Cooperation Reporting

UIC and UITP sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Barcelona

Cooperation between both organisations will focus on Security, Environment, Digital, Intermodal and Accessible Stations, Regional and Suburban Transport Services, Skills Development, Workforce Planning, and Training

Partnerships and joint initiatives being vital in facilitating the international movement of goods and services and in ensuring effective harmonisation in the rail sector, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of the International Union of Railways UIC – the worldwide railway organisation grouping together 200 Members on the 5 continents, and Mr Pere Calvet, President of UITP – the international association of public transport, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 20 April in Barcelona.

The background context is the necessary need to develop close cooperation between both organisations in order to reap mutual benefits in developing areas of shared interest such as Security, Environment, Digital, Intermodal and Accessible Stations, Regional and Suburban Transport Services, Skills Development, Workforce Planning, and Training.

Mr Loubinoux said: “The Railways, whether in intra-urban, inter-urban or inter-regional transport, play an increasingly important role as the backbone of the new 21st century mobility chain. To have a coherent response to customer needs, which are the same for both organisations, to develop a coordinated response to the challenges of sustainable and societal development, to search for a common anticipation of safety and security fundamentals, are the main points of the work that UIC and UITP want to further strengthen through the signature of this MoU, which follows the other agreements signed notably at COP 23”.

This MoU will enter into force following approval by the meetings of the further UIC General Assembly in Madrid to be held in July and UITP Executive Board.

5 Votes

Average rating: 4.8 / 5


1st UIC Forum on Tourism Opportunities for Railways successfully held on 20 April 2018 in Barcelona

The 1st UIC TopRail Forum, jointly organised by UIC (International Union of Railways) and FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) under the theme “The Business of Rail Tourism”, was held at the Fira de Barcelona congress centre as part of the B-Travel Trade Fair.

The TopRail project is an initiative of the International Union of Railways (UIC) dedicated to Rail Tourism at international level. Its primary objective is to bring together rail and tourist-related stakeholders – from the railway industry (operators, manufacturers) and the tourism industry (tour operators, wholesalers) to international, national and regional policy makers, international organisations and academia, to the final customer – to discuss the business opportunities in the rail and tourism sectors.

The Forum was created with the aim of establishing itself as the ultimate benchmark for sector professionals and is intended to be the meeting point of all the stakeholders involved. The approach is very broad encompassing different areas: train-cruises, panoramic trains, railway heritage, etc.

This first edition, attended by around 60 participants from 15 different countries (from Ecuador to USA and Russia to most of the countries in Europe), consisted of single intense day of morning and afternoon sessions, complemented by a technical visit on the following day to the new Railway Museum of Catalonia in Vilanova (near Barcelona).

The Forum was opened on 20 April by Mr Pere Calvet, Director General of FGC and President of UITP, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Mr Enric Ticó i Buxadós, President of FGC.
Pere Calvet expressed his gratitude on behalf of UITP (International Union of Public Transport) for having been invited to open the first TopRail. He said: “UIC and the UITP share many common goals and have to deal with similar technical, social and regulatory issues and we are working to strengthen this links and develop common working schemas … the business-oriented approach, customer satisfaction, modal transfer, ticketing, are part of TopRail and also part of the daily challenges for urban public transport providers all over the world.
In a world with an increasing urban population, public transport has a key role to play. Without an efficient public transport system, it would be impossible to achieve liveable and sustainable cities.”

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux began by thanking Pere Calvet, the team at FGC and Carles Casas, Chairman of TopRail, for their commitment to the project from the very beginning.
He said: “Tourism and transport are inherently and historically linked. TopRail is a commitment to address the challenge of facing the future of railways not only from a nostalgic point of view that special trains can provide, but also to support tourist experiences on railways as a strategic framework for ensuring an attractive and positive image of the railways in the generations to come.”

Enric Ticó i Buxadós said it was a pleasure and honour to welcome everyone to Barcelona on behalf of FGC. He added: “I wanted to start by thanking the UIC for choosing Barcelona to celebrate the First TopRail Forum because it not only gives us the opportunity to express and strengthen our commitment with TopRail group, but it will give you the opportunity to experience, first hand, our wide range of services.
We are responsible for a wide range of tourist-related services going from rail services to mountain resorts … so tourism for us is not just an exotic traveller that randomly appears on our lines but is part of our core business, and we want to keep it this way.
This approach goes all over the company and we are continuously looking for ways to attract the tourist market to our services, all of them.”

Three panel sessions then addressed the issues of railways in relation to sustainable tourism, regional development and the preservation of heritage. Participants discussed how the railway industry can contribute to fostering well managed tourism, sustainable development, job creation and trade by looking at issues such as:

  • The impact of increasing tourism on current infrastructure
  • How rail tourism can contribute to sustainability
  • Examples of good practices in rail tourism
  • How to make the most of rail heritage and to make it an income generator

Highlights included presentations by the following guest speakers, among others:
Peter Haxton, Policy Analyst, OECD
Tim Fairhurst, Director of Policy, ETOA
Supinder Singh, President, Palace Tours
Jordi Tresserras, Director, LABPATC, Barcelona University and Advisor for UNESCO
Urs Wieser, Sales Manager, Stadler Rail

Partners and sponsors included: Renfe; Stadler; OECD; ETOA; OBB; Rodalies; Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles.

Renfe, as the company sponsoring the event, gave a presentation that was delivered by Amador Robles as representative in Toprail of the General Directorate of Development and Strategy. The presentation consisted of a general explanation of all the tourist trains operated by Renfe, but with special attention paid to the historical ones: the Strawberry Train and the future potential of the Historic Steam Train.

The closing session was delivered by Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department. He said that UIC started TopRail to meet the demand for sustainable tourism. On behalf of UIC, he was pleased to co-host this event with FGC, and thanked them for their excellent organisation. He thanked the panellists, moderators and participants for the interesting discussions, and extended a special thanks to Vanessa Perez for her efforts in making the event a success.

During the second day of the First TopRail Forum, the participants enjoyed a visit to the Railway Museum of Villanova i la Geltrú run by the Director of the Museum, Pilar Garcia; She explained to the participants the past, present and future projects of this particular Museum that aims to show the contribution of the railways to the economic and social development of the area, emphasising the importance of people at all times.

At the end of the conference, it was announced that the second TopRail Forum will take place next year in Italy, kindly hosted by the Italian Railway Foundation.


For further information please contact Vanessa Perez, Advisor for the UIC Passenger Department:

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC invited to speak during session on “How digitalisation contributes to the security of transported cargoes” at Trans Russia 2018

The 23rd International Exhibition for Transport and Logistics Services and Technologies Trans Russia/Trans Logistica 2018 took place from 17 – 19 April 2018 in Moscow at the Crocus Expo IEC. Trans Russia is the largest exhibition for professionals in cargo shipments, transportation and logistics in Russia, CIS and Baltic states.

Sandra Géhénot, Director of the UIC Freight Department, and Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Senior Advisor within the UIC Security Division, gave a presentation during the discussion session on “How digitalisation contributes to the security of transported cargoes” chaired by Natalia Stepanova, Deputy Secretary General, Coordinating Council for TransSiberian Transportation (CCTT).

Many topics were addressed, among them the “Security Train” project by CCTT, the implementation of smart surveillance systems following the cargo and electronic custom seals in the transportation of containerised cargo between Europe and Asia, the legislative initiatives that are necessary for the development of digital logistics…
UIC highlighted the ongoing EWAG project on intelligent wagons, the UIC special group RAILDATA which designs, develops and runs IT services to support the European freight railway business of its members. Some challenges of digitalisation for freight security were also mentioned such as Standardisation with the on-going work at UIC on IRS (International Railway Solution) and Cybersecurity with the UIC ARGUS project and EU CYRAIL project. All this work is also supported by the UIC Digital platform created few years ago to accompany the organisation and its Members in the digital revolution by providing tools and resources.

The next main freight-related UIC event is the Global Rail Freight Conference ( that will be held from 26 – 28 June 2018 in Genoa.

Regarding security, the next events are as follows:

  • 18 – 22 June 2018, Paris: UIC Security week (
  • 18 September 2018, UIC HQ: CYRAIL final conference (
  • 22 – 26 October 2018, Slovenia: 14th UIC global security congress on crisis management combined with a workshop on safety & security of tunnels

More information on this exhibition is available at:

For further information please contact Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director:

Or Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Senior Advisor UIC Security Division:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


Seventh edition of Transport Research Arena (TRA) in Vienna: UIC steps forward once more

The seventh edition of Transport Research Arena concluded last Thursday at the Reed Messe hall in Vienna, after a successful week of interactive sessions and an exhibition area with more than 90 exhibitors (16 – 19 April 2018). With digitalisation firmly set as the key topic for 2018 and onward, this edition of TRA chose the more precise theme “A Digital Era for Transport – Solutions for Society, Economy and Environment”.

Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, and Norbert Hofer, Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, opened the conference with an address emphasising the impact of research, development and innovation on the development of sustainability. Commissioner Bulc particularly highlighted the need to continue fighting and further reducing, through research, the various negative externalities of transportation and encouraged researchers to be bold in their approach. She concluded her speech with these words: “Dream, manifest and deliver”. Bundesminister Norbert Hofer then took the floor and delivered an inspiring speech on the benefits that digitalisation will bring to the sector, and expressed the hope that TRA 2018 would prove the birthplace of significant innovations for the Europe of tomorrow.

TRA 2018 was the first edition to welcome all transport modes, as aviation was present for the first time, together with road, rail and waterborne. This edition of TRA thus achieved a high degree of interaction within the R&I community of the transport sector, working towards a truly digital and intermodal European transport system.

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking made its first appearance at TRA and successfully gathered a significant number of delegates around its stand as it promoted its railway research and innovation activities, along with the 12 Innovation Capabilities that had emerged from its Multi-Annual Action Plan review in 2017. Among many prestigious visitors, Commissioner Bulc visited the stand on 16 April to learn about the initial results from projects and to take the opportunity to be presented with the Capabilities.

The European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) was also present at TRA, in partnership with Shift2Rail, both to advertise its new research and innovation vision as set out in the Rail 2050 Vision document and to make contact with even more transport stakeholders, further broadening its understanding of the transport world.

This 2018 edition, following the previous editions in Athens (2012), Paris (2014) and Warsaw (2016), provided an opportunity for the International Union of Railways (UIC) and its members to participate and demonstrate their unwavering support and commitment to research and innovation activities as key elements in the development of the future European transport system, with railways as its backbone.

The UIC team attended the TRA sessions with a view to learn as much as possible from all the other sectors and to present a number of projects in which the UIC is involved at this important multimodal event. In particular, Jacques Colliard presented a review of all UIC security projects and Grigore Havarneanu presented the SAFER-LC project ( during the ST45: 10.1 Road Infrastructure Analysis, Management & Improvements session on 18 April (

Christine Hassoun represented the H2020 funded project NetiRail, as well as a number of other Shift2Rail JU funded projects (among others OptiYard, in2Track, Opeus) John Lutz took part in running the show for the S2R OptiYard project, together with the GoF4R and ST4RT Shift2Rail projects. Last but not least, Axel Gougelet represented UIC at the ERRAC stand and was a contact point for the Research and Innovation Coordination Group (RICG) throughout the event.

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC invited by SPLUNK to discuss digital developments in Paris

On Thursday 19 April, SPLUNK organised a discussion on digital developments, Big Data and the railway developments they have facilitated through DP Application and Proof of Concept with IP. A number of representatives from the sector were present, including SNCF Fret, SNCF Big Data and industrial players, such as SIEMENS and ESE.

The aim was to facilitate an exchange on the impact of digital developments on railways and how railway companies use Big Data to carry out preventative maintenance on their installations and materials.

UIC and its members aim to introduce existing solutions, to share experiences and to help the implementation of incubators that develop or take advantage of any digital services that can be optimised.

Mr Loubinoux discussed the context of digital at UIC: “Today, we are facing the so-called fourth revolution: the digital revolution.

This revolution is having a huge impact on all decision-making processes, all production and maintenance processes and, obviously, on the information chain as a whole.

Rail evidently needs to profit from this technical revolution in order to rapidly and efficiently improve productivity, security and services – all this thanks to connectivity.

One key word is “rapidity”, as we are currently facing very strong demand from the markets.

These can be intra-urban markets, inter-urban markets, inter-regional markets and even inter-continental markets, if we consider the emergence of large inter-continental corridors.

Nowadays, decision-making cycles are becoming ever faster. This can be seen as contradictory to railway operating modes, as investments are really important considering the size of their deployment and the long ROI cycles.

These rapid developments obviously require new approaches and new competencies directly linked to the field of information.
However, these have to remain fully compliant with rail technologies and the complexity of the rail system.

We must admit that, today, the rail sector, regardless of the economic context, is running out of resources that would allow the development and implementation of these new emerging technologies.

With this in mind, we definitely have to adopt new modes of cooperation:

  • Intermodal partnerships have to be enhanced in order to mutualise potential impacts on interfaces and on shared customers.
  • Incubators allow a different way of working, including a focus on research, anticipation of the development of Proof of Concepts, demonstrators, etc. Innovative funding modes also have to be taken into consideration.
  • Links with universities must be encouraged, as they will provide the talent to express the future needs of the markets. They are the ones who will answer these demands with the emergence of new expertise.

This is why UIC works in close partnership with major actors such as UITP, UNFCC and IATA; why we have developed a Digital platform and an Alliance programme with universities.

Such collaborations ensure a better design for our interfaces and the provision of seamless information to our customers, whether freight or passenger.

Over the last three years, the UIC Digital Platform has proposed some initiatives to support digital development in rail:

  • The design and development of demonstrators;
  • The organisation of thematic seminars and workshops focusing on the most important current digital trends, such as IoT and Big Data, cyber security and blockchain;
  • A major workshop dedicated to Artificial Intelligence to be held next September in Shanghai, in cooperation with Chinese Railways;
  • Invitations to digital tours and exchanges with major worldwide digital hubs, such as Silicon Valley last year and China in 2018.

These initiatives have allowed UIC to actively participate in Las Vegas CES and CESG from this year, providing a unique opportunity for the rail sector to be present at such outstanding events.
Another consequence is the opportunity to meet new partners and to create appropriate synergies.

For further information please contact Francis Bedel, Chief Digital Officer:

3 Votes

Average rating: 3.67 / 5


XI International Conference dedicated to Safety & Security Systems on Transport held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 12 – 14 April 2018

An affiliate member of UIC, JSC NIIAS held its XI International Conference “Safety & Security Systems on Transport” that took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 12 – 14 April 2018 and was organised together with the Slovenian company ISKRATEL and the Russian Academy of Electrotechnical Sciences.

The conference brought together 60 participants representing 23 Russian and foreign companies, major research institutes and organisations from seven countries. The two-day international conference was divided into four sessions and addressed transport safety and security issues in the context of the fast development of digital and cyber physical technologies.

The first session was opened by UIC Rail System Director Marc Antoni who was invited as a key speaker and who reported on the UIC vision of safety and security aspects of railway digitalisation.

Managing Director of Czech Railway Research Institute VUZ Antonín Blažek spoke about basic activities, professional services and comprehensive solutions in the field of assessment and testing for railway systems provided by VUZ.

Hans de With, Project and Innovation Director of Sat4M2M reported on railway applications of satellite-based IoT.

Key representatives from JSC NIIAS, the Russian Academy of Electrotechnical Sciences, ISKRATEL Group, MIIT, the University of Belgrade and other Russian and foreign organisations shared their vision on the development of digital technologies and concepts (Big Data, IoT, programme of migration to FRMCS) as well as on security and cybersecurity issues.

During the award ceremony some speakers were awarded diplomas and prizes. UIC Rail System Director Marc Antoni was awarded a Diploma for his great contribution to the development of railway industry as well as an honourable prize.

Managing Director of VUZ Antonín Blažek was awarded an honourable prize and Diploma for his great contribution to the development of the international scientific and technical partnership.

General Director of Fink Electric Ltd. Yuri Fink was awarded an honourable prize and Diploma for his great contribution to the development of innovative technologies for rail transport.

For further information please contact Marc Antoni, UIC Rail System Director:

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


Annual UIC safety database correspondents’ meeting held on 18 April 2018 in Paris

The annual correspondents’ meeting, held on 18 April last, was organised by UIC’s Safety Unit, together with the Chair of the Safety Performance Working Group, Bart Hoogcarspel. The correspondents are experts in infrastructure management who provide formal accounts of safety events to UIC.

The group welcomed two new members: the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI). Lithuanian Railways (LG) also participated in the correspondents’ meeting, demonstrating their interest in the safety database. UIC is thus enhancing the value and relevance of the conclusions that may be drawn from information on safety events that occur on rail networks.

Ernest Godward, Project Officer at the European Railway Agency, presented the issue of recording suicides and indicated the Agency’s interest in working closely with UIC in relation to safety data.

The meeting was punctuated by discussion and appraisal. A brainstorming session was initiated by Bart Hoogcarspel and served as an opportunity to put forward ideas on improving future reports and report dissemination.

The European “Safer-LC” project, coordinated by UIC, was also on the agenda for the meeting. Marie-Hélène Bonneau of the Safety division presented the project’s initial results and future development.

Finally, the participants examined the issue of data visualisation (dataviz), with a demonstration of the visualisation interface used for the safety database developed by SNCF.

Safety report:

Safer-LC results:

For further information please contact Olivier Georger, UIC Safety Database Manager:

0 vote

10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail to be held from 8 – 11 May 2018 in Ankara, Republic of Turkey

It’s not too late to register and benefit from the special conference rate of only 990 euros!

The 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail, jointly organised by UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, and Turkish State Railways TCDD together with CMS Project, will take place from 8 – 11 May 2018 2018 in Ankara, Republic of Turkey.

To register please visit the dedicated conference webiste:

This is an excellent opportunity to travel from Ankara to Konya (Turkey’s cultural centre) by high speed rail and to visit Ankara’s brand new railway station.

0 vote

Reminder: UIC Global Rail Freight Conference to be held from 26 – 28 June 2018 in Genoa, Italy

After a series of successful editions in Delhi (2007), Saint-Petersburg (2010), Tangier (2012), Vienna (2014) and Rotterdam (2016), UIC, in partnership with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. (FS), are organising its 6th Edition of the Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC), from 26 – 28 June 2018 in Genoa, Italy at the Palazzo Ducale. This event is organised under the patronage of Regione Liguria.

GRFC is one of the leading and most prestigious events dedicated to rail freight and logistics at world level. After Rotterdam two years ago where the GRFC took place in parallel with the TEN-T Days of the European Commission, the GRFC is moving to Genoa, another historical landmark of modal integration and multimodal development. Not only is Genoa one the key entry points to the busiest European Rail Freight Corridor – Corridor Rhine Alpine – but it is also a key hub offering a natural link between European Rail Freight Corridors, Eurasian Corridors and the New Silk Roads.

The main conference topic, “Modal Integration at the service of Global Distribution” will be addressed by a host of prominent speakers representing the political and economic sectors, international institutions and all actors of the logistics chain, among them railways, ports and shipping lines, multi-modal operators, shippers.

Guest speakers will hold panel discussions on topics such as:

  • Mega trends shaping the future of global logistics
  • The race towards smart mobility
  • Rail Freight Corridor development including the new Silk Roads
  • How digitalisation and blockchain technology are reshaping the business
  • Security of the Logistic Chain

Over the two days of the conference, the sessions will propose lively debates, also offering the audience the opportunity to interact with panellists.

More information is available on the GRFC website:

0 vote

Don’t forget to register for the 5th UIC Asia-Pacific Control-Command, Signalling & Telecoms Workshop from 3 – 4 May 2018 in Sydney, Australia


UIC is pleased to invite you to the 5th UIC Asia-Pacific Workshop on Control Command Signalling and Telecoms (CCS&Tlc) which will take place in Sydney (Australia), hosted by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), from 3 – 4 May 2018.

Since 2007, the UIC Asia Regional Assembly has focused on CCS and Telecommunications Development Technologies, integrated into the broader UIC strategy to achieve a harmonised Traffic Management and Control-Command and Signalling system.

The workshop aims to provide both an understanding of leading technologies and a base for core system requirements for railways worldwide.

The event will be organised around the six following technical sessions:

  • Signalling Session 1: Optimal modelling and safety assessment of Signalling Systems, via standardised methods and languages
  • Signalling Session 2: Cybersecurity
  • Signalling Session 3: Train Control and future trends
  • Telecom Session 1: The regulatory contexts and migration strategies toward future technologies
  • Telecom Session 2: The Future Railway Mobile Communication System and other main radio development projects
  • Telecom Session 3: The suppliers’ view on products and applications for safety and security

We look forward to welcoming you in Sydney!

Also, please note that the workshop will follow the even bigger CORE Conference 2018 in which Mr Loubinoux, UIC Director General, will be present as keynote speaker. You can find more by clicking here:

For any further information, please contact Mrs Béatrice Ségéral, Senior Advisor
Institutional Relations & Asia-Pacific Region:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


Railway Talent’s 4th networking and collaborative event to be held on 20 September 2018 in Berlin

For its fourth meeting, Railway Talent invites you to Berlin on the occasion of the Innotrans event.

The 4th networking and collaborative event, organised in partnership with DB, ETCR and UITP, will focus mainly on the theme of Innovation.

Understanding the needs and desires of customers, as well as the user-centred development of products and services, is essential to business success.

In this seminar, you/your employees will learn about the “Design Thinking” innovation method and thus get a feel for its potential applications.

You will experience design thinking through hands-on exercises, reflect on the potential together, and get a sense of the different uses of this innovation method in your business.

The training will be followed by a “get-together” snack/dinner.

Don’t wait and register now as the number of seats is limited:

You can find more information in the dedicated flyer:

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of Expertise Development:

0 vote

VNIIZhT, the largest Russian Scientific Research Institute of Railway Transport, celebrates its 100th anniversary

The centenary was celebrated on 18 April by the largest Russian Scientific Research Institute of Railway Transport. In honour of the anniversary, a number of VNIIZHT employees were awarded certificates and industry awards. The anniversary was also an occasion to bring together colleagues and friends for a scientific and practical conference, share experiences and discuss prospects.

VNIIZhT traces its history back to 18 April 1918, when by the Decree of the Collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Railways, the Experimental Transport Institute was established. Throughout the century, thousands of outstanding specialists, outstanding scientists, brilliant research organisers, generators of ideas, founders of new scientific schools have successfully worked at the institute.

Today VNIIZhT is the largest scientific centre of the railway branch in the field of research and development. The Institute includes 17 scientific departments, six branches, postgraduate study and a dissertation council. More than 1700 people work here, including 34 Doctors of Science and 154 candidates of science. This potential is to be fully used to solve the strategic task: technical re-equipment of the country’s mainline railway transport.

To date, VNIIZhT has developed the unique Elbrus and Express systems using IT technologies. In 2017, the effect of the Institute’s participation in the optimisation of railway transport amounted to four billion rubles. Now, scientists have taken a course on advanced developments for high-speed line development, digitalisation of railways.

A noteworthy event was the signing of an agreement between VNIIZhT and the Korean Research Institute (KRRI). Joint development will ensure the transit of passengers and cargo from Asia to Europe.

For further information please contact Irina Petrunina:

0 vote
News from UIC members

Italy: FS Italiane proposes development of railway tourism through soft mobility and sustainable itineraries by train

  • At the 1st TopRail Forum UIC in Barcelona
  • Trenitalia: an integrated offer to visit the Cinque Terre Park and the Borghi più belli d’Italia (the most beautiful hamlets in Italy)
  • Fondazione FS Italiane: historic trains for soft and slow mobility

Development of railway tourism through soft and sustainable mobility, rediscovering scenic Italian itineraries on board regional trains: this is the proposal of FS Italiane Group at the 1st TopRail Forum, organised by UIC in Barcelona on 20 and 21 April.

Trenitalia and Fondazione FS Italiane have launched initiatives to increase awareness of railway tourism as well as contributing to the growth of this innovative sector in tourism. Regional rail tourism, serviced by Trenitalia, rose 7% in 2017. Trenitalia’s goal is to promote the history and culture of Italian villages, which are easily reached by train, a means of transport that is environmentally-sustainable, convenient, safe, and with the new Rock and Pop trains, increasingly comfortable.

In Barcelona Trenitalia presented the integrated 5 Terre Express offer that allows visitors to visit the scenic stretch of the Ligurian coast (part of the UNESCO World Heritage list) on board regional trains. The trains stop in all the villages in the Cinque Terre Park: Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Trenitalia also presented its collaboration with the association I Borghi più Belli d’Italia. The association promotes festivals, exhibitions, fairs, conferences and concerts that promote the artistic and architectural heritage of smaller Italian towns. Out of the 282 villages promoted by the association, 23 can be easily reached with regional trains, with a total of 580 daily connections.

During the 1st TopRail Forum, Fondazione FS Italiane promoted the historic trains it operates in eight regions in Italy. In Tuscany, Ferrovia della Val d’Orcia, between Asciano and Monte Antico (51 km); Ferrovia del Parco, between Sulmona and Carpinone that connects Abruzzo and Molise (118 km); and in Sicily la Ferrovia dei Templi, between Agrigento Bassa and Porto Empedocle (12 km).

During the two-year period 2016-2017, 130,000 tourists travelled on board historic trains of Fondazione FS Italiane. This was a 45% increase compared to the previous two-year period (2014-2015). The National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa, which hosts a collection of historic locomotives and carriages owned by FS Italiane, was recently restored at a cost of about 20 million euros, and registered a record number of visitors in 2017: over 110,000, +58% compared to 2016 and +647% compared to 2014.

(Source: FS Italiane Group)

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak announces summer Infrastructure Renewal work

Critical work to benefit New York State, improve reliability for LIRR, NJT and Amtrak customers

Amtrak will continue its Infrastructure Renewal program at New York Penn Station during Summer 2018 by performing critical reconstruction of three major railroad infrastructure assets in New York City: The Empire Tunnel and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, which provides train access between Upstate New York and New York Penn Station, as well as renewal work on Track 19 in New York Penn Station, which will help provide commuters with more reliable service. The total cost of the projects is estimated between $45 and $50 million, which will keep this important infrastructure in a state of good repair for Amtrak and benefit New York State with an upgraded, state-of-the art railroad.

Due to the work on the Empire Connection and Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack, and Maple Leaf trains will all be rerouted from New York Penn Station to Grand Central Terminal between Saturday, May 26, and Tuesday, Sept. 4. The Lake Shore Limited will only operate between Boston and Chicago, with New York City and Hudson Valley customers connecting from Empire Service trains at Albany-Rensselaer.

While the schedules have yet to be finalized, there will be fewer service impacts and schedule changes compared to Summer 2017. The work on Track 19 will occur between Friday, June 8, and Friday, July 20. The modified schedule Amtrak announced in January 2018 will continue until the work on Track 19 is complete.
“Amtrak is continuing to prioritize updating the infrastructure in and around New York Penn Station to improve our service reliability,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and COO Scot Naparstek. “We thank our partners for their coordination and flexibility as we continue this important and necessary work.”
Specifics of the work include:

  • Empire Connection – Amtrak will be replacing track in the Empire Tunnel, as well as replacing cross ties, grade crossings and 8,000 feet of continuous rail, including the track between the tunnel and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge.
  • Spuyten Duyvil Bridge – Amtrak will be updating the bridge’s mechanical and electrical equipment, which was corroded by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Track 19 at New York Penn Station – Amtrak will replace three turnouts and conduct total ballasted track and wood tie track replacement.

Amtrak is in the process of updating its schedule to reflect the adjusted train service. Amtrak’s reservation systems will be updated to reflect the reroute of trains to Grand Central Terminal once the schedule is determined, and any passenger already booked on a train will be contacted and accommodated on other scheduled services. Additional information and updates will be posted on and Amtrak will also have staff and Quik-Trak ticketing kiosks at Grand Central Terminal throughout the Summer.

While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required. During the summer of 2017, Amtrak kicked off its Infrastructure Renewal at New York Penn Station, and continued it in early 2018. The Infrastructure Renewal program is one element of Amtrak’s plan to modernize stations, infrastructure, and equipment on the Northeast Corridor.

(Source: Amtrak)

2 Votes

Average rating: 2.5 / 5

News from UIC members

China: Railway Department attracts social investment for development and operation of Wi-Fi on EMU trains

EMU Network Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Railway Investment Co., Ltd., listed 49% of its equity on transfer at Beijing Equity Exchange, attracting social investment for the development and operation of Wi-Fi on EMU trains.

Officials of China Railway stated that the railway department paid significant attention to passenger expectations of Wi-Fi services on EMU trains. In recent years, China Railway has organised relevant units to make a systematic argument on the technology, construction and operation of Wi-Fi systems on EMU trains, forming a basic scheme with unified technical standard, unified operation platform and unified implementation which will be carried out by EMU Network Technology Co., Ltd. wholly-owned by China Railway Investment Co., Ltd. subordinated to China Railway. Wi-Fi platforms on EMU trains will provide passengers with various services including “train cinema”, entertainment, apps to download and news to further enrich passenger travel.

(Source: CR)

1 vote

Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members

Turkey: Başkentray has started its services in Ankara

Başkentray, which will provide high-quality commuter services between Sincan-Ankara-Kayaş in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, was put into service on 12 April 2018.

Aiming to create the necessary traffic capacity for operations concerning high speed, as well as conventional and commuter trains within Ankara, four signalled and electrified railway lines between Ankara and Kayaş, six lines between Ankara and Behiçbey and five lines between Behiçbey and Sincan have been constructed.

A total of 156 km of railway lines, one HST station in Eryaman (in the west of Ankara), 23 stations for commuter trains, 12 road underpasses and overpasses, 20 underpasses and overpasses for pedestrians, one cut-and-cover tunnel and 70 culverts were constructed within the scope of Başkentray Project, the length of which is 36 km. In addition, indoor commercial spaces were created in order to easily fulfil the needs of passengers in most of the stations.

With Başkentray, the travel time for commuter trains between Kayaş-Ankara-Sincan will be reduced from 59 minutes to 49 minutes and from 17 minutes to 11 minutes for high speed trains between Ankara and Sincan.

The headway for Başkentray commuter trains will be 15 minutes at the beginning and five minutes in the near future. Başkentray is expected to provide service to 520,000 passengers per day.

The newly-inaugurated project also gives passengers the chance to transfer from/to metro lines in various stations.

(Source: TCDD)

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Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

The Baltic States commence cooperation on the “Amber Train” route

The first train on the line has been launched from Šeštokai railway station in Lithuania to Paldiski terminal in Estonia overnight.

The intermodal “Amber Train” freight train, carrying cargos on route Šeštokai-Riga-Tallinn, is set to connect the three Baltic States and create new business opportunities for freight carriers.

The launch of the first train on the “Amber Train” route is an excellent example of effective collaboration between the national railways of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where the essential details to bring the project to practical implementation were agreed on and coordinated within a month from the birth of “Amber Train” concept. Cargo from Western Europe will now reach the Baltic States in the shortest time possible” – says Mantas Bartuška, the General Manager of Lithuanian Railways.

President of the Latvian Railway Mr. Edvins Berzins: “Amber train is an excellent example of cooperation among three Baltic States. Our joint work resulted in a real freight transportation for a client. We believe our cooperation has great potential – in future newly planned European gauge railway infrastructure might provide new opportunities, but today we can work with existing network and offer our clients convenient and efficient freight logistics.

Lithuanian Railways locomotive facilitated transportation of 43-container shipment through territories of 3 countries. Cargo, which arrived to the region from France, was picked up in Poland and carried through Šeštokai transhipment station (Lithuania) to Latvia, where it was taken over by Latvian carrier “LDz Cargo” and further transported to Paldiski terminal (Estonia) in collaboration with Estonian carrier “EVR Cargo”.

The client of the first “Amber Train” cargo shipment is Forwardis, French rail and multimodal freight forwarding company, owned by the French SNCF Logistics Group, one of Europe’s leading freight forwarders.

The purpose of the first test train on the route was to examine technological processes, time schedules, speed in between the stations on route and the exchange of documents and data. Following the successful first journey on the “Amber Train” route, it is planned to have partners meeting in Vilnius to discuss the results of the test and finalize all technological and commercial conditions.

„Amber train“ is a joint project between Lithuanian Railways, Latvian Railway and Estonian “EVR Cargo”. The launch of the project was agreed on the 12th of March in Riga.

The project will help the Baltic States to unite their efforts in developing intermodal carriages by combining different modes of transport. The adopted method of transportation saves not only the costs for clients and carriers, but also reduces environmental pollution, congestion, noise, road accidents and other negative effects of road transport on the environment.

(Source: SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš)

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Average rating: 4.67 / 5

News from UIC members

Belarus: Belarusian railways sign MoU with DHL Global Forwarding, China’s major logistics company

The talks between Belarusian Railways and DHL Global Forwarding China, an international division of DHL, the global market leader in the logistics industry, were held on 9 April in Minsk. The meeting was attended by the Head of Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific Kelvin Leung, Chief Executive Officer of Greater China at DHL Global Forwarding Steve Huang and Zafer Engin, Head of Value Added Services, DHL Global Forwarding China.

The parties considered cargo transport in container trains along the route China-Europe-China. The realisation of the One Belt, One Road initiative and the construction of the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone are encouraging factors for the development of freight transport on the China-Europe-China and China-Belarus-China routes, Vladimir Morozov noted. More than 3000 container trains passed through the territory of Belarus in 2017.

The cooperation between Belintertrans - Transport-Logistics Centre of Belarusian Railways (BTLC) and DHL Global Forwarding China in freight transport on the China-EU-China routes has been developing in the last few years. As a result of this cooperation, DHL Global Forwarding China and Belintertrans put into operation a new container train connecting Sian (province of China) and Europe.

The Head of Belarusian Railways also underlined the importance of the development of the China-Belarus routes, while the CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific Kelvin Leung indicated the great capacity of the transport services market from China and other Asia-Pacific countries to Europe.

As a result, memoranda of understanding were signed between Belarusian Railways and DHL Global Forwarding China, between Belintertrans and DHL Global Forwarding China.

(Source: BC)

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Average rating: 1 / 5

News from UIC members

Czech Republic: Direct rail service launched between Prague and Harrachov

On 14 April 2018, the Prague-Harrachov direct train connection was launched. Two pairs of trains will run on weekends directly between Prague and Harrachov.

Harrachov is an important mountain resort in the Krkonoše, the Czech Republic’s highest mountain range. Trains are operated by modernised 854.2 series railcars, which are allowed to run on the last part of the route between Tanvald and Harrachov.

This section is very steep (gradient is up to 58%) and was originally built in 1902 as a cog railway. For this reason, only some vehicles with special approval can run on this track.

(Source: ČD)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5


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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 24 April 2018

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