This week was a concrete illustration of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between UIC and ADB on April 2012 and its extension until the end of 2020 with the ADB-UIC Knowledge Partnership Programme 2018-2020 and of all the added value of the cooperation between both organisations.
Co-organised with ADB, the Asia-Pacific Railway Innovation Forum was attended by around 400 participants from the railway and industry sector. It was the occasion to discuss the future of railway systems.
Many topics were discussed on first day such as the digital revolution with big data in railway asset management, smart stations, smart ticketing, cyber security.
Mr Bambang Susantano, Vice President for Knowledge Management, ADB, said: “Railways have an important role in the economy. They are changing through new technologies. For many countries, it is complicated to industrialise. This forum will expand our knowledge for new technologies.”
Mr Timothy John Batan, Undersecretary for Railways, Department of Transport, Philippines, highlighted that railways are not a new technology and we continue to build on our experience. We need to think to how to better operate and maintain the network of assets. Our industry is fundamental as a tool in delivering a more comfortable life.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General gave his welcome speech: “Today, we are once again facing a new industrial revolution. The fourth one: the digital revolution […] By 2020, more than 100 billion IOT will be disseminated around the world. This will generate an increase of 15 trillion USD of the GDP.
The five main domains of our sector that can benefit from this are: information, distribution, ticketing, payment with the input of QR codes and facial recognition and online services and IT on international corridors. These evolutions will have to keep in mind two major aspects: the first one involves the basic principles since rail was invented, refers to safety and security. The digital impact on potential risks must be strictly managed in the international context with a permanent and reactive approach of cyber security, the second one is to preserve human intelligence from the potential predominance of machine intelligence. Everything that cannot be digitalised will be of even more value.
This is the reason why, according to my opinion, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has to be seen more as an intelligent assistance (IA). For me, all I said can be summarised in a new vision for smart connectivity at the service of smart mobility within and between smart cities and smart corridors: a sustainable integrated connected intelligent chain of mobility.”
During the first session of 21 May dedicated to the railway asset management principles and life-cycle strategies, Mr Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Advisor in the UIC Rail System Department, gave a presentation on the ISO 55000 application guideline for railway infrastructure organisations and explained the subject of Asset Management. The final objective is to provide practical guidance to railway infrastructure managers.
Session 2 chaired by Mr Francis Bédel, UIC CDO, was about the digital solution to lead and steer railway design and operation and maintenance (O&M) Strategies. Interesting presentations were proposed on BIM (Building Information Model), predictive maintenance, track data analytics and challenges, application of big data in railway operation.
During session 3 dealing with opportunities and risk related to the digital revolution and new passenger interfaces, Mr Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, spoke about smart stations and smart ticketing emphasised that integration between rail and air is very important. He mentioned the need to issue some common tickets.
He also focused on railway stations saying that the railway station is a key element in the passenger experience. There are new challenges concerning climate change, the growth of urbanisation in the world especially in Asia, and the digital transformation.
Mr Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Advisor of the UIC Rail System Department, talked about the cybersecurity solution for current and future threats. He highlighted that there is a need for exchanges between signalling, operations and telecom actors for critical application. There is another need for the railway guideline at operator level.
The second day was dedicated to the future trends concerning railway signalling and train control, private sector engagement and regional railway initiatives.
The fourth session, on signalling and train control systems solutions, Part 1, was chaired by Mr Tom Sargant, UIC Oceania Area Representative, and gave an overview with session 5 of different systems, options and near-future system standards. The development of ETCS/ERTMS was discussed.
In session 5, dealing with the same issue, Mr Teo Gradinariu, gave a presentation on a satellite-based alternative for low cost traffic lines (SATLOC). He explained the benefits of the SATLOC Project and what makes SATLOC possible with the use of the best ETCS design and best use of specifications, with the application of technological progress with IT, satellite navigation, radio-communication, automation and with innovation to get the maximum benefit from ETCS design and technology progress.
Session 6 highlighted alternative financing options and modalities for urban railway projects and session 7 discussed the types of innovations that can facilitate the effective development of the Trans-Asian rail network.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux gave his concluding speech saying that transport is impacting the economy and emphasised the need for interoperability. Mobility needs will grow and challenges are important. Innovation must expand the capacity of infrastructure.
Mr Dong-Soo Pyo, Director, CWTC, Concurrently Chair of Transport Sector Committee, ADB, said that the ADB will continue to support the innovation and that the government has played a key role in innovation. The ADB will continue to support the region in a coordonated manner.