Several sessions took place in Brussels between 20 and 23 January connected to the Track and Structures sector of the Rail System Forum.
The first Track Experts Group (TEG) plenary meeting in 2020 was preceded on 20 January by a special conference on Track and Switches organised by Infrabel, to mark Mr Paul Godart’s retirement from the chairmanship of the TEG.
Participation included track experts from all over the world including China (CARS), Sweden (Chalmers University), Germany (DB Netz), the Netherlands (ProRail), France (SNCF) and Austria (ÖBB and ARTS), as well as UIC staff.
On 21 January, the official session started with the replacement of the chairmanship, where Mr Bernhard Knoll (ÖBB) took up his role as the new TEG chairman and Mr Kurt Demeersseman continued in his role as TEG Secretary.
During the day, two new IRSs, 70727 for “Track Superstructure Decision Making” and 70712-1 “Broken Rail Detection”, from the UIC opt-in projects DESMAN and BRD were presented in the morning in complete draft form for the first time to the TEG, leaving them now to receive comments until September 2020 where they’ll be set up for definitive approval.
Additionally, the migration plan of Leaflets into IRS, belonging to TEG, was reviewed and ratified. The results of a benchmarking on rail profile milling and grinding practices were presented based on the best practice of 13 different UIC members.
Finally, besides the two mentioned, six other UIC opt-in and ad-hoc on-going projects (UBM, Plastic Sleepers, STABLETRACK, TRISTRAM, DEMOSLEEPER and AT-WOOD) were reviewed during the afternoon.
An official dinner finished the day, during which UIC Rail System Forum President, Mr Francisco Cardoso and Rail System Department Director, Mr Christian Chavanel, awarded Mr Godart a UIC trophy honouring his 13-year contribution as TEG chairman.
Wednesday 22 January started with the annual common meeting between the Panel of Structural Experts and the TEG which brought together 35 participants. Highlights included the presentation by their coordinators of four different Shift2Rail initiatives, either completed or on-going projects relevant for the innovation in the infrastructure subsystem: In2Smart, In2Smart2, In2Track and In2Track2.
Moreover, the three-year plan for the migration of leaflets and the new UIC standardisation guide were presented by Mrs Célia Levy, Head of Standards Programming.
Sessions closed with a detailed review of the developments in IRS 70717 and 70722, migrating two previous existing leaflets, and some comments on the most important developments in the frame of CEN Technical Committees TC 250, 256 and 258.
During the afternoon, sessions of the PoSE were started by its chairman, Mr Martin Muncke, with an explanation about PoSE standardisation plan and positioning for 2021 opt-in projects. Different activities and items that comprise maintenance and monitoring of railway bridges were dealt with, including a presentation on fatigue on concrete bridges given by Mr Ron van der Zwan (ProRail).
On Thursday 23 January the PoSE sessions were concluded during the morning. This last segment covered different tunnel related subjects and included the approval of the IRS 70779-10 “Maintenance for Tunnels".
This session concluded with a special acknowledgement to Infrabel for hosting and organising the different meetings, with the involvement in particular of Mr Didier Van de Velde and Mr Jan Mys, apart from Mr Godart and Mr Demeersseman.