UIC supported the 7th International Rolling Stock, Infrastructure & Logistics Exhibition, Eurasia Rail, that was successfully held from 2 – 4 March at the Istanbul Expo Center.
The opening ceremony of the 7th Eurasia Rail Exhibition took place on 2 March with the participation of Mr Yüksel Coskunyürek, Vice Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Isa Apaydin, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish Railways (TCDD), UIC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the UIC Middle-East Region, and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC.
Mr Isa Apaydin gave an overview of the large number of achievements and railway projects currently underway in the Republic of Turkey.
In his opening address, UIC Director General Mr Loubinoux underlined: “Turkey, through its ambitious projects and achievements in the rail sector, is an optimal place to demonstrate to an international audience of decision-makers, how the development of a modern and effective rail transport system can strongly contribute to economic growth and social development. Let us just mention the fast development of the Turkish high speed network, of modern freight and intermodal services, the projects of intercontinental corridors connected to the Silk Roads...UIC and the international railway community can only congratulate Turkey and TCDD for the continuous confidence and investment in rail as the backbone of the mobility system of the future”.
Mr Loubinoux then addressed the issue of the technological developments that are preparing the railway system of the future and the contribution of UIC in this matter.
The rail sector, in his view, has to rapidly face five main challenges to be successful as the backbone of an effective mobility system:
- The challenge of contributing to a genuine multimodal mobility system, with a special focus on improving interfaces,
- The development of long distance, interoperable, intercontinental freight corridors,
- The huge challenge of the technological revolution and, at the core of the process, of the digital revolution,
- The challenge of offering sustainable transport solutions and optimising environmental-friendliness of railway operations,
- Finally railway research as a key to ensure the innovation needed to construct a successful future for rail transport"
The challenges of the “Digital Railway”
Mr Isa Apaydin, TCDD President and UIC Vice Chairman, and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, also participated as panellists in the Railway Forum on 2 March in the afternoon, together with Mr Veysi Kurt, Chairman and Director General of the newly created TCDD transport company, Mr Libor Lochman, Executive Director of the CER, and several high-level speakers from the host country. The discussions were moderated by Mr Orhan Birdal, Deputy Under Secretary of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Turkey.
On behalf of UIC, Mr Loubinoux focused his presentation on the opportunities created by the digital revolution for railways. Under the keywords “Share, Open, Connect”, UIC has rapidly developed a dedicated action plan with the aim to reflect this revolution in all sectors and disciplines of railway operations.
He said: “We are living in a digital era. Today digital is everywhere. Indeed, after technical and administrative interoperability, we must carry out the standardisation work of integration between informatisation and industrialisation.
To this aim, a Digital Platform was created at UIC with the objectives to share creative ideas, ensure harmonisation and boost innovation.
Three main areas of common interest have been identified in connection with digitalisation: Security and in particular Cybersecurity, Services (Freight and Passenger) and Productivity of the Rail System. In this context, UIC gave the opportunity to its members, its partners, to start-up and technical opinion leaders, to share and even to start to co-build the future of mobility together.”
"In the context of digitalisation, UIC as a technical Platform also promotes “Proofs of Concept” (PoC). Several prototypes of PoC have already been developed to bring concrete answers to concrete questions. These PoC (for example dealing with “Track circuit shunting booster”, “Broken rail detection and localisation”, “Improvement with digital level crossings”) are presented to our members and will constitute a basis for new IRSs (International Railway Solution) to be then passed to the industry."
Among the activities planned for the near future, Mr Loubinoux mentioned a digital conference in Rome and a “Silicon Valley tour” with a delegation from UIC member CEOs at the end of May to meet and exchange with leading actors of the digital revolution.