The meeting of UIC Panel of Structural Experts in September was organised this year by the Hellenic Railway Organisation OSE in Athens from 16 September to 18 September 2014.
13 Members of 12 Member organisations were present at the meeting.
On 16 September 2014 the Chairman welcomed the participants to the meeting at the OSE headquarters in Athens. Mr Birlirakis, head of department for civil engineering at OSE, also welcomed the participants and expressed his wish for a fruitful meeting. The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the different PoSE bridge and tunnel projects. Most of the projects are currently in the final status. Unfortunately due to new organisational structures and financial restrictions not all member organisations could send their representatives. Therefore for most projects the current status was presented through written reports but the final approval will be at the next meeting in Paris. The following projects will be finalised:
- Assessment of masonry arch bridges
The project led by Prof. Zoltán Orbán from the University of Pecs will be finalised in November this year and the new UIC leaflet will be presented in Paris at the next meeting
- Recalculation of metal bridges
The new leaflet 778-2 E for the recalculation of metal bridges will also be discussed at the next meeting in Paris as well as the technical report of this project.
The new tunnel assessment project will start in the next year with the approval of the General Assembly.
Other items were discussed and the panel decided to create a European statistic about railway bridges and discussed its basis.
The PoSE is an exchange platform for current and important news and information about structures in general. Therefore a short presentation was given about the current status of regulations in Europe and also the new European research items. Unfortunately no international information about these items was available.
For the first time, the chairman concluded the first day of the meeting having covered all items on the agenda. Only some information was left for the second part of the meeting.
On the second day the Greek colleagues prepared a wonderful visit to new bridges and to the new line under construction to Patras. It was a very interesting visit with good experiences of the current status of work and also the use of UIC and CEN standards for railway constructions.
During this visit the colleagues could use their new safety vests provided by UIC to present the PoSE as a strong group of experts with a clear statement for railway and personal safety.
It was once more a sign for international cooperation between railway infrastructure managers without competition, only for joint and successful cooperation of the experts in this special field.
The second day ended with a tour on the rack-railway from Diakopto to Kalavryta and the trip back to Athens.
On the third day only some additional information and presentations remained for the meeting and after checking the draft of the minutes the Chairman closed this 25th autumn session of the structural experts with many thanks to the Greek colleagues for the organisation of the meeting, including the visits.