The 3rd Edition of the World Congress on Rail Training jointly organised by the UIC, Portuguese Railways CP, Rail Infrastructure Manager REFER, and its partners Fertagus, DB Mobility Logistics AG, DB Training, Learning & Consulting, SNCF and the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) was successfully held between 15 and 17 April 2015 at the Instituto, in Lisbon, Portugal.
This event brought together 237 participants from 40 countries (Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Middle East).
The World Congress on Rail Training 2015 was organised at the initiative of the UIC Expertise Development Platform, which draws its expertise from the regional Rail Training Centres Networks. Its main purpose is to enhance workforce development through sharing best practice in rail training across the entire industry.
Key note opening addresses were given at the opening session by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General; Mr Arlindo Oliveira, IST President; Mrs Ana Cristina Dourado, Fertagus CEO; Mr Antonió Ramalho, REFER President and Mr Manuel Queiró, CP President.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, welcomed the attendees and highlighted in his speech the importance of this event for railway training professionals and the HR community, as well as for the railway industry in general. Today we see “the global rail renaissance” and because the demand for rail is growing there has never been a better time to join the railway industry. Rail is more and more recognised as an important mode of transportation for the mobility of goods and the people at international level. By providing a sustainable solution that responds to the needs of a growing economy, rail offers society a competitive, environmentally-friendly transport solution. Mention was made of the forthcoming major event on sustainability: COP 21.
During these two-and–a-half days, the attendees were offered a wide variety of topics and opportunities to participate in plenary sessions, parallel sessions, workshops and/or technical visits. Among the topics raised were: Strategy and Innovation, New Learning Technologies & Multimodal Learning, Non Technical skills, Safety, Trainers & Training Design, Cooperation between Rail Industries and Universities, Evaluation and Testing, Knowledge Management, Linking Learning & Working, Learning Technologies, Security Skills, Attraction & Retention of talents…
Three technical visits were proposed. The first technical visit was to the Lisbon Operational Command Centre (CCO). The centre is multi-disciplinary and equipped with the most modern systems to support the operation of the trains. The second visit presented the Fertagus maintenance depot and workshop (first private operator to guarantee commercial railway operation in Portugal). The visit included a complete description of the cycle and maintenance operations. Participants were able to visit the workshop facility and the train in maintenance.
The last technical visit was to the CP/EMEF Innovation Centre. EMEF is the main Portuguese Company in the railway maintenance sector. The Innovation Centre provides Portugal’s best equipped signal and power electronics workbenches and laboratories. It has three large rail maintenance facilities strategically located across the Portugal: in the north, in the middle, and in Lisbon.
Mrs Nathalie Amirault, UIC Head of Unit-Expertise Development, gave a presentation of the UIC Expertise Development Platform (EDP) activities and projects. She outlined the organisation of the activity at regional level with different networks of railway training centres currently operating in the EU, Asia and the Middle East, as well as at global level – with namely the organisation of the WCRT every two years and the TALENT project (an international network of railway talents and an international development management programme for different target groups). Among the achievements of the project so far, mention was made inter alia of the creation and operation of Rail Uni Net (global Railway University Network), a Talent platform (www.railtalent.org), the “updating” of SIAFI training, the on-going preparation of an EMBA, the setting up of new training sessions in co-operation with Rail Uni Net, with two new training sessions on Asset Management and Logistics & Freight scheduled for late 2015 at a university.
She also informed the participants about the forthcoming first networking and collaborative TALENT event, to be held at Newcastle University on 17 July.
Results of the UIC “trainer development” and “customer service” EDP (Expertise Development Platform /ENRTC) projects were delivered. It is worth mentioning that the work of the trainer project has been hugely successful and participating organisations reported that it has produced real financial benefits for their companies.
During the concluding session, Mr Alexander Netolicky, President of the EDP, and Nathalie Amirault underlined that the Congress was also the occasion to confirm the interest of the audience for two new projects related to simulation training for train drivers and ERTMS/ETCS.
The next meeting of the UIC Expertise Development Platform scheduled on 24 and 25 September 2015 in Oslo at the kind invitation of NSB and Norwegian Rail Academy will also be the occasion for a kick-off of these new projects, if interest is confirmed.
They closed the congress together with Mr Wisnieswki, Director of the UIC Fundamental Values Department and Mr Miguel Faro Viana, REFER Training Director, with warm thanks to the partners, sponsors, the Congress Steering Committee and the audience for their participation.