UIC Sustainability Platform: 8th meeting held in Paris

On October 22nd the UIC Environment, Energy and Sustainability (EES) Platform held its 8th meeting at UIC Headquarters in Paris. The meeting was chaired by Joachim Kettner, Deutsche Bahn AG, who emphasised in his opening speech the importance of Environment and Sustainability for the business development and political support of railways especially in times of economic recession.

News from Brussels
CER deputy director Libor Lochman informed the meeting that there was increasing pressure within the EU for stronger action to reduce CO2 emissions from transport. The newly re-elected President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, had confirmed that more efforts to reduce CO2 emissions would be a priority of the new Commission, while the current transport commissioner, Antonio Tajani, told the informal meeting of transport ministers in Sweden that making European transport more sustainable had to be a priority for the post-2010 period.

EES Strategy 2030/2050
Fully in line with the importance that is given to the CO2 emissions of transport on the political level Mads Bergendorff, Macroplan Denmark, presented the new draft version of the EES Strategy 2030/2050 on behalf of UIC. The document proposes a 50% cut in CO2 emissions until 2030 and even carbon free railway transport until 2050 is discussed. A consolidated version of the document will be sent to the members of the EES Platform by the end of the year. The approval of the EES Strategy is now planned for March 2010. The scope of the current version of the strategy focuses on Europe.

Latest CO2 reduction figures
Henning Schwarz, Coordinator Sustainable Development UIC reported latest figures from the UIC Energy and CO2 database, which show that the European Rail sector is on track with the commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% until 2030. The specific CO2 emissions from European railway companies have fallen by 11% for passenger emissions and 33% for freight traffic over the 1990-2007 period. Data was received from 26 railway companies, covering more than 95% of passenger traffic and more than 76% of freight traffic in Europe.

The sector wide CO2 reduction commitment was agreed on the CER General Assembly in Brussels in May 2008 and defines a reduction of 30% CO2 per passenger kilometre or tonne kilometre from rail traction in Europe over the period 1990 to 2020.

Train to Copenhagen Campaign
The Platform members were updated on the “Train to Copenhagen” communication campaign towards the United Nations climate change conference from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen (COP 15) by Margrethe Sagevik, Senior Adviser Sustainable Development UIC. She presented the different elements of the campaign, including the special train from Brussels to Copenhagen on 5th of December, the Global Position Paper and the Railway Message towards COP 15, which will be presented and signed on the UIC Asia Environment Conference on 5. and 6. November in Kyoto. For further information please visit the official Train to Copenhagen website at www.traintocopenhagen.org

EES Budget 2010
Henning Schwarz together with Marie-Eve Lim, Director of Finance UIC, presented the proposed budget of the EES Platform for next year. The proposed budget 2010 was cut by 26% compared to last year to a total of 1,18 Mio. Euro. Henning Schwarz emphasized that the EES Platform responsibly took into account the current economic situation of the members and focuses on the most important activities in 2010.

Reports from the EES Expert Networks
The network speakers presented the ongoing activities and the foreseen 2010 projects.

The working bodies of the Platform are the following 5 Expert Networks:
• Sustainable Mobility (speaker Margrethe Sagevik, UIC)
• Noise reduction (speaker Matthias Mather, DB)
• Emissions reduction (speaker Willy Bontinck, SNCB)
• Polluted soils and remediation (speaker Harold Resida, NS)
• Energy Efficiency & CO2 (speaker Henning Schwarz, UIC)

For details please see Network presentations at http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article1533

Highlights of the Day
Two highlights of the day were the presentations of Mr. Masanori Shimozaki from the Paris Office of the Japan Railways Group, who presented Environmental Measures and strategies of JR East and JR West and the presentation on the results of the project “Energy saving potential for parked trains” by Bryan Donnelly, ATOC.

Forthcoming events of the EES Platform

For more information and all presentations see UIC website (www.uic.org) or contact Henning Schwarz, Coordinator Sustainable Development: schwarz@uic.org

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“Rail Transport Connecting Continents” Market Place Seminar successfully organised in Istanbul

On 22-23 October UIC and FIATA jointly organised Market Place Seminar – Rail Transport Connecting Continents in Istanbul. Almost 100 participants from 15 countries attended the event in order to learn more about the current and future rail situation in South Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The market place seminar was organised with substantial support from Turkish Railways (TCDD) and UTIKAD (Freight Forwarders & Logistics Service Providers Association in Turkey). The event attracted high level attention among customers, freight forwarders and railway undertakings. Heiner Rogge, FIATA General Secretary and Oliver Sellnick, UIC Freight and Passenger Director, stated, “we are really pleased with the outcome of the seminar. Honest and creative discussions took place between the participants and we believe that this event facilitates the communication between the parties with the aim to generate more rail business”.

The conclusions from the sessions were that Turkey, ideally located between Europe, Asia and Middle East, has the potential to become a major rail logistic hub. The market is constantly expanding and their trade balance with Central Europe has nearly been equalised, which enables the development of efficient railway products involving goods in both directions of traffic.

Discussions between participants at the seminar addressed openly all areas of improvements. It became obvious that railways’ competitiveness and service level must be improved before Turkey can reach its potential. Ford Otosan and BSH, participating in the seminar as customers, stressed that the rail can even play a more important role in their future logistics supply chain. However, several barriers hinder railways’ opportunity to expand.

These are the absence of liberalisation in some countries, and the infrastructure bottlenecks. Market liberalisation allow competition which in turn facilitates the development of more attractive railway products, and enables service providers to assume responsibility for the transportation chain throughout the whole itinerary. Thus, current infrastructure needs to provide competitive conditions throughout the whole transport corridor.

TCDD, which was represented by Mr. Veysi Kurt, Deputy Director General, stated that they were aware of the market potential in the region as well as the current bottlenecks. For this reason they had initiated several railway projects aiming to enhance rail traffic in the region (e.g. the railway tunnel under the Bosphorus which would enable seamless rail services between Europe and Asia). Moreover, Mr. Kurt also stressed that they are working towards a more liberalized market regime in Turkey.

Finally, participants expressed their interest in a continuation of this activity. For this reason UIC and FIATA will work towards organising a Market Place Seminar in 2010.

For more information, please contact:
Gustav Manding, UIC Senior Freight Advisor: manding@uic.org or visit the website www.marketplaceseminar.org

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13th UIC eBusiness Conference addresses optimizing Information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase productivity

In this time of crisis, many companies are cutting costs and related expensive service offerings. Railway ICT professionals met at the 13th annual eBusiness conference at UIC Headquarters in Paris, to share experience in developing simple, agile IT applications that can save money while increasing productivity. ‘ICT should be seen as a strategic asset and not as cost centre’ stated Mohamed Bhanji, Director, Marketing Technology for VIA Rail Canada. He added that ‘existing applications and IT investments can be effectively leveraged to increase productivity and make an impact on the bottom line of our company. We have effectively extended the distribution reach of our customer base to a global audience by leveraging the capabilities of our booking engine.’

The conference coincided with the release of Windows 7, where Microsoft departed from the philosophy that success is measured by the length of the feature list and are following a new philosophy: ‘To polish, optimize and streamline what we’ve already got.’ The case studies presented at the eBusiness conference followed this common industry theme of 2009 and highlighted various applications that were built atop existing legacy systems.

The successful development of the applications is attributed to the fact that many legacy systems were built using open architecture and use commonly accepted standards. This makes development more agile and cost-effective. Many of the applications presented in the case study were built in less than 6 months. All of the case studies were built to meet a specific business need, were user-defined and maximized connectivity between trading partners

The theme was echoed in a number of case studies where ICT Tools were used for timetable and capacity optimization. The case studies were appropriate for both freight and passenger operators and for infrastructure managers.

The UIC eBusiness Conference provides IT professionals to exchange experience view state-of-the-art applications in the railway sector.

For more information and to download the presentations, please consult our website at: http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article1827

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Cooperation
  

UIC present at the 11th International Rail transport Conference in Tehran

More than 1,400 delegates attended the 11th International Rail Transport Conference organised by the Iranian Association of Rail Transport Engineering with the support of Iranian Railways RAI and NirooRail on 24-25 October 2009 in Tehran. The inauguration of the conference and railway exhibition took place on 24 October with speeches or presentations of Dr. Hamid Behbahani, Minister of Road and Transportation of Iran, Mr. Ali Larijani, President of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of I.R. Iran, Mr. Saheb-Mohamadi, recently appointed new Vice Minister of Road and Transportation, President of the Iranian Railways RAI, Dr. Mohammad Yahya Maroofi, Secretary General of the regional organisation for cooperation ECO, and Paul Véron, UIC Coordinator for Middle-East, representing UIC.

Invited guests included the ambassadors of Turkey, Russia, India together with several States from Central Asia and representatives of a series of associations, among them UITP.

Several Iranian speakers put a strong focus on the ambitious plans to develop railway transportation –for passengers and freight- in Iran in order to cope with current and future challenges of mobility and sustainable development. One of the main issues to be solved is to collect funds for these high investments, preferably through a privatisation process and the development of private / public partnerships PPP.

After the conference, Paul Véron, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East Region, had the chance to meet with the new President of Iranian Railways Mr. Saheb-Mohamadi in presence of Mr. Abbas Nazari, Director General International Affairs Department of RAI and Dr. Mahmoud Keymanesh, Director of UIC Middle-East Regional Office in Tehran and Responsible for the International Railway Academy (IAR). This meeting gave the opportunity to highlight the important role played by the Iranian railways in the UIC life, as a member of the Executive Board and General Assembly and the Vice Chair Railway of UIC Regional Assembly Middle-East (the Chair Railway being TCDD from Turkey).

Mr. Saheb-Mohamadi expressed the wish that the issue of privatisation and partnership with potential investors becomes one of the priority activities on the UIC Middle-East Action Plan.

For more information please contact Paul Veron, UIC Coordinator for Middle-East: veron@uic.org

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UIC Passenger Forum sets focuses for 2010

After the implementation of measures in the framework of Passenger Rights Regulation (PRR) being the core issue of the “spring Forum” on 27 April 2009, the “autumn Forum”, which was held on 07 October 2009 in Paris, highlighted necessary follow-up activities, when the PRR finally enters into force on 03 December 2009.

So it was Jacques Dirand from the Community of European Railways (CER) who addressed right at the beginning of the Forum those members who are likely not able to comply with all requirements stemming from PRR. He strongly recommended to them to apply to their government for exceptions. Although no deadline for application of such exemptions is specified in the Regulation itself, he emphasised that it would be wiser to apply for an exemption now, which means in any case before 03/12/2009. Applications submitted after this date would lead to a situation where passenger rights once granted by law will be withdrawn again by initiative of the railways, which would provide a false signal of their customer orientation and is likely to provoke po-litical pressure from consumer organisations.

The subsequent reports of the Commercial and Technical Groups of the Passenger Forum formed traditionally the core of the Forum meeting.
Starting with the Commercial Group, Alexander Masalowicz announced that a chap-ter of European railway history would be closed with the abolishment of the TCV agreement on international passenger tariffs after a bit more than 50 years of existence. The preparation for PRR and the general change in strategies of creating in-ternational tariffs over the past two decades – going more and more away from dis-tance-based tariff schemes towards “airline-like” point-to-point offers based on yield management – resulted consequently into a completely new drafting of international tariff agreements.

The new agreement replacing TCV is named
•SCIC-NRT
(Special Conditions of International Carriage for Non-integrated-Reservation Tickets)

It will be accompanied by two separate agreements:

•SCIC-IRT
(for Integrated-Reservation Tickets, or the so-called “global price” tickets) and

• SCIC-RPT
(for Rail Pass Tickets, e.g. tickets allowing unlimited travel within a given time).

The subsequent report of the Technical Group was characterised by the increasing involvement of the work of this group in the TSI TAP process. TSI TAP are the “Technical Specifications for Interoperability for Telematics Applications for Passengers”, which cover every form of electronic message exchange related to passenger trains, like e.g. reservation systems, real-time customer information, but also the in-terface between train and infrastructure (operational monitoring). Achieving interoperability in this area is a huge task; the process is led by the European Railway Agency (ERA) on behalf of the European Commission, and the active involvement of railway undertakings in it is of utmost importance.

The report of the groups was followed by a presentation of Thomas Leimgruber, Secretary General of CIT, who recalled the complex process of changing the legal framework due to PRR. His conclusion was that interoperability of railways should be accompanied by “making law interoperable”, so his presentation came at the very right moment of the agenda so far.
The afternoon was characterised by the submission of new project proposals for the year 2010 and the “indispensable” budget discussion. It is no secret that funds have become scarce in times of economic crisis and its impact on railway business. On the one hand, it is indeed a challenge for UIC to call for funds in such hard times; on the other hand it can be seen as a chance to prove that UIC work is deemed valuable and necessary even under tight circumstances.

The Forum was closed with a warm farewell from the President, Cécile Queille, to Dr Wolfgang Zoller. Wolfgang has been chairman of the Commercial Group for many years, and involved in international rail passenger business for much longer. He will be followed by Marc Giesen from Deutsche Bahn (DB). Marc will take over his task of Chairman of the Commercial Group and ensure continuity of a successful work.

For more information please contact Dirk Oelschläger: oelschlager@uic.org

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UIC Platform Technology & Research Steering Body (14th October) and PTR Plenary session (15th October) at UIC Headquarters in Paris

Mr. Joachim Mayer, PTR Chairman opened the session and welcomed all participants.

Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General presented the new UIC HQ’s organisational chart and a proposal for a new Rail System Forum (RSF) gathering track and structures, train dynamics and running gears, operations and CCS, energy management and finally rolling stock activities. The RSF would be supported by the new UIC Rail System Department (by merging both departments “Infrastructure” + “Technology & Research”). PTR members agreed that a Rail System Forum could help managing the topics of the rail system, especially at interfaces between Sub-systems, but they expect also a professional project management organisation with a clear contractor relationship of the RSF and its activities to the other forums and platforms. Presentations will be sent to PTR Members for their comments to be returned to mayer@deutschebahn.com during week 44.

A presentation on the Coordination Technical Group was also made in the session (see also the UIC press release on the kick off meeting held on 19th October in Brussels). Experts from the European associations CER and EIM, supported by the multi-regional technical body UIC, will work together in the newly launched ‘Coordination Technical Group’ (CTG). The role of the CTG will be to coordinate common sector positions on technical issues coming from the ERA work programme. From the UIC side Mr. Simon Fletcher, Regional Coordinator, Europe will be the person in charge of the CTG. For further information please contact fletcher@uic.org

Mr. Steffen Jank presented the draft PTR internal rules on which the PTR Steering body members had already given their comments prior to this meeting. These rules will be used as a basis to the future RSF internal regulations. A table with comments is being prepared and will be sent out to all PTR members for written comments.

Mr. Johannes Gräber reported on different meetings related to “Noise reduction/LL Blocks” held in September and October on which PTR Members had already been informed in writing through letters sent by the UIC HQ to CEOs of all UIC European members.
The main result has been a common resolution signed by several European Members on the project « Europe Train » to speed up and improve LL Brake block testing in operations and a workshop organised from 5th to 7th October at the UIC (see also e-news N° 155 dated 9th October 2009).
After completing all necessary documents a consolidated working programme with a related budget will be presented to the European Regional Assembly at their meeting on 7th December 2009.

Then Mr. Dennis Schut made a progress report on the Research Coordination Group (RCG) and ERRAC activities and particularly on the EU FP7, 3rd call and mainly on the project proposal RIVAS (Rail Induced Vibration Innovative Solutions) and the project proposal EURAXLES (Minimising the risk of fatigue failure for railway axles) for which he requested support from the PTR Members. He finally presented high priority project ideas to be considered for the 4th call of the EU FP7.

Mr. Steffen Jank informed the members on rail standardisation meetings held between UIC and UNIFE and on an interim application of a draft Memorandum of Understanding on the edition and publication of common UIC – UNIFE Technical Recommendations (TecRec).The aim of the interim application of this MoU is to demonstrate that both parties are able to produce and agree on these pre-standards. TecRecs are designed to be the preferred solution by both partners for
- Product and interface standards (e.g. spare parts interchangeability)
- Publication of results of common research programs before them being passed to the ESOs
- Advanced consensual process for acceleration and influencing the work undertaken by
CEN (e.g. the cab standard)

TecRec demonstrators that are to be prepared by both partners in 2009 are:
- TecRec “Cab”, evolving from EU project Modtrain and from UIC leaflet 612, supporting the ongoing work of CEN TC 256 WG 37
- Results from on-going EU project RAILENERGY: deliverable from WP 2.2 “standard service profiles”

The Tec Rec MoU and Tec Rec Demonstrators should be adopted by PTR Members in writing by the end of 2009.
The results will be presented to the UIC Regional Assembly Europe and General Assembly in December 2009.

As far as UIC leaflets for which T&R are responsible:

- UIC leaflet N° 592 “Intermodal transport units (other than semi-trailers) for vertical transhipment and suitable for carriage on wagons – minimum requirements” has been approved in writing by PTR Members prior to the PTR meetings.
- UIC leaflet N° 556 “Information transmission in the train (train bus) – general dispositions (5th edition)” has been also approved in writing prior to the PTR meetings.
- New UIC Leaflet N° 559 “Diagnostic data transmission from railway vehicles” is available only in English and will be sent out to PTR members for written approval in November to be brought into force in December 2009 and to be published immediately in English.

New projects proposals and the PTR budget were also discussed in this meeting, e.g.:
- “CoStriM (Contact Stri/Wiere Interaction of Materials)”
- “Application of rail noise forecast”
- “Axles, wheels and axle boxes reliability – implementation of EN 50126”
- “Axles fatigue endurance according to EN 13260 and EN 13261”

Mr. Stefano Guidi made a presentation on the project “Stresses and running gear” = SOR “Sollicitation des organes de roulement” for which works have been completed. The main results will be published on the public UIC Web site soon. The complete reports will be sent free of charge to all members participating in the project. A workshop on a free participation basis will be organised on 9th December at the SNCF Depôt in Hellemmes on the outskirts of Lille in France. Please contact Geissler@uic.org

Mr. Stefano Guidi reported that an ad-hoc group “Traindy software” would be created under the umbrella of PTR Sector Expert Team 03 to further develop the already existing “TrainDy software”. The members participating in this group are: Deutsche Bahn AG, SNCF, Trenitalia, Faiveley Transport Italy, Tor Vergata University Roma. An additionnal member has recently joined the group „Knorr Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge“ from Germany. Other members from Railway untertakings, universities, companies and national certification authorities are still welcome to join. Please contact Geissler@uic.org

Mrs. Marie-Eve Lim gave an overview of the budget related to technology and research projects and the financing by PTR members.

The date for the next PTR Steering body is 11th December (09:00-15:00) at the UIC HQ.

For more information please contact Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne@uic.org

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Keep track of Train to Copenhagen

Less than a month remains before the journey from Kyoto to Copenhagen begins. The Train to Copenhagen coordination meeting on 28 October was the opportunity to discuss the programme, the participants on board, communications activities and to be updated on local campaigns.

In one week, on the 5-6 November, UIC and the Asian Regional Assembly will be organising a seminar on Climate Change and Rail. The seminar will take place in the Japanese city of Kyoto, the birthplace of the current Climate Change Protocol. From this seminar the Asian railways and UIC will send a message to the COP15 participants on how the railways can be part of the solution in the fight against global warming. The message underlines how the next generation climate regime, to be agreed upon in Copenhagen, has to support the development of smart sustainable transport systems. Rail is offering an efficient low carbon mass public transportation system, as well as safety and space efficiency.

The message will be brought to Copenhagen through a symbolic rail journey from Kyoto to Copenhagen. On the 21st of November a small group will depart from the Russian city of Vladivostok and via the Trans-Siberian Railway carry the message to Copenhagen, stopping along the way in a number of cities. During the journey, an environment expert, a NGO and climate change campaigners will send eye-witness accounts of global warming signs underway which can be followed at www.traintocopenhagen.org.

This travel team will join the Climate Express in Brussels. The train will depart from Brussels 5 December at 09:10 and arrive in Copenhagen at 22:50 stopping in Cologne at 12:32 and Hamburg at 16:34. The seminar will consist of a mixed program with focus on transportation and climate change. High level sessions will open and close the journey, and a special session on the importance of COP15 is planned. The saloon coach will host four dedicated transport workshops (Discussion “Future of Transport”, High speed rail – a sustainable mode of Transport, Benefits of shifting freight from road to rail and Addressing Transport in the Post 2012 Process). On the top of this, six interactive debates will be organised in different coaches and a market place coach will give the participants the opportunity to present their projects and initiatives.

A number of key participants have confirmed their presence on board the train amongst others Mr. Ishida UIC President and Vice chairman of Japan East Railways, Mr. Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director and Mr. Van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the IPCC. Many journalists from the international press have also booked their seats and more media from various parts of the world are expected soon. Members are expected to provide UIC with the final list of participants by 9 November.

Before the arrival of the train, DSB will offer a free 24h ticket valid for all public transport in Copenhagen to the travellers. At the arrival in Copenhagen the Climate Express will be welcomed by COP15 hostess and Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard and the CEO of DSB Soeren Eriksen.

Two wagons will be branded with UNEP/ Seal the Deal! and WWW/Vote Earth designs and nine coaches of the train will be decorated with the Train to Copenhagen visuals, including participating project partners and sponsors, and UIC participating members.

During the journey, a team of illustrators will capture the on board activities and produce a mural which will be displayed in Copenhagen during the COP15.

Besides, the message brought to Copenhagen was agreed upon. It will be supported and signed by all participants on the train and will be given out to Connie Hedegaard at the arrival. The message will be “Keep Kyoto on Track; Seal the Deal!”.

The global rail position paper, supporting the Train to Copenhagen communications campaign, will be available in a few days on the Train to Copenhagen website. It will be presented at the UNFCCC meeting in Barcelona, the last round of pre negotiations before COP15, . The paper highlights how transport is a key sector to address in regards to climate change and highlights how rail is a part of the solution in regards to a transition to low carbon mobility. UIC will be organising a side event in Barcelona, together with UNEP, WWF and RENFE, on how to integrate transport policy and sustainable mobility in the climate change debate.

A member’s area has been opened on the Train to Copenhagen website where all information and documents related to the project can be found. All members are invited to register and access this working space.

The last coordination meeting will take place in Paris on 18 November.

For more information please visit: www.traintocopenhagen.org or contact traintocopenhagen@uic.org

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Cooperation
  

UIC participates in the TEN-T Days 2009: The future of Trans-European Transport Networks: building bridges between Europe and its neighbours

The annual conference on Trans-European Transport Networks -TEN-T Days – organised by the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Swedish Presidency of the European Union was held on 21-22 October in Naples, Italy.

The conference, focusing on how to reinforce transport cooperation with Africa, was opened by Mr Altero Matteolo, Minister of Transport of Italy, with the presence of Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission. UIC was represented by UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, by Mr Jean-Pierre Lehman, UIC Africa Coordinator and Mrs Cleopatra Shiceka, representing the South African railways.

This year, the aim was to move forward the TEN-T policy review launched at the beginning of 2009 and aiming at a revision of the Trans-European transport network guidelines, and to develop a common approach on the external dimension of Europe’s transport networks, looking at links with neighbouring countries and giving special attention to Africa, in order to identify the fundamentals of a strong partnership and how to get there.

Strategic cooperation between Europe and Africa in the field of transport has been introduced within the framework of the EU-Africa infrastructure partnership, under which regional and national transport, water, energy and telecommunications networks are interconnected throughout Africa. Improving Africa’s infrastructure, in particular its transport networks, leads to better interconnected networks, safer and more reliable transport services will definitely have an impact on living conditions as well as on economic growth of the entire continent. However, Africa is often not always in a position to cope with such challenges by itself. As it was underlined by Mr Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, said "Africa has opened doors to various development partners to work together to find solutions to the implementation of its infrastructure programmes. The EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership is one of the key partnerships that Africa expects to result in significant progress in infrastructure development in the continent. The EU-Africa Transport Forum [is] a special opportunity to discuss strategies for realization of this objective”.
This conference falls within the scope of these existing policies and instruments, by initiating a reflection on how to improve transcontinental connections and by suggesting possible ways of cooperating and sharing experiences in order to develop a more reliable and safer transport system, one which is not just based on new infrastructure but also on more efficient, safer and less expensive transport services. The measures identified would be implemented within the framework of cooperation and on the basis of existing instruments. The joint EU-Africa partnership and the forum on transport brought together, in addition to institutional players already represented within the partnership, transport operators, European and African associations, which enabled to widen the debate on specific issues relating to this key development sector.

Particular emphasis will be placed on coordinating plans to stimulate economic activity at both national and Community level. Workshops and round tables tackled a large number of topics, among them: High Speed Rail; waterborne Freight Transport - Motorways of the Sea, Ports, Inland waterways ; TEN-T North and East: the challenges of co-modality and interoperability; Integrating the TEN-T: the challenge of enlargement; The Mediterranean and North-African Dimension: Link between Europe and Africa; Towards an integrated multimodal transport network.

UIC, because of its global dimension, is of course interested in the African region and its developments. It is indeed a region with diverse needs and situations. Besides, UIC feels concerned because of the political context with the Euro-Mediterranean network and the impulse given by the European Commission, in which rail can play an essential role, for example in an intermodality context.

As underlined by Jean-Pierre Lehman, a number of projects have been achieved in Africa, such as the AFRICARAIL project – rail interconnection between Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo and Tchad, or the development of infrastructures in North Africa (high speed line in Morocco). It is also planed to modernise the existing networks and the building of new lines; the rehabilitation of the rolling stock; the modernisation of the infrastructures; and the development of the railway industry in Africa.

UIC also undertakes actions to help to develop the African rail network. On 6 April 2007, a memorandum of understanding was signed in Alger by UIC and the African Union. This initiative is being achieved through the participation of UIC to activities carried out by the African Union.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux highlighted the UIC members of the African region developed the report “Africa 2025”, identifying the needs in the region. UIC role is also to bring answers to technical questions in the field of infrastructure, or material and to bring an institutional support of the sector to the decision makers and investors, such as the EIB and the African Development Bank. Finally, it organises exchanges between the 31 African members via conferences or training sessions.

The results of the Forum’s discussions and the identification of the priorities should be considered as the starting point of the next stage, that is to decide, through the signature of a joint declaration, a priority action plan and the identification of financing for such action. The forthcoming EU-Africa summit, which will take place in 2010 in Africa, will provide an opportunity to examine the progress made in implementing this action plan.

For more information please contact Jean-Pierre Lehman, UIC Coordinator for Africa: lehman@uic.org

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Worskhop on the Loads and Stresses on Running Gear, SNCF Technicentre of Hellemmes (Lille, France), December 9th, 2009

We are pleased to announce that UIC, in partnership with SNCF Technicentre of Hellemmes, will organise a workshop dedicated to the presentation of the results of the project « Loads and Stresses on Running Gear » and their possible applications on the maintenance and the sustainability of running gear.

The workshop will consist of two parts : presentation of the results in the morning session and visit of the wheelset maintenance workshop of Hellemmes SNCF Technicentre in the afternoon.

A link and more info on the subject will be made available very soon via the link to the schedule of meetings on UIC home page.

For more information please contact Isabelle de Keyser: dekeyser@uic.org

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UIC Events in 2010

- 2nd UIC Global Rail Freight Conference (Russia, St Petersburg, 6-7 July 2010)

- 2nd International Conference on Traffic Management & Control-Command Systems (Japan, Tokyo, 7-9 June 2010)

- UIC Sustainability Conference (Spain, end of June TBC)

- 7th UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 (China, Beijing, 7-9 December 2010)

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Next meetings scheduled

  • 29-30 October 2018 Talent and Expertise Development Platform Riga, Latvia
  • 5 November 2018 UIC Stakeholder Workshop: IRS 90940 - Project SFERA: Communication with DAS UIC Headquarters, Paris
  • 6 November 2018 Passenger Services Group Rome
  • 6 November 2018 UIC Stakeholder Workshop: IRS 90930 - Traction Energy Settlment and Data Exchange UIC Headquarters, Paris
  • 6 November 2018 Standardisation event Paris UIC HQ
  • 7 November 2018 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2018 TopRail Meeting - Preparation of the forum Rome
  • 7 November 2018 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 8 November 2018 Preparatory Group 93rd General Assembly Paris
  • 8 November 2018 Freight Forum Rail Cargo Group HQ, Vienna (AT)
  • 13 November 2018 SHERPA Kick-off Meeting Paris, UIC HQ
  • 14 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards Bangkok, Thailand
  • 15 November 2018 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 15-16 November 2018 Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for the Future Society Warsaw, Poland
  • 15 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Future Projects Seminar Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 16th Asia-Pacific Management Committee Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 26th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Bangkok, Thailand
  • 22-23 November 2018 RSF Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 22 November 2018 Statistics Plenary Meeting UIC-Paris
  • 5 December 2018 Africa Regional Assembly UIC HA Paris
  • 6 December 2018 4th UIC Digital Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 6 December 2018 European Management committee Paris
  • 6 December 2018 27th European Regional Assembly Paris
  • 7 December 2018 Executive Board Paris
  • 7 December 2018 93rd General Assembly Paris
  • 17-19 April 2019 Asset Management Global Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 16-18 May 2019 TopRail Forum Naples
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 29 October 2009

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