EURASIA RAIL, the 5th International Rolling Stock, Infrastructure and Logistics Exhibition, supported by the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications as well as Turkish State Railways (TCDD), took place at Istanbul Expo Centre on 5 and 6 March.
This important event at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle-East, provides an opportunity to review all the important developments in the sector, the latest technology, the introduction of new products, and to present large companies and institutions on a single platform in Istanbul. This exhibition is the most recognised meeting place for the sector in Eurasia. This exhibition offers innovation and services in the world relating to the railway, light rail systems, infrastructure and railway logistics issues in the sector, and conferences and seminars conducted simultaneously with the exhibition provide companies in the sector with an insight into positions they will occupy in the future.
The opening ceremony speech was delivered by Mr Lütfi Elvan, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications; Mr Mehmet Hamdi Yıldırım, Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, on that day also acting as the Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD); Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC; Mr François Begeot, Under-Secretariat of European Union Delegation to Turkey; and Mr Korhan Yazgan, Chairman of the Executive Board of Türkel Fair Organisation.
In his opening address UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux congratulated Mr Lütfi Elvan, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications as well as the authorities of the Turkish Republic for the ambitious achievements recently obtained in the transport and rail transport fields in Turkey.
He said: “All these achievements could happen in the framework of a coherent transport strategy for the promotion of an attractive and sustainable transport system, serving the country and the people.
In this context, I can underline that currently very few other countries provide a better example of the willingness and determination to develop, within a rather short period of time, a modern, competitive railway system serving economy and society.
After the inauguration of Marmaray, the constant efforts in developing new high speed lines, renovating the existing freight and passenger lines, modernising the rolling stock and traffic management systems, or improving rail connections to neighbouring regions. All these examples strongly demonstrate how much the authorities of Turkey are confident in the contribution of the rail transport mode to master future challenges of mobility, economy and sustainability.”
The UIC Director General also paid tribute to the leadership of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) to promote an international, intercontinental, railway system at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and the Middle-East.
“On the one hand, TCDD is committed to participating in European activities, in particular in UIC, aiming to optimise interoperability and standardisation of the rail system.
On the other hand, Turkey has definitively a strategic role to play with its location at the crossroads of North-South corridors (from Russia, Central Asia) and East-West corridors (in particular on the New Rail Silk Road to Iran, Pakistan, India). In this context I would like to highlight the leadership of Mr Süleyman Karaman as Chairman of the Middle-East Region at UIC since 2007.
In a region with obviously difficult geopolitical conditions, Mr Karaman, with the support of the UIC working bodies, has succeeded in developing a genuine cooperation spirit and a promising working programme shared by 15 member railways from 8 countries in the Middle-East. The most important achievement is the definition of a Vision and Strategic Action Plan with Horizon 2020 for the Middle-East, as part of the six regional visions that UIC has coordinated.”
This conference gave the opportunity to international as well as Turkish speakers to take the floor regarding “Developments in world Railways”, “Experiences on Urban Rail Systems Operations”, “High Speed Rail Vehicle Technology, Marketing and Tender Issues”, “Problems of passenger and freight transport, solutions and development potential”, as well as “National Railway Projects” and “Developments of Railway Legislations in Turkey”. This event also included a huge exhibition in an 18,000 square metre area .
International senior officials such as the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Serbia Mr Nedjo Trininic, Executive Director of Europe & Africa of Deutsche Bahn of Germany Mr Benoit Schmitt, Executive Director of Railway Administration Executive Agency of Bulgaria Mr Veselin Vasilev, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Czech Railways Mr Ludvik Urban, General Director of State Railways of Democratic Republic of Georgia Mr Mamuka Bakhtadze, General Director of Bosnia-Herzegovina State Railways Mr Nijaz Puzic, General Manager of Regulatory Unit of Kosovo Railway Authority Mr Enis Berisha, Deputy General Manager of Jordan Hejaz Railways Dr Abdullah Malkawi, Director of UIC Middle East Regional Office Mr Abbas Nazari, and General Manager of State Railways of Romania Mr Ioan Tarnita, also participated in the exhibition.