UIC in Bonn for UN Climate Change Conference

Official UNFCCC Side Event “Mobilising sustainable transport for global climate action” held on 1 May 2018

On Tuesday, 1 May 2018 from 16:45-18:15 at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, UIC, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) co-hosted a side-event in the frame of the UN Climate Change Conference.

The event highlighted how the Global Climate Action (GCA) - transport initiatives, are delivering action on the ground and developing strategies that will help scale up national ambition which can help trigger widespread action to decarbonise land transport. Speakers included representatives from transport initiatives and leading international organisations involved in low carbon transport responsible for implementing activities in the transport sector.

The event was moderated by Urda Eichhorst, Advisor Transport and Climate Change at the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Ms Eichhorst reviewed the context of the transport climate policy as an introduction. She reiterated that the minus 2°C scenario requires large emission reductions from transport. In 2015, transport emitted 24.7% of energy-related emission or 18% of total man-made emissions. Ms Eichhorst emphasised that to achieve the Paris Agreement goal (1.5 C° degree scenario), transport greenhouse gases emissions must be reduced to around 2 gigatonnes by 2050 (SLoCaT analysis).

Following the introduction, it was an honour to give the floor to Tomasz Chruszczow, Special Envoy For Climate Change and High Level Champion. Mr Chruszczow provided his thoughts on the Marrakech partnership. Mr Chruszczow acknowledged the organisation of such a side event by key stakeholders of the Marrakech Partnership, representing the transport sector. “Their value will be invaluable” to the discussions said the Climate Envoy. He emphasised the increased environmental impact of transport and the urge for change, for immediate actions and to support the overachievements of National Determined Contributions. Mr Chruszczow added that transport will help to transform cities, to transform our habits and how we plan our lives. Under the Marrakech Partnership, transport can establish links, promote solutions and reach out to governments to convince them to start acting immediately. And the Talanoa Dialogue is a way to tell the stories and inspire many other stakeholders.

Mark Major, Senior Advisor at the Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership presented the Global Climate Action Agenda on transport. Conclusions were that it is important to overarching priorities for transport related initiatives to strengthen their impact on the ground impact and give them greater access to policy makers and predictable, short-, and medium-term funding. Moreover, to make “global” climate action truly global – Parties need to take action to facilitate expansion of the Marrakech Partnership for Global. Climate Action transport initiatives to key low and middle income countries. Parties also need to take advantage of the knowledge, experience and resources available through the transport Initiatives on decarbonisation and adaptation. The practical experience, knowledge and tools of the transport initiatives can make a major contribution to reducing the cost and accelerating transport emissions reduction and strengthening resilience.

Mark Major also presented UITP commitments on their behalf. UITP launched the declaration on climate leadership. The declaration consists in several key points: double the market share of public transport by 2025, commitment to support cities and governments by building capacity and commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. There are currently 350 climate projects pledged in 80 cities. For examples, Munich’s bike sharing scheme opened in November 2016. Up to 1,000 bikes are registered each day and contributes to a reduction of 308 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Carole Escolan-Zeno, Head of the Sustainability Unit at UIC gave a presentation focusing on sustainable railway passenger transport. Rail is the most energy efficient passenger transport mode per kilometre and requires less than 1/10th of energy needed to move an individual by car or by airplane. Despite accounting for 9% of the global passenger activity (per km) in 2015, it only represents 1% of the final energy demand in passenger transport. We note that in 2015, around 75% of the passenger rail activity in the world took place in Asia, a key geographical zone for the rail industry. Mrs Escolan-Zeno added that UIC Members work together towards making railway the backbone of sustainable transport and to develop rail transport to meet the needs of sustainable mobility.

Sander Chan, Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute offered a demonstration based on the Talanoa Dialogue questions: where are we, where do we want to go, and, how do we get there? The presentation focused on how maximising the impact of Global Climate Action for transport in the climate process. Mr Chan stressed the importance of transforming transport and how we are at a critical juncture now especially in developing countries where demand is increasing and that we need to mobilise in countries where action should take place and not just have North based initiatives and partnerships. One other topic advanced by Mr Chan was that transformation is required as well in behaviours and consumption.

The event concluded with a collective understanding of the importance of bringing together all modes of transport as well as other sectors and making sure that the Paris agreement recognises the role of non-state actors and that providing solutions for a quicker and easier sustainable transport solutions is needed. In the words of Mr Chan, we need to figure out how to bring the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action home

UIC would like to thank the co-hosts of the event, SLoCaT and UITP, as well as the active participation of GIZ, the German Development Institute and the High Level Champion and its team. This event was a notable example of how the transport sector actors work together for a more sustainable future.

Please watch the side event online in replay at this link:

For further information please contact Marie-Luz Philippe, Advisor for Sustainable Development and UIC Middle-East Region:

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Cooperation Representing

UIC Director General speaks at 3rd International Conference on Shared Growth with Africa at the French National Assembly on 26 April 2018

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, gave a presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Shared Growth with Africa at the French National Assembly.

Ministers, Ambassadors
Ladies and Gentlemen

My remarks focus on the railways as the backbone of mobility, goods and people in this 21st century and therefore a vital element in contributing to the industrialisation of countries or continents such as Africa and if possible to peace.

Railways in Africa have not developed enough since the beginning of the 21st century, with on the one hand profitable long-distance freight transport in the shape of heavy goods, and on the other hand, passenger transport of a mostly peri-urban nature, which is rather on the decrease.

There hasn’t really been a real “business model”. The policy reforms initiated by the World Bank in the 2000s sought to establish a financial balance through private concession. However, the result is rather mixed as there has been no real transformation and still no real modern pan-African vision to this day.

UIC, the International Union of Railways, which brings together railways across the world and in particular railways in Africa in its African Region, has carried out a study for a new strategy for the renewal of railways in Africa by 2040. This study, which is very comprehensive thanks to the contributions of our members and our international vision, has been officially adopted by the African Union and I myself had the pleasure of presenting it at the Conference of African Ministers of Transport in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2015.

The study consists of developing a medium- and long-term plan which takes into account three key factors in Africa. The first is what I would call the African demographic clock with the population increasing to nearly two billion people by 2050 and significant urbanisation that is suffocating the large cities such as Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Addis-Ababa, Abidjan and so on.

The updating of the various projects can be brought together into an overall coherent plan.
And then the third factor is the modernisation and construction of lines and the opening of corridors between countries and regions.

Three families of networks have been identified which I call the three Vs, in connection with the three Ts of Croissance Peace: Viable, Voluntary and Vulnerable networks, in accordance with the state of the infrastructure, the state of the equipment as well as services and skills to refer to what was said earlier in the first panel on the need to develop skills among the younger generation of African professionals – and of course support from public authorities and key funders.

The point that we were able to make when carrying out this study was confirmed by the United Nations Transport and Communications Decade (UNTACDA) in Africa and it shows a real lack of a railway transport system on the one hand and on the other multiple networks that are not connected to each other and focused mostly on ports.

Railways are however increasingly viewed on an international level as the backbone of a new mix of inter-urban, intra-urban and regional mobility. This strategy which UIC has developed with its African members has been shared by NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), PIDA (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa), the African Union, funders such as the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the French Development Agency, and so on.

In the framework of this study, five strategic areas were developed to take into account all the key aspects of a modulated railway system that covers the priorities of each sub-region.
Firstly, modernise and interconnect the African railway networks;
Improve the commercial offer; then
Govern in a more efficient and transparent manner;
Develop multimodal complementarity
Promote regional integration and the position of the continent on an international level.

These five areas were rolled out across 15 levers and translated into 60 concrete actions. More information about this is available on the UIC website.

I would like however to name a few “structuring” projects, and I think this year will be particularly important with the inauguration of the high-speed line project in Morocco – which as a reminder Morocco is the current chair of our UIC African region. The rehabilitation of existing networks such as the Dakar-Bamako (Senegal to Mali) railway, the Trans-Gabon railway, as well as projects in Nigeria and Liberia; the construction in Algeria of the 1750 km of new lines; the “Africa Rail” project in West Africa involving five states with over 1750 km of new lines to build; the Trans-Guinean project in Guinea-Conakry; the Abidjan-Ouagadougou; the Dakar-Djibouti project, which has been launched with Chinese funding and expertise in the shape of the first link between Djibouti and Addis-Ababa. The project to construct new infrastructure in Niger; the project in the Republic of the Congo towards Brazzaville with 1400 km of lines to build; a project to build a high-speed line in South Africa between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and so forth.

So in a nutshell, this study highlights that railways should not be disconnected from the political, economic and social vision developed by the African Union. Our study genuinely reflects the realities of the African railways, but it is clear that the development of Africa in general heavily depends on modern infrastructure and mobility through rehabilitating existing infrastructure, the construction of new infrastructure, and most of all through the implementation of coherent and effective policies at state level.

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Climate Chance Summit to be held from 28 – 29 June 2018 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

The Climate Chance Association and the Assembly of Regions and Districts of Ivory Coast (ARDCI) are co-organising a regional Summit dedicated to Climate Action in Africa: the Climate Chance Summit Africa 2018, which will be held from 28 – 29 June 2018 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

During a meeting in Abidjan of a steering committee convening organisers and partners, the Summit was officially announced by Ronan Dantec, French Senator and president of the Climate Chance Association, and Vincent Kouaoh N’cho, Deputy Governor of the District of Abidjan, representing Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio, Former Prime Minister, President of the ARDCI.

The event aims to convene a broad gathering of non-state actors from all over Africa (local governments, companies, NGOs, unions, youth organisations, indigenous peoples, women, the scientific community, etc.), key groups of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) committed to combating climate change as well as their associated networks.

This summit aims to share and support action geared towards fighting climate change in Africa, through actor coalitions brought together in 10 thematic workshops which will highlight good practices (exemplary and inspirational climate action projects) and define sectoral and operational roadmaps adapted to the context in African territories.

More information about the summit will follow shortly (registration, programme etc.)

For further information please email:

Contact at UIC: Maria Lafont, Senior Advisor – Finance Projects &
African Region,

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UIC participated in the 9th edition of the Ten-T Days in Ljubljana from 25 – 27 April 2018

From 25 – 27 April 2018, 26 Ministers and more than 2000 transport experts and decision-makers joined the TEN-T Days 2018 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The 2018 conference focused on smart, sustainable and safe mobility on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the appropriate investment in transport connectivity. In order to facilitate exchange and foster jobs and growth in the transport sector, TEN-T Days 2018 offered a new, dynamic format of bringing innovators of futuristic mobility solutions together with investors.

Ms Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, hosted this edition during these three days. She delivered a keynote speech at the Official Opening on 26 April and was joined by Mr Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Miro Cerar, Slovenian Prime-Minister, Mr Ivaylo Moskovski, Bulgarian Minister for Transport, Information Technology and Communications and Ms Karima Delli, Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism at the European Parliament.

Ms Bulc started talking about the EU core objectives and said: “These are: Improved efficiency (of our logistic networks, passenger services, and investments), improved connectivity (within EU and our neighbourhood), and reduced negative externalities. Our aspirational vision zero consists of: zero-fatalities on European roads, zero-emissions from Transport and zero paper by 2050, along with fully integrated ticketing and integrated logistics systems. But achieving the objectives is not enough – it also matters how you achieve them.”

She then focused on four key main issues:
Decarbonisation: “We focus on decarbonisation, ensuring funding for deployment and research in the field of alternative energies, infrastructure, clean vehicles, vessels, and aviation, and above all better organisation of mobility (on core corridors, in the cities, towns and villages). Our vision is very clear: “Zero pollution” from transport by 2050”.

Digitalisation: “Digitalisation often goes hand in hand with decarbonisation, focusing on higher level of cooperative, connected, automated and autonomous mobility, bringing back public transport in a more integrated and accessible way in combination with the sharing and collaborative solutions, leading towards integrated passenger services/ticketing and integrated/multimodal logistic solutions (do not forget that this year is a year of multimodality). For that we are creating a seamless digital/data layer, decoupled from infrastructure and service layer”.

Investments: “Focus so much on investments. Under the current multi-annual financial framework for 2014-2020, funding and financing possibilities for transport were split across different programmes and instruments. We can be proud of the results and the delivery of the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) and the success of Cohesion funds. The CEF model has proved its efficiency and ability to generate European added-value. CEF approved € 22.3bn grants for 641 projects worth more than € 50bn”.

And Innovation: “The new excitement to EU mobility brings innovation. You probably have sensed already many of the core topics of innovation opportunities in the last two days: innovation in products, materials, services, business models, behaviour, social structures. But still, let me wrap up this attractive driver of EU transport with some exciting advancements that are really transforming mobility not only in EU but globally. Blockchains are bringing a similar evolution shift in the system structures as relational databases did in the 90s.”

Mr Miro Cerar, Slovenian Prime-Minister, highlighted the vital importance of the transport for the development of any society and the good investment in transport infrastructure and in sustainable mobility that has been managed.

Mr Ivaylo Moskovski, Bulgarian Minister for Transport, Information Technology and Communications mentioned a better connection with the EU with a more completed extended single European market.

Ms Karima Delli, Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament, talked about innovation and the need of mobility and safety everywhere. She insisted on the importance of the development of the digital ecosystem and the dynamic input of the start-ups.

UIC participated in this major European event, particularly in order to learn about European experiences and to support also the H2020 funded NeTIRail-INFRA project as it is one of the partners of the consortium and as it has led between others the dissemination work package. The NeTIRail-INFRA project was one of the indoor exhibitors represented by Mrs Christine Hassoun, UIC Senior Advisor in charge of the Project Dissemination and Mr Jon Paragreen, the Project Manager.

During this three-day conference, some interesting themes were discussed. The gender dimension was discussed this year for the first time. A participatory brainstorming session looked to the reasons why a gender perspective should be introduced in Ten-T Projects and corridors and how to include it. Ms Elisabeth Kotthaus, Head of Unit, DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission together with Ms Maja Roginska, Economist, European Invest Bank (EIB) moderated the exchange and brainstorming session between participants. Among interesting inputs, we can mention the need for more services for women, more involvement of women as experts, more accessibility on infrastructure for them, a better image requested to allow women to access better positions (…)

Ms Bulc finally concluded by saying that women are part of the system. “Only 22% of the workforce in Transport are women”. It needs to become part of the agenda.

ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System, was another topic discussed during the conference. A parallel session grouped together several high-level speakers. Among them, Karel Vinck, ERTMS Coordinator who highlighted the need to have an interoperability more competitive. He said “For signalling, we need less investment but more impact, improvement. We have the specifications that are implemented. We have a European deployment and we can accelerate. DG Move is now really active and motivated. There are still different views of the deployment (cross boarders). There is a lot of resistance in the national bodies for the regulations. We can progress in terms of implementation of ERTMS. The cost is also one of the important items, the engineering cost. We need more competent capabilities in terms of qualification and attitudes. We should have a broader vision”.

Another session dedicated on rail freight (how to boost it) gave the opportunity to discuss about operational and infrastructure priorities. This session provided the participants with an overview of the EU Commission support at the benefice of the rail infrastructure. The panellists spoke about the cross-boarders that have to be harmonised. The coordination between infrastructure managers has to be improved.

Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director, European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) said: “the targets that we have to achieve are:

  • Fragmentation
  • The area of interoperability
  • Operations: we still have different operational rules and this causes delays
  • Multimodality: this will be essential for the survival of rail freight. We have significant weaknesses. We need to boost our activities in this area”.

For further information, please contact Florence Albert, UIC Senior Communications Advisor:

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NeTIRail-INFRA presented at TEN-T Days 2018 in Ljubljana, 25-27 April

TEN-T Days 2018 was held in Ljubljana from 25 to 27 April. With over 2,000 registered participants and 26 Ministers of Transport in attendance and with around 100 exhibition booths, TEN-T Days offered an excellent opportunity for transport industry stakeholders to meet and exchange innovative ideas.

European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc invited Ministers, members of the European Parliament and key stakeholders to Ljubljana to discuss ways of contributing to smart, sustainable and safe mobility, relying on the trans-European transport network and investment in transport connectivity.

TEN-T Days also hosted an idea accelerator and futuristic lab, allowing young European entrepreneurs and companies to showcase innovative mobility solutions. A high-level interinstitutional meeting was held to discuss further synergies between transport, energy and digital connectivity and investment with the greatest added value for the EU in the post-2020 framework. This culminated in a Ljubljana declaration by all relevant stakeholders on key principles for investment in smart, sustainable and safe mobility. High-level events included ministerial sessions with the western Balkans and Turkey, and with southern Mediterranean countries. This year’s TEN-T Days indoor and outdoor exhibition showcased innovative projects and ideas that contribute to European transport infrastructure development.

The NeTIRail-INFRA (Needs Tailored Interoperable Railway Infrastructure) project is a three-year, €5.4 million collaborative R&D project funded by the European Commission, sponsored by INEA within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme. NeTIRail is coordinated by the University of Sheffield and has a total of 13 partners from eight different countries. UIC is one of the consortium partners and has taken on a leadership role for one of the project’s work packages. The NeTIRail-INFRA concept is based on designing railway infrastructure and monitoring that is tailored to the needs of specific lines to ensure the most cost-effective and sustainable solution for different line types and geographical locations. The project began on 1June 2015 and will conclude in May 2018.

NeTIRail-INFRA was one of the indoor exhibitors, and TEN-T days provided an excellent opportunity to announce the final project conference which will take place on May 24, once again in Ljubljana. The project results will be presented at the conference to a large audience.

Ms Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport, visited our stand and declared that she fully supports the project. Mr Alan Haigh, Head of Department, Horizon 2020 at INEA (Innovation and Networks Executive Agency) showed a keen interest and stated that cooperation on EU-funded projects must continue.

For more information on the project and to register for the final conference in Ljubljana on May 24, please visit:

For further information, please contact Christine Hassoun at:

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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.

For further information please contact Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department:

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14th Training on High Speed Systems held from 23 – 27 April 2018 in Paris

This year’s training seminar on high-speed systems (THSS Level I) was held in Paris from 23 to 27 April. The training seminar falls under the remit of the Intercity & High-Speed Committee, which meets four times a year.

As with previous training seminars, this session examined the two main principles of high-speed rail as a complex system and looked at the various approaches to this innovative mode of transport, providing an overview of its development across the world. The event is becoming increasingly important for decision-makers and stakeholders involved in high-speed rail projects who wish to familiarise themselves with the various aspects and implications of high-speed rail systems.

The 2018 session was attended by 18 participants from eight countries, including managers in decision-making positions in the transport sector in general and the railways in particular.

The five-day programme included lectures on the various elements that make up high-speed systems, as well as the different types of systems included in this category, and examined them objectively from a technical, economic, political and social standpoint. Lectures were given by 38 speakers from ten different countries.
The training session was organised by UIC’s Passenger department (Vanessa Pérez, Beatrix Perrot, Kenzo Fujita and Juhyung Lee), coordinated by Marc Guigon, Director of the department.

The second level of training on high-speed systems (THSS II) will take place from 10 to 14 December in Madrid, Spain.

Previous attendance of THSS Level I is recommended for Level II but is not mandatory.

More information on Level II is available here:

For further information, please contact Vanessa Pérez: or Beatrix Perrot:

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Third training session on commuter and regional train services (CRTS) to be held from 28 to 30 May 2018 in Warsaw

One month to go - don’t forget to register!

The third training session on commuter and regional train services will take place from 28 to 30 May 2018 in Warsaw.
Following the success of the first and the second training programmes, the third training session on commuter and regional train services will be held in Poland, organised jointly by the International Union of Railways Association (UIC) and PKP.
The training programme will aim to examine all of the constituent elements and various types of commuter and regional train systems (CRTS) around the world, and to evaluate their impact impartially and objectively from a political, social and economic standpoint.
The three-day training programme will review the main aspects of this kind of service:

  • Main principles of commuter and regional train systems around the world
  • Stations and railway infrastructure
  • Legal framework
  • Financing
  • Safety, security and customer communication
  • Ticketing
  • Rolling stock

The training programme will provide participants with an opportunity to meet and exchange experience with other participants from different parts of the world and to attend lectures from representatives of railway companies, the supply industry, universities, international organisations and public authorities.

Don’t forget to register!

Secure your place by registering online via the link below, where you will also find details of the programme and practical information on the venue.

Please visit:

For further information, please contact Vanessa Perez, UIC Advisor, Passenger department

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IRSC (International Railway Safety Council) to be held from 21 – 26 October 2018 in Ireland

The deadline for submitting an abstract has been postponed to 15 May 2018

The IRSC provides a forum for an in-depth exchange of experience and lessons for improving railway safety and is exclusively devoted to railway safety issues.

UIC has been a member of the Steering Committee for many years now.

Participants include:

  • Railway safety management
  • Railway infrastructure managers
  • Train operators
  • Tram operators
  • Government bodies
  • Safety regulators
  • Accident investigation agencies
  • Railway worker trade unions

Conference Theme
The theme for IRSC 2018 is an Organisational Culture that values Safety, and it is anticipated that speakers at the Plenary Sessions will present papers on the three sub-themes for the conference:

  • The important relationship between organisational culture and safety outcomes
  • Lessons learnt as a result of accidents arising from organisational failure
  • Organisational initiatives and innovations to improve railway safety

The IRSC logo (triangle) is symbolic of the three key elements of ‘Operator’, ‘Equipment’ and ‘Rules’ working together in the safety management system.
Investigations clearly show how human factors are often precursors to major disasters. It is recognised that to achieve improvements in safety performance a mature safety culture that successfully integrates human factors in railway safety management is required. However, safety culture is a facet of the broader organisational culture which expresses leadership styles and priorities. Best practice in safety management acknowledges that organisational effectiveness depends on the important relationship between ‘Organisational Culture’, ‘Leadership’ and ‘Systems’.

The theme for IRSC 2018 Organisational Culture that values Safety brings together the two triangles of ‘Operator-Equipment-Rules’ and ‘Organisational Culture-Leadership-Systems’. Contributors to IRSC 2018 are invited to prepare papers and presentations that reflect this important relationship between organisational culture and safety outcomes; both from the perspective of lessons learnt as a result of accidents, and initiatives taken to improve railway safety.

For further information please contact Bernard Penners, Manager of the UIC Safety Unit:

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News from UIC members

Canada: VIA Rail is transforming to lead Canadians towards a more sustainable future

In 2017, as VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) was preparing to mark its 40th anniversary, the company was looking to the future and laying the groundwork for a strategy intended to enhance the human experience through its flagship projects. Through its 2017 Sustainable Mobility Report, released today, the company highlights the actions it is taking to transform mobility and contribute to Canada’s inclusive growth.

Accomplishments include an increase in trips and in inter-modal ridership, along with a 34% drop in greenhouse gas emissions since 2015. The company has also invested over $88 million in safety and efficiency. Train incidents (calculated per million train-miles) have dropped by 77% through proactive risk assessment and by instilling a strong incident prevention culture throughout the corporation. Finally, employees have had almost 50% more hours of training, on average, since 2014, in support of VIA Rail’s ambition to become a personalized, connected, collaborative and responsible company.

“Today, more than ever, sustainable mobility lies at the very core of VIA Rail’s existence and largely determines the long-term success of our company. While 2017 was a strong year for us in terms of revenues and ridership, we also examined ways to maximize our contribution to sustainable mobility across the country,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail.

“We asked ourselves how we could make our stations more sustainable, so they could be greener and less energy consuming, more accessible, better integrated into the community and equipped with leading-edge technologies. We also reviewed operations in our maintenance centres to make them safer for our employees, and more sustainable, by selecting better products and disposing of them more safely,” added Mr Desjardins-Siciliano.

“The challenge we have set for ourselves for the upcoming years is to enhance the human experience. Compared to any other mode of transport, trains offer the most inclusive environment. They present a unique opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together in a way that facilitates social cohesion. Buying a new 21st-century fleet for the Québec City-Windsor corridor, to replace our current rolling stock, will provide our passengers with a better travel experience and our employees with a safer and more efficient workplace,” concluded Mr Desjardins-Siciliano.

The 2017 Sustainable Mobility Report describes VIA Rail’s accomplishments and objectives based on six pillars: the customer experience, socio-economic development, safety and security, the environment, being an attractive employer and managing our business responsibly. It can be downloaded at

(Source: VIA Rail)

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News from UIC members

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)

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News from UIC members

Belgium: Social experiment during Infrabel Executives Days

In October last year, some Infrabel colleagues participated in a social experiment during the Executives Days organised by the Belgian infrastructure manager.

Infrabel brought together people who, at first, seemed to have nothing in common. They compartmentalised them, as it happens in everyday life.

But there are more elements that bring them together than they might think. A job well done has no colour, no age and no limits.

Infrabel says: “We are all different, but we pursue the same objective, with respect for each other. See for yourself".

You can watch a dedicated video here:

(Source: Infrabel)

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News from UIC members

Germany: DB Schenker builds second logistics centre in Dubai

Second-phase state-of-the-art warehouse in Dubai South Logistics District will be located next to world’s largest airport

DB Schenker will build its second logistics centre in Dubai, located next to world’s largest airport. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of this new state-of-the-art logistics centre took place under the patronage of His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin (Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation). A large high-level delegation from Dubai South was in attendance, as were Tom Schmitt (CCO & Member of the DB Schenker Board for Contract Logistics), Karl-Heinz Emberger (CEO of DB Schenker MEA), Ako Djaf (Head of Contract Logistics / SCM for Middle East and Africa) and numerous other guests.

The 35,000 square-metre temperature-controlled warehouse, with a 3,500 square-metre mezzanine area for value-added services, is the largest investment in the history of DB Schenker Middle East & Africa. The facility will also be the first mega site of DB Schenker globally to be supplied with 100% solar power. The project is the second of three phases in contract logistics development in Dubai, with the ultimate goal of building 80,000 square metres of logistics space for DB Schenker by 2021. The facility is planned to open in the first quarter of 2019.

“Dubai is our regional hub for the Middle East and Africa and investing in Dubai South was a strategic step to strengthen our network and to complete DB Schenker‘s service coverage in UAE,“ said Ako Djaf, DB Schenker, Head of Contract Logistics/SCM for Middle East and Africa.

“Neighbouring the world’s largest Airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, and adjacent to one of the world’s largest container ports, Jebel Ali Port, this investment clearly cements DB Schenker’s commitment for hyper growth in the region and demonstrates our commitment to offer our customers not only best in class logistics solutions but also the best connectivity, speed to market as well as excellent logistics infrastructure,” he added.

The Logistics District is an 18 square kilometre free zone that serves every transport mode, logistics need and value-adding operation in the supply chain. DB Schenker says it has facilitated the market entry of many international companies and grows together with them in this complex but also high potential region.

This has made DB Schenker one of the fastest growing logistics service providers in the Middle East and Africa region, expanding its Contract Logistics footprint across the region to reach 200,000 square metres in the last five years.

(Source: DB Schenker)

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News from UIC members

Iran: British envoy travels to Tehran by regular train

The new envoy of Britain to Iran travelled from Tabriz to Tehran by regular train without any kind of specific ceremony.

Rob Macaire, the new appointed British ambassador to Tehran, whose positive attitude towards into relations between Iran and Britain has been interesting for Iranian media, travelled to Tehran from Tabriz by regular train and without any specific ceremony, according to the International Department of the Iranian Railways.

RAI (Iranian Railways), which has conducted two grand international tours of Iran during the past three months, believes that the British envoy’s journey to Tehran by a regular train and without many bodyguards demonstrates the high security and reliability of the Iranian Railways in the minds of our foreign guests.

It has to be mentioned that all the Macaire family members accompanied him during this journey and the Passenger Deputy of RAI received them officially in Tehran.

Macaire, who is due to succeed Nicholas Hopton in May, told IRNA in an interview published on Wednesday that he is delighted to be going to Tehran as the new British ambassador.

“We’ve made a lot of progress, obviously we have diplomatic relations between our countries; we have fully functioning embassies; we have full visa services in both capitals; we have a lot of opportunities in trade and increase in contacts on the cultural, tourism and people to people level, so I think things are going well.”

(Source: RAI)

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Average rating: 2.33 / 5

News from UIC members

Poland: PKP CARGO will modernise diesel locomotives in Newag

Pursuant to the contract signed on 4 April this year, 60 diesel locomotives, SM48 series will be modernised from October 2018 to May 2021, including a series upgrade to ST48; modernisation will consist of constructing a new bodywork in a module technology, replacement of the generator unit, the braking installation, as well as auxiliary machines and devices. Locomotives will be equipped with a modern steering system and a new ergonomic operator’ cabin, and will be adjusted to one-person operation. The contract also includes the supply of software and a licence required to operate the locomotive, and a set of specialist tools for diagnostics and repairs of the diesel engine.

“The concluded contract is a part of the Company’s strategy aiming at consistent increase of market shares and building competitive advantage. This is also a response to market needs, especially in terms of an increase in aggregate transport that we will be facing in the coming years. Modern construction solutions applied during the modernisation allow improving traction performance with a simultaneous substantial decrease of fuel consumption and an improvement of the availability rate. The beneficial influence of modernisation of locomotives on the natural environment thanks to the replacement of diesel engines is also important”, said Czesław Warsewicz, the President of the Management Board of PKP CARGO S.A.

“We are happy that we can continue the process of modernising diesel locomotives SM48 series for PKP CARGO S.A. In the years 2013-2016 we have already modernized 30 units. Experience gained during this period as well as our modern technologies and professional team guarantee full and timely performance of the contract”, added Zbigniew Konieczek, the President of the Management Board of Newag S.A.

(Source: PKP Cargo)

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News from UIC members

Sweden: Green Cargo invests in more Co-Co locomotives

In July 2017, Green Cargo decided to strengthen its fleet of assets and purchase two new Transmontana locomotives. These will enter service in autumn 2018. As part of its fleet strategy and to meet customers’ needs, Green Cargo has now decided to sign another agreement with Softronic and to invest in six more locomotives.

“The purchase of these locomotives will enable us to create even more efficient logistics solutions for our customers, particularly for heavy traffic plans. The locomotives not only increase capacity and safety, they also reduce freight costs for our company’s customers,” said Green Cargo’s CEO Jan Kilström.

In addition to their superior tractive power, the locomotives are modern and are equipped with automatic and optimized electrical braking. These locomotives will be optimized to run as energy-efficiently as possible by using topography and route data. The locomotives are a mixture of proven technology that uses a Swedish bogie design, and modern electronics with regeneration of electricity, which can also be fully utilized with multiple units.

“The purchase of the locomotives will enable us to increase our logistical efficiency, and it also increases our capacity and lowers maintenance costs. The locomotives have a number of technical adjustments for our Nordic climate. Moreover, the increased tractive power means a lower environmental impact since, in total, less energy is used compared with running a higher number of lighter trains,” said Jan Kilström.

(Source: Green Cargo)

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