UIC attended the Berlin High-level Dialogue on Implementing Rio+20 Decisions on Sustainable Cities and Transport (19 – 21 June 2013). Nick Craven as Manager of the Sustainable Development Unit at UIC, gave a presentation on Rail as the backbone of sustainable transport. This opportunity was used to highlight how the modern railway has confirmed its position at the centre of sustainable transport systems by forging ever stronger intermodal links through new ticketing technology, streamlining the movement of goods, integrating timetables and providing facilities for bicycles and electric cars. The strength of the case for rail was further illustrated by consideration of rail as a low carbon form of transport with high levels of safety and good affordability, especially when external costs are properly considered.
UIC’s participation in United Nations events such as these ensures that the arguments in favour of railways are heard by representatives of national governments as well as other important stakeholders and decision makers. This helps to balance the claims put forward by competing transport modes. The UIC contribution received positive feedback from representatives of a major development bank, confirming a shift in their view towards a more positive understanding of the role that rail has to play in transport systems.