The latest plenary meeting of the IRRB – the International Rail Research Board – took place on Monday 28 October, preceding the Opening Ceremony of the 12th World Congress on Railway Research in Tokyo. More than 20 members gathered in the Tokyo International Forum for this last IRRB meeting under the present three-year mandate.
Following the opening and introduction, the IRRB Chairman Prof. Boris Lapidus of JSC RZD gave an interesting presentation about his ideas for tasks to be taken up during the next three years. Among his prospective ideas were the completion of the world railway research database and open access to research organisations to improve the results of scientific cooperation. Also, he proposed to create a professional digital catalogue on the research performed in key areas of innovative development for railways intended for commercial replication and to promote adaptation of scientific and technological achievements of advanced railway systems for all railways of other countries preparing programmes of technological development. Finally, he proposed to develop motivating conditions for attracting sponsor companies of the UIC Global Rail Research and Innovation Awards.
Next, a short update on important research and standardisation related issues was provided by Martin Brennan, Head of the Research & Innovation Unit, and Simon Fletcher, coordinating UIC’s Standardisation work. Another fixed point on the agenda was the research and innovation news from the UIC Regions. Interesting presentations were given by Mr ZHOU Li, Chairman of CARS from China, by Mr Andrew Meier of ACRI Australia and by Mr Andrzej Toruń of the Instytut Kolejnictwa, Poland about the investments in new research stations at IK, the research on standardisation of interfaces in control devices and the ETCS level 1 devices using our facility in Żmigród. Martin Brennan made a presentation on behalf of UIC Director General Mr Francois Davenne entitled: “Railway as backbone for mobility an OSI modelling for the railway system – a layered approach.” All these presentations will be available in the IRRB section on the UIC Intranet.
Following the call for nominations for the IRRB chair-team for the next IRRB mandate, an overview of the applications received for the position of chairperson and five vice-chairpersons was given. These applications will be reviewed by the UIC Director General, who will put forward his choice for endorsement during the UIC General Assembly on 11 December in Paris.
As part of the WCRR programme, the new version of the UIC Global Vision for Railway Development - GVRD II – was officially presented on 31 October. The set-up of the 80-minute Organised Session was explained. The session consisted of five presentations, followed by an interactive part. Following this issue, the first ideas for the IRRB Strategy plan for 2020-2022 were discussed as well as the elements for the annual overview of the IRRB activities, to be presented at the GA by the IRRB chairman.
The chairman thanked all the participants for the positive input and concluded another interesting, productive and truly global IRRB plenary meeting.