TRAKO is the largest and most prestigious rail industry meeting in Poland and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe, supported inter alia by Polish State Railways (PKP). A presentation of the state of the art in transport systems and railway infrastructure in Poland, Europe and round the world. The Fair takes place every two year and is a meeting place for rail and tram businesses: organisers and operators, technology providers, manufacturers, distributors, central and local authorities, experts, engineers, investors and railway enthusiasts. It is also a platform for discussion, exchange of information and a search for innovative solutions in infrastructure, the transport management system and rolling stock equipment technology. TRAKO 2017 has 700 exhibitors from 25 countries. TRAKO participants are both multinationals and the leading Polish rail and tram companies, including private and local government operators, suppliers of rail technology and rolling stock.
At the opening session of the event, attended by more than 2000 participants, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux – UIC Director General was invited as a keynote speaker to present the UIC stand point on development of railways in the context of the recent and future challenges. He thanked the organisers for the invitation and said that UIC is based on: unity, universality and solidarity – this last word is especially meaningful here in Gdansk.
Among other things, he underlined:
“The railways facilitate the crossing of borders between nations, strongly contribute to creating interoperability between countries and their populations. This is in many cases a reward for the tenacity and the daily engagement of the railway professionals – including all of you – that design, research, construct, operate and maintain the railway in their respective areas. In fact, stakeholders in Europe and all over the world recognise that mobility by rail is the backbone of an effective, integrated, multimodal transportation system, thanks to its advantages in terms of capacity, safety, reliability and environmental-friendliness. The huge challenge is the technological revolution aiming to optimise all parameters which influence performance, capacity, speed and reliability of the rail transport system. In the core of this process is the digital revolution. All sectors, all products of railway operations should embrace all the latest developments of this revolution. Let us just mention customer information and ticketing, track and rolling stock maintenance, traffic management, security (cybercrime)… We need a genuine multi‐modal mobility system - this will allow us to provide a base for comfortable digital applications to satisfy the end user. The progress in the digital area will bring innovative solutions with the same speed and this rapid change of our daily life will be one of the most important influences of the future”.
More than 40 events – debates, seminars, conferences and presentations were organised at the “Gdansk Amberexpo” area – with international attendees addressed the industry’s most current priority subjects. UIC was invited to present the future possibilities and possible threats for digitalisation on railways. Moderated by Mr Adam Wieladek – Honorary UIC Chairman, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Mr Francis Bedel – UIC IT manager & Chief Digital Officer, spoke about the “UIC digital strategy” in detail. During the debate a prestation was also given by Mr Andrzej Zurkowski – Director of the Polish Railway Research Institute and Vice Chairman of the UIC International Railway Research Board (IRRB), who described IRRB’s activity and announced the “Global Conference – a Debate on Rail Research and Development “scheduled for November 2018 in Poland.
Following the events of Day 1 at the TRAKO venue area, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux was received by Mr Krzysztof Maminski – PKP SA CEO – to talk about future cooperation. The parties agreed that there is still room for closer collaboration. Mr Loubinoux invited Mr Maminski to participate in the upcoming UIC statutory events such as the General Assembly in December. He also encouraged PKP’s experts to participate actively within the UIC working groups.
PKP was one of UIC’s founding members in 1922. Over the last 100 years Polish Railways has significantly contributed to the worldwide organisation, and is involved in and benefits from many UIC projects/activities.