteeing value for money for our members”.
The main results expected from this cooperation include:
- Sharing information on rail technology
- Promoting technological development and know-how
- Encouraging members to adopt best practices
- Maximising the benefits to the environment of rail
UIC Deputy Director General François Davenne said: "Railway in Latin America should be an enabler to develop sustainable transport on the scale of the continent. In this context, standardisation should be undertaken upstream to avoid that the numerous projects that are currently under development don’t end up in non-interoperable track sections. UIC will be committed to assist railways and stakeholders in providing a framework that will guarantee that interoperability from the level of inception."