From 10 – 25 June 2010, KORAIL (Korea Railroad) organised a ‘Railway Management & Operation course’ at IRaTCA (International Railway Training Centre for UIC Asia) for high-ranking Algerian officials.
This was IRaTCA’s first training programme targeting the Maghreb region (the Maghreb refers to North African countries, consisting of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania). The Arabic word literally means “place of sunset”. and it is hoped it will serve as an opportunity to help develop mutual understanding between Africa and Asia, in line with UIC’s aim of increasing the international scope of its work.
The course opened with lectures on the ‘Overview of KORAIL’ and ‘Green Growth Railway Policy’ that gave trainees a macroscopic view of the railways.
The middle part of the programme consisted of classes on topics such as management, rolling stock, signalling, infrastructure and private investment, focused on pragmatic use.
The ‘Private Investment’ lecture in particular helped present the trainees with a solution for an effective financing method, which is one of the most important problems in developing countries.
Finally, the trainees were able to attest to what they had learned and benchmark Korean railway manufacturers through a series of technical tours.
Furthermore, a continuous exchange of views on railway matters offered a good chance to build common ground between the Algerian trainees and the IRaTCA staff.
Slimi Mohamed Abdrrezak, from SNTF (Algerian national railways), said: “I hope we can strengthen the ties between our continents through projects such as the IRaTCA training programme, that helps bridge the technology gap between UIC members.”