The 28th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly (APRA), kindly hosted by RTRI, in conjunction with the 17th UIC Asia Pacific Management Committee and the WCRR 2019, successfully took place on 28 October 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
Chaired by François Davenne, Director General of UIC, in the absence of the UIC Asia-Pacific Chairman, Mr LU Dongfu, Chairman of CR, welcomed by GUO Zhuxue, Vice President of CR, Urynbassarov Bayurzhan, Managing Director for Infrastructure of KTZ, Ikuo Watanabe, Executive Vice President of RTRI and the UIC Chairman, Mr Gianluigi Castelli, Chairman of FS, the meeting focused on the activities and budget of 2020.
More than 70 participants coming from China (CR, BJTU, CARS, NRA, Tongji University), Kazakhstan (KTZ), Japan (RTRI, JR-East, JR-Central, JR-West), India (IR), Korea (KORAIL, KRRI), Russia (RZD, VNIIZhT), Mongolia (UBTZ), Australia (ACRI, PTV, Monash University), Thailand (SRT), etc. attended the 28th APRA. The Asia-Pacific region of 44 members was also pleased to welcome a new member from Australia: Public Transport Authority Western Australia.
Mr François Davenne, as the new UIC Director General, proposed a new working programme in his report to the APRA members, aiming to give consistency and accountability to the commitments taken by UIC in the different forums and platforms for the 2020 to 2022 period. Based on the two main words, “added value” and “transparency”, Mr Davenne highlighted four priorities:
1. Complete efficiently the digitalisation of the rail system (ticketing, blockchain for the new silk roads)
2. Have a comprehensive approach of the standards and specification based on a close monitoring of the area of use and of the added value for the railway business
3. Create an innovative technical environment that would make modal shift towards public transport and rail freight desirable
4. To build sound partnership inside and outside the sector in order to be able to promote efficiently the interest of the railways
He also mentioned that as this working programme would take us up to the 100th anniversary of the association, it was also the occasion to clarify UIC’s identity, values and mission statement. So he underlined that more than ever UIC’s identity was to be the “worldwide railway organisation” and that the role of international standards, which have been a main driver in the success of the aviation sector due to ICAO and IATA, should take the same prominent place for the railways, building on UIC’s assets.
In 2019, seven studies were finalised and distributed to the members during the 28th APRA:
- Contemporary Technical Maintenance of Rails undertaken by VNIIZhT
- Diagnostics of Infrastructure Facilities with Equipment installed on the Locomotive undertaken by KTZ
- Methods of Assessment of Signalling Systems for Cyber Security undertaken by NIIAS
- Welding in Extreme Conditions undertaken by RUT-MIIT and VNIIZhT
- Reference Guide of Core Rail Job Profiles and Professional Competences undertaken by RUT-MIIT
- Exploratory Study of New Rail-Type Transportation Systems and their impact on Sustainable Development, Railway Technology and Standards undertaken by RUT-MIIT
- Integration of Reservation Systems in APRA Region undertaken by VNIIZhT
For 2020, an increasing number of project proposals have been made and a selection of seven projects has been decided within a regional budget approved by the APRA members:
- Research on the Railway Development Policy in Asia-Pacific Region for a Better Fulfilling of railways’ Role as the Backbone in Integrated Transport, a start in 2020 for update VISION 2050 proposed by CR
- IRaTCA Training Session on Railway Passenger Services based on IT proposed by KORAIL
- Research on the Status Quo of Key System Technical Standards for High Speed Trains proposed by CARS
- Big Data-Based Timetable Management proposed by NIIAS
- Study on the Best Practices of Railway Digitalisation and Intelligent Railway Technology System Framework proposed by CR
- Predicting the maintenance of railway infrastructure with digital technology proposed by KTZ
- Measures for the effective development of multimodal transport in the Asia-Pacific Region aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the railway transport – INTERTRAN III proposed by RZD
Also, three ongoing projects would continue in 2020:
- Technology for high-speed freight and passenger train traffic between China and the European Union undertaken by BJTU
- Drones for Railway Infrastructure Monitoring undertaken by NIIAS
- Unified information space for Digital transport corridor by KTZ
Mr François Davenne closed the 28th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, thanking all the members for their presence and cooperation and invited them to attend the next UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assemblies which will be held in Perth (Australia) on 13 May 2020 and in Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan) on 7 October 2020.