Tuesday 21 May 2019

First cooperative workshop held between the UIC Intercity and High-Speed Committee and Systra on 14 May 2019 in Paris

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The UIC Intercity and High-Speed Committee and Systra held the first cooperative workshop to set the frame of the new report on “Operation under difficult conditions: low temperatures and snow risks” on 14 May 2019 in Paris.

Following the climate change phenomenon, the daily railway service is more and more confronted with operation under difficult conditions and in 2013 the UIC High-Speed department together with Systra identified a catalogue of natural hazards and set a methodology to study each of them.

12 major natural risks were classified into four categories:

  • Geophysical disasters: earthquakes, rockfalls, landslides
  • Meteorological disasters: snowstorms, sandstorms, strong winds
  • Hydrological disasters: floods, snow avalanches
  • Climatological disasters: extreme temperatures (heat/cold waves), wildfires

So far, UIC HQ & Members together with Systra have worked together following a precise methodology and sharing their best practices and their most efficient technical and operational solutions to cope with the major natural risks. The following reports have been produced and are available, for UIC Members, on the UIC website at www.uic.org, https://www.shop-etf.com/:

  • Natural risk: Cross winds (2014)
  • Natural risk: Floods (2015)
  • Natural risk: Earthquakes (2016)
  • Natural risk: High temperatures (2017)

At the workshop in question East Japan Railways, PKP Intercity, SNCF Réseau, Trenitalia were present sharing their best practices and explaining the mitigation measures they successfully implement.

Following this workshop a detailed questionnaire will be addressed to all Intercity and High-Speed Committee Members to gather further information on operating at low temperatures and with snow risks. Next steps are:

  • Presentations of interim results at the next IcHSC meetings on 18 June and 11 September
  • Final cooperative meeting in November
  • Production of the final report by the end of this year

If you want to be informed on the study development and/or you want to contribute to it, please contact Paolo de Cicco, Senior Advisor for High-Speed:


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