The Rail System Forum Steering Board met on 19 June 2014 at UIC in Paris. Andy Doherty, RSF Vice-Chairman, led the meeting composed of high-level representatives from 12 major European and Asian railways.
A video recording from Michele Mario Elia, RSF Chairman prior to his nomination as new CEO of Italian Railways, was broadcast to members. In his message, Mr Elia thanked members for their cooperation and professional investment in the areas of Interoperability, Operation, Signalling and Track Technology over the past two years.
The welcome message delivered Mr Michele Elia is available here:
UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed the fact that the RSF was the only place where all stakeholders can come together – both from Operators and Infrastructure Managers – to work on technical solutions taking into consideration the rail system as a whole. Reflecting on the four years of the Rail System forum’s existence, Mr Loubinoux announced that it was a good time to consider a rotation of the Steering Board members and Sector Chairmen. Letters calling for interested candidates for the Five Sectors – Track & Structures, Train Track Interaction, CCS & Operation, Rolling Stock, Energy Management – will be sent out to members during summer.
Simon Fletcher, UIC Coordinator Europe, updated members on the highlights and recent events of the EUROC (“European Railway Operating Community”) in relation to the Shift2Rail initiative. He reported that a master plan was under preparation outlining rail’s view on the reduction of system costs, the need for simplification of the business process as well as an improved standardisation. The overall concept of the EUROC is to put the customer first and to consider the rail system as a whole.
Gianfranco Cau, UIC Coordinator for Rolling Stock, Energy Management and Standardisation, then delivered an update on the work of the Standardisation Platform and its work programme for 2014 presenting three new IRS (International Railway Standards) on “Maintenance of High Speed Lines”, “Homologation of High Speed Lines” and “Overhead lines management”. The concept of an IRS is capable of taking into account all existing standards and national regulations (e.g. ISO, IEC, GHOST, OSJD regulations etc).
The Steering Board meeting followed with regular updates by the five Sector Chairmen and representatives on open points, sector progress reports and the follow up on new Project Proposals for 2015.
Hans Günther Kersten, Director of the Rail System Department, stated that out of a total of 17 RSF projects presented to the European Assistants in May 2014, four had been qualified as “essential”:
- European Standard Freight Wagon Axle for 25t
- User Requirements Specification for ERTMS in the World
- Emergency Brake Valve Performance on ERTMS lines
- Train Bus Applications and Homologation
Steering Board members considered including two proposals in the area of Train Track interaction as essential given their extremely interesting cost benefit ratios. This viewpoint was shared by ÖBB Infrastructure, represented by Rudolf Koller from International Relations, and Andy Doherty, Network Rail.
Thomas Joindot, RSF CCS & Operation Sector Chairman from SNCF, presented the work plan for the new project proposal “Formalspec” with the objective to undertake the formalisation of existing interlocking and signalling equipment and to overcome the phenomenon of vendor lock-in.
Pierre-Etienne Gautier, Train Track Interaction Sector Chairman, updated members on the main ongoing projects and the main deliverables to be expected until end 2014. He reported on the “Effect of vehicle instability on track resistance and fatigue” project using the results of the EuropeTrain project to analyse the risks for track damage at wheel rail interaction forces.
Reports on Energy Management and Rolling Stock were delivered by the Sector Coordinator. Both Sectors have been working on an impressive number of UIC Leaflets and more recently International Railways Standards, in cooperation with other Forums and Platforms.
Teodor Gradinariu, UIC Senior Advisor AMWG, Operation and ERRAC Secretary, delivered the latest involvement of the Asset Management Working Group in the dissemination of work and experience amongst fellow railway members.
The meeting was concluded with detailed information from the Research area by Jerzy Wisniewski, Director Fundamental Values, and Bo Olsson, RCG Chairman, outlining both work undertaken by RCG (Research Coordination Group) and IRRB (International Railway Research Board).