Information published on 14 June 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 503.

UIC took part in the “Strategic Partnership 1520” International Forum

  • International Conference
  • Reporting

UIC took part in the “Strategic Partnership 1520” International Forum which was hosted by RZD President Oleg Belozerov from 1 – 3 June 2016 in Sochi, Russia.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General said: “This important Forum is one of key dates in the international agenda to discuss the further railway key issues to be developed in the near future. As a worldwide technical platform able to catalyse some of ideas into projects, UIC is always pleased every year to participate in these exchanges”.

The Strategic Partnership 1520 (SP1520) is the largest business meeting of all major stakeholders across the wide gauge area.

The SP1520 is about fostering a joined-up approach to the development of rail sector across 1520 to make sure it is at the leading edge of freight and passenger transportation the world over.

The forum aims to reach systemic solutions for the most important operating issues in the rail complex: optimisation of transport process, modernisation of transport infrastructure, attracting investment, and the production of modern rolling stock.
The audience is made up of leading transport companies from Russia, the CIS and the European Union: national rail carriers, rolling stock operators, producers of rail technology, logistics, leasing, insurance and freight forwarding companies.
The SP1520 is home to signing ceremonies for major international agreements on the strategic development of the wide gauge system, along with contracts for the supply and servicing of rail equipment.

The Forum was divided into the following sessions below and factors & topics & issues which are technically and economically critical for the technological situation of the 1520 railway world.

1) How to Identify New Possibilities in Current Realities

Participants tried to answer (1) Where 1520 Transport Corridors Lead and (2) How has the map of international rail-freight flows changed under the pressure of political and economic factors, and how can these changes be exploited?

Factors to be taken into account:

  • New economic unions
  • Embargos and other forms of political pressure
  • Different currency exchange rates
  • Construction of port infrastructure

2) 1520 on an Anti-Crisis Diet

How to keep in mind long-term planning while cutting costs?

Topics to explore:

  • State priorities in the shaping and implementation of railway-development policies
  • What can market players bank on in an environment of economic uncertainty and growing risk?
  • Which strategies are most effective to improve service quality and boost consumer trust?
  • How to forecast railway business indicators for the years ahead?
  • Which new partnership formats will be most effective in the near future?

Towards Private Financing: New Sources and Mechanisms of Delivering Infrastructure Projects in Russia

Topics to explore:

  • Which non-budgetary financing sources that have proven their effectiveness in Russia can be used for developing the railway infrastructure?
  • New models of non-budgetary financing of investment projects into the development of railway infrastructure
  • Distribution of risks in the process of implementing infrastructure projects between Russian Railways, financial institutions and the state. Monetisation of Risks
  • Solving state problems through non-budgetary financing
  • Interaction between Russian Railways, financial institutions, federal and regional bodies of authority in the process of development of railway infrastructure with attracting non-budgetary financing sources
  • Sources of capital: The interest of various market players on the market of non-budgetary financing (NPFs, banks, state and specialised foundations) toward railway infrastructure projects
  • Mechanisms attractive to financial and other participants of projects, concessions, PPPs, project financing, specialised and concession bonds

3) Transport Service Market

A Model for the Benefit of All

Topics to explore:

  • Current market model: is it sustainable enough and how can it be transformed?
  • Rolling stock “in the hands” of a single operator: pros and cons
  • Taking locomotives out of Russian Railways subsidiaries: is there an added value?
  • A private carriers’ experiment: a glimpse into the future

External Markets: Potential of Partnerships

Topics to explore:

  • Exports of rolling stock and casting – markets and competitors
  • Mechanisms of export support
  • Opportunities of consortia: in which countries and tenders can we participate as a team
  • Role of 1520 in rail infrastructure

4) Rail Logistics

Bedrock of a Future Transport

Topics to explore:

  • Vibrancy and geography of global freight flows: which services will be the most sought-after over the next few years?
  • Developing an end-to-end service system: trends and prospects
  • Logistics and e-commerce: prospects for mutual enrichment
  • Economics and geography of logistics facilities
  • What will the countries of 1520 showcase at the Transport and Logistic China 2016?

5) Partnership between 1520 and 1435: Reliability and Efficiency

How can Russian and European companies work together?

Topics to explore:

  • Localised production of rolling-stock
  • Service
  • Joint efforts to identify new markets
  • Reliability of technical solutions

How to Make Rail Transport More Attractive?
What measures can bring freight to rail transport
Rolling-Stock: Looking for Justice

How to balance rail-car production and consumption markets?

Topics to explore:

  • Sectorial balance: what is helping and what is preventing?
  • Market indicators and state support: which rules does rolling-stock live by?
  • Producer-based service: a necessity?
  • Shortage of specialised rail cars: why is high demand not enough?
  • Leasing mechanisms

6) High-Speed Rail Generation

How to train an effective manager?

Topics to explore:

  • Competencies that will be crucial for specialists in the main fields of rail business in 5-10 years
  • Manager of the future: should every manager, in the words of Herman Gref, be an “IT specialist?”
  • Empathy and charity as essential values of our business

7) A Ticket to the Future

Who is going to pay for passengers’ comfort?

Topics to explore:

  • How can passenger transport be propelled towards a new cycle of development?
  • How to stimulate long-term defrayed demand for innovative rolling-stock?
  • Leasing, state subsidies, zero VAT. What other instruments might be useful?

8) Client-Focus as a Core Value

What does a satisfied customer look like?

Topics to explore:

  • How to change the mentality and return customer trust
  • Meeting the clients’ interests as an indicator of company’s competitive edge

On the sidelines of the Forum, UIC met and exchanged opinions with the Union of Railway Constructors (SSZD) on bilateral actions to be undertaken in the interest of members of both organisations.
SSZD is in charge inter alia of the creation of a centre for the evaluation of compliance with mandatory requirements of EU and Russia.

It is also responsible for the organisation of seminars and creation of educational centres:

  • Building designing;
  • Execution of construction works;
  • Exploitation of high-tech objects of infrastructure;
  • The application of standards on safety in transport and construction;
  • Conformity assessment;
  • Insurance.

Therefore close cooperation between UIC and SSZD will contribute to IRS being promoted as a tool when EurAsEC (Custom Union) is going to temporarily suspend the application area & scope of 1520 Regulations.

For further information please contact Vytautas Kinderis: kinderis@uic.org