Reporting
  

10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail in Ankara

The 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail organised and TCDD, Turkish State Railways, opened on 8 May in Ankara in the presence of around 1,000 participants from the rail and transport world representing 30 countries

During the course of three days, exchanges and debates between all actors of High Speed Rail from all parts of the world are focusing on the overall theme ’Sharing knowledge for Sustainable and Competitive Operations’.

The 10th World Congress on High Speed Rail jointly organised by UIC, bringing together 200 members from 100 countries and all five continents – and Turkish State Railways TCDD, opened on 8 May in Ankara, Congresium Convention Centre, in the presence of around 1,000 participants representing 30 countries.

After Japan in 2015, Turkey was selected to hold this 10th edition of the World Congress on High Speed Rail as it is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle-East, a region marked by a very rapid and dynamic expansion of the rail transport systems, with a strong focus on high speed rail lines.

The opening ceremony of this unique world event entirely dedicated to the development of high speed rail, took place under the high patronage of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Binali YILDIRIM, and with the presence of the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Mr Ahmet ARSLAN. For UIC, Mr Renato MAZZONCINI, CEO of Italian Railways FS Italiane, UIC Chairman, as well as Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director-General, and as the Host of the world congress, Mr Isa APAYDIN, President of the Board and Director-General of TCDD, UIC Vice Chairman, addressed the participants.

A number of heads and representatives of leading international organisations and associations supporting this international congress, are also present and will actively participate in the various round tables and sessions, among them the heads of OTIF (Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail), BSEC (the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation), UITP (International Public Transport Association), UNIFE (Union of European Railway Industries). United Nations’ UNECE will also be represented by a speaker. ITF (International Transport Forum of OECD) is also supporting this event.

The World Congress ’Ankara 2018’ welcomes all actors committed to the development and operations of high speed rail systems all around the world, including international organisations and financial institutions, governments, UIC Member railways, manufacturers, research bodies, partners and service providers.
The overall theme in 2018 is ’Sharing knowledge for Sustainable and Competitive Operations”.

In his address, UIC Chairman Mr Renato MAZZONCINI declared:

While high speed is well understood and appreciated by the countries which have invested in it, it is not always well understood as a whole transport system for other stakeholders, so this 10th World Congress intends to make clear how High Speed Rail is an innovative, efficient and environment respectful mode of transport, which could be easily described as the transport mode of the future.
High Speed Rail means high performances. All these performances originate first from the complex systems, in which are combined so many different fields as infrastructure, stations, rolling stock, operations, maintenance, strategy, financing, marketing and management, contributing each of them to bring excellence and improvements.
All these issues will represent the core of these four Congress days, where, through the different Parallel Sessions and Round Tables, speakers and attendees will exchange their views increasing knowledges, technologies and experiences.
The Congress together with its worldwide dimension represent today an emblematic stage of the globalising world that the railway system is facing.

Mr Isa APAYDIN, President of the Board and Director-General of TCDD, UIC Vice Chairman, underlined:

As you all know, in a world where mobility, speed and punctuality are of utmost importance, the requirements for developing and expanding high speed train technologies which realise safe, fast and environmental friendly the passenger transportation with high capacity approaches is increased with each passing day.
Today, about 41,000 km of high speed lines are operated all around the world. This figure will be increased to 98,000 km in the near future with the completion of the lines under construction and lines planned to be constructed.
During the congress and within the framework of the “Sharing Knowledge for Sustainable and Competitive Operations” motto, we will focus on how to reduce the construction and maintenance costs and how to retain its longevity as much as constructing high speed railway lines.
Within the scope of sustainable operations, we will also focus on finding answers for questions like how to provide sustainable maintenance management and how to compete with other modes of transportation by reflecting this on ticket prices.

As Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director-General, emphasised in his opening address,

Every two or three years, the UIC World Congress on High Speed rail provides a unique opportunity to exchange between all members – those who already operate high speed rail systems and those who plan to introduce high speed in a near future – as well as between railways and their stakeholders and partners from the manufacturing industry, the finance and business world, on the best practices and opportunities for optimising in the future this type of fast, safe, competitive and sustainable transport system". This event and the exchanges taking should in Ankara be beneficial to the entire railway world community and illustrate the core values of UIC of Unity, Solidarity and Universality, in a spirit of sharing, openness and connection”. He added: “As a window, as a totem, of modern high technology, the development of high speed is the expression of the ambition and vision of a nation, in terms of land planning and a response to the demographic, economic and social challenges of modern times. Accelerating time and shrinking space, high speed can contribute to the growth of mobility, to the exchanges between cities, to the desaturation of other infrastructures, to sustainable development goals for society, to the unification of regions, maybe to some extent to create peaceful international links between countries.

The inauguration and the visit of the trade exhibition (with 50 exhibitors) by all officials and attendees ended the first part of the Opening Ceremony.

A review of High Speed Rail implementations worldwide

The second part of the Opening Ceremony began with the presentation of the programme that was designed with the objective to be paperless and extremely interactive, in particular through exchanges between speakers and the floor with smartphones. This presentation was jointly made by Mr Michel LEBOEUF, Honorary Chairman of UIC High Speed Rail Committee and Dr Fatih SARIKOÇ, Deputy Head of the Modernisation Department of TCDD.

Then, Mr Marc GUIGON, Director of UIC Passenger Department, presented a journey across the world illustrating the main High Speed Rail implementations.

After the official opening ceremony and following ’opening discussions’ involving high level railway representatives, the discussions will be organised in the form of parallel sessions and of three round tables in plenary session, co-chaired and co-moderated by leading personalities of the international railway and transport world, respectively dedicated to the themes:

  • Round table 1 on 9 May: “New Competition and cooperation: which impact on High Speed Rail business?”
  • Round table 2 on 10 May: “How can High Speed Rail (re)shape local and regional development?”
  • Round table 3 on 10 May: “Sustainability of High Speed Rail system: experiences and perspectives”.

The closing session on 10 May will be dedicated, among other themes, to the perspectives of Digitalisation, cooperation with start-ups and students, the alliance with universities and it will provide an overview of ambitious projects of high speed rail developments around the world.

The programme of the 10th UIC World-Congress on High Speed Rail also includes the visit of the trade fair exhibition on High Speed Rail, also located at the Congresium Convention Centre, as well as technical visits to the Ankara High Speed Rail Station, to the Ankara Etimesgut High Speed Maintenance Centre, and a ride on the Ankara-Konya high speed line of TCDD on a YHT train.

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

guigon@uic.org

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Reporting
  

Plenary meeting of the UIC-IRRB – International Rail Research Board – held on 7 May 2018 in Ankara

In association with the 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed and also hosted by TCDD, the members of the UIC IRRB met for a plenary meeting in Ankara. The meeting venue was the Ankara Hotel which is in the newly opened Ankara High Speed Railway Station.

Among the issues, all of global importance, were topics such as the UIC “Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for the Future Society”, which will be held in Warsaw, Poland on 15 and 16 November 2018, hosted by the Polish rail research institute IK. The debate will focus on the following areas:

  • New mobility system concepts
  • Towards an integrated transport system
  • IT – new opportunities and threats
  • Competitiveness of transport stakeholders
  • Sustainability and resilience of the transport system

A shortlist of important key-note speakers has been prepared and the final choice will soon be made. Some of them are well known railway experts while others have their expertise in other modes of transport or even beyond transport. The outcome of the discussions and debate will contribute to the update of the UIC GVRD report – the Global Vision for Railway Development – which will be due during the latter part of 2019.

Mr Guven Kandemir, IRRB Vice-chairman and host and chairing this meeting, gave a very interesting presentation about the challenges the railways will have to face in the future. The findings were based on an ongoing analysis of many important research projects, policy documents and research and innovation roadmaps. Following this, the Czech members, representing CD-VUZ gave an update on the developments of the WORC database containing global information on research institutes, their fields of expertise and their projects. A demo version is on line and can be found through a link from the UIC Research Portal www.railway-research.org or directly through http://www.rworc.org/WORC4_test1/ . UIC members are invited to check out this database and if possible to upload information regarding their research capacity and expertise.

Call opened for the UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards 2018

As part of the IRRB meeting, the new Call for nominations for the 4th edition of the UIC Global Research & Innovation Awards was opened. The Awards ceremony will be held during the UIC General Assembly in Paris on 6 December. Railway researchers will now be able to upload information about their innovative research projects for the six thematic Awards as well as for the Young Researchers Award 2018 using the following link: http://uic-innovation-awards.org/

A Call for Sponsors has at the same time been opened and a sponsorship package describing the various way to support the Global Awards and their winners can be requested at the email contact mentioned below. Two organisations – JR RTRI and KRRI – have already informed the IRRB of their wish to act as Award sponsors!

For further information concerning the IRRB please contact Dennis Schut:

schut@uic.org

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Reporting
  

UIC participates in CORE 2018 – Conference on Railway Excellence on 2 May 2018 in Sydney, Australia

At the beginning of May, UIC participated in CORE 2018, the Conference on Railway Excellence in Sydney under the theme "Rail: smart, automated, sustainable”.

CORE is the leading Australasian rail conference showcasing technical excellence and the latest developments in the industry. The aim of the conference is to provide a knowledge exchange platform between emerging technologies and existing infrastructure and projects, maximising the efficiency and benefits for the end customer and industry.

The Conference on Railway Excellence is hosted by the Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA), which is a joint Technical Society of Engineers Australia and IPENZ New Zealand, formed to further the interests of the railway industry at large and its individual participants. The RTSA is a non-profit organisation established in 1997 for the purpose of promoting the co-operation of academic, industrial, commercial and governmental organisations in relation to the practice and advancement of railway technology and management in Australasia.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, was invited by CORE to give a keynote speech on 2 May. In his address he described some of major rail projects that are being undertaken or planned around the world. He outlined UIC’s work in the five key areas of innovation, standardisation, transmission of knowledge, dissemination and strategy and vision.
He then went on to highlight the continuing importance of rail transport as rail traffic is expected to increase at world level. Even though there are number of factors today that could impede rail development, according to Mr Loubinoux rail will survive because:

Rail is the interoperable link between regions and countries. Rail covers long distances and has a high level of investment with a long-term return on investment. Rail needs a stable space and time matrix. To quote Louis Armand, former CEO of UIC, who said “Rail will survive the 20th century to become the mode of transport of the 21st century.”

Rail is indeed a survivor. Going back to the industrial revolution in the 19th century when rail survived thanks to the Stephenson’s steam engine, the metallic structures of Eiffel; it survived the oil crisis revolution thanks to electrification and then high-speed technology – and later on the information technology revolution.

And now in the 21st century we are in what the American economist Jeremy Rifkin is calling the Digital Revolution. We will of course survive because we are smart, automated and sustainable! We will also survive because we have some fundamental values: safety, safety, safety – as well as capacity, sustainability, high speed, heavy haul, research and development, we generate GDP and job creation wherever we grow.

Mr Loubinoux ended by outlining the five main challenges and opportunities for the rail sector, which consist of complementarity, corridors, the digital revolution, sustainable development and research.

To read the full speech please click here:

https://www.uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/core_2018_jean-pierre_loubinoux_speech.pdf

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting
  

5th UIC Asia-Pacific Workshop on Control-Command Signalling & Telecommunications Workshop held from 3 – 4 May 2018 in Sydney, Australia

UIC was pleased to hold the 5th UIC Asia-Pacific Workshop on Control Command Signalling and Telecoms (CCS&Tlc) which took 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 Control-Command Signalling and Telecommunication Development Technologies, integrated into the broader UIC strategy to achieve a harmonised Traffic Management and Control-Command and Signalling system.

The workshop was opened by the Director General of UIC, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, in front of an audience of around 200 people and was well represented by members and guests not just from Australia, but from every continent around the globe. This was a great demonstration of UIC being a truly global organisation.

In his introductory speech, he stressed the important role of Control Command Signalling (CCS) at the heart of the railway system and described how signalling is a key enabler of the railways. He said:

At UIC we strongly believe that it’s in the utmost interest of all the railways worldwide to define and share a common vision on the future and work together to let it arrive with maximum benefit for every member, even the smallest one. We are fully convinced of the need to push for better and better standardisation of basic modules of the rail system and their interfaces, as only in this way will we be able to get the highest quality at lowest prices i.e. by stimulating a fair and worldwide competition among the rail suppliers.

Attendees were provided with both an understanding of leading technologies and a base for core system requirements for railways worldwide and how different railways are responding to the technological challenge while maintains a safe and cost-effective operation.

The event was organised around six technical sessions, namely:

  • 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

Attendees were also given the opportunity to attend CORE 2018 (Conference on Railway Excellence) which was held on the days preceding the workshop. UIC Director General Mr Loubinoux also addressed this conference to describe the global challenges that the rail industry faces and the proposed response in other countries.

Mr Loubinoux also welcomed participation in UIC activities by existing and proposed new members of UIC. This also gave delegates of CORE 2018 an opportunity to attend the UIC workshop and proved to be a great success. It is anticipated that UIC and the organisers of CORE 2020 will collaborate to hold a UIC event adjacent to CORE 2020 to make attendance by members from other countries more cost effective.

To read Mr Loubinoux’s full speech, please click on this link:

https://www.uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/speech_jean-pierre_loubinoux_ccs_workshop_3_may_2018.pdf

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

segeral@uic.org

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

Promoting
  

H2020 EU-funded project NeTIRail-INFRA to hold a training workshop for WP4 on 31 May 2018 at UIC in Paris

http://netirail.eu/

The NeTIRail-INFRA project is a three-year, 5.4 million euro collaborative R&D project funded by the European Commission, sponsored by INEA within the Horizon 2020 programme. NeTIRail is coordinated by the University of Sheffield and has a total of 13 partners from 8 different countries.

The project will end on 31 May 2018 and we are now happy to present all of the technologies developed within Work Package 4 (track monitoring innovations and results). To this end, we are organising a training workshop on 31 May at UIC in Paris.

Content of the presentations:

  • Axle box acceleration measurements in Romania: Faurei test ring and line Braşov to Zărneşti
  • Dynamic measurements in Slovenia
  • Application for comfort monitoring, using low cost Smartphone
  • Wireless acceleration acquisitioning system, for railway environment
  • Current and voltage monitoring, for electric locomotives
  • Upgrading old interlocking systems

This training workshop will end with a one and a half hour Interactive Session between the speakers and the participants to discuss further steps to be taken towards implementation and new challenges to be taken up.

This public event is open for experts from all across Europe’s rail infrastructure industry and academia.

Registration is mandatory and free of charge but only a limited number of participants can be welcomed on a first-come-first-served basis.

More information, detailed programme and online registration at: https://events.uic.org/netirail-infra-wp4-training-workshop.

For further information please contact Christine Hassoun, Dissemination Leader:

hassoun@uic.org

Or Jon Paragreen, Project Manager: j.paragreen@sheffield.ac.uk

Follow us on twitter at: @netirail

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

Reporting
  

6th Session of Safety & Security Railway Training held from 2 – 15 May 2018 in Rabat, Morocco

Thierry Bera, UIC African Region Coordinator, participated in the opening of the 6th session of Safety & Security Railway Training in Rabat. The session will last from 2 – 15 May 2018, will bring together 15 different countries from Africa including Djibouti, Tunisia, Algeria, Gabon, Burkina Faso and others. During the opening speech Mr Thierry Bera presented UIC and its worldwide activities in different sectors. Mr Said Chandid, ONCF, representing the UIC Africa President Mr Khlie, gave an in-depth presentation on the work of the UIC African region and 2040 African Railway strategy.

The two-week training will focus on systems of management of security, security installations, technical visits, integrated railway management concepts, etc. UIC experts Bernard Penners, Head of the Safety Unit, and Jacques Colliard, Head of the Security Unit, will lead a two-day conference organised within the training session and participate in the closing ceremony.

The visit of the UIC delegation to Rabat continued with meeting with the representatives of ONCF/UIC Africa region officials and focused on the preparation of the digital summit scheduled in Addis Ababa in October 2018 jointly organised with the African Union, and on the strategy of the UIC African region work for 2018.

For further information on the UIC African Region please contact Thierry Bera:

bera@uic.org

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News from UIC members
  

Germany: Bernd Koch appointed new Chairman of DB Station&Service AG

Mr Bernd Koch, aged 56, who has held various leading roles at Deutsche Bahn AG since 1997, has been appointed Chairman of the Board (Vorstand) of DB Station&Service AG from 1 May. In this new function, Mr Bernd will take over the responsibility for over 5,500 staff members and 5,400 passenger railway stations.

Among other functions within the German railway company, Mr Bernd Koch has been responsible for Finance/Controlling on the Board of DB Station&Service AG from 2007 – 2013, and from 2013, he was Head of Finance at DB Netz AG, the manager of the German network operating 33,200 km of railway lines.

(Source: Deutsche Bahn AG)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members
  

United Kingdom: What our New Measurement Train (NMT) does and how it saves us millions of pounds

Our NMT monitors and records track condition information at speeds up to 125mph. It helps identify faults before they become a safety issue or affect our performance.
Affectionately known as the Flying Banana due to its distinctive yellow livery, the NMT is a unique, high-tech machine that we’ve been using for almost 15 years. Equipped with the newest equipment, high-tech measurement systems, track scanners, and a high-resolution camera, this converted Intercity High Speed Train helps us measure the condition of our tracks.

It saves us millions of pounds because we can avoid unnecessary maintenance. By knowing the condition of the track, we can predict and prevent faults before they occur. This allows us to target our efforts where they are most needed.

Our NMT monitors and records track condition information at speeds up to 125mph. It helps identify faults before they become a safety issue or affect our performance.
Affectionately known as the Flying Banana due to its distinctive yellow livery, the NMT is a unique, high-tech machine that we’ve been using for almost 15 years. Equipped with the newest equipment, high-tech measurement systems, track scanners, and a high-resolution camera, this converted Intercity High Speed Train helps us measure the condition of our tracks.

Its ability to measure over great distances in a single operating shift is useful on our 20,000 miles of track. The NMT covers 115,000 miles in a year and will capture around 10TB of image data every 440 miles. Travelling at 125mph it identifies faults faster and more accurately than ever before. This helps us to keep the railway safe because we can discover problems at an early stage. Engineers can then make repairs or plan maintenance to prevent serious incidents such as derailments.

Sensory equipment
The NMT is the most technically advanced train of its type in the world. This is thanks to its range of sensory technology, with both mechanical devices and optical instruments on board. A laser sensor gives information about the profile of the rail head, measuring shape and movement optically. At the same time transducers and accelerometers mechanically measure the up and down movement of the train as it travels along the rails. This data provides information on track geometry – the shape and profile of the rail head, and the twist of the track.

Our plain line pattern recognition (PLPR) system uses a series of lasers and cameras to detect faulty track components as the train passes over them. Image analysis software uses an algorithm to compare what the cameras see with an image of how the track should look. It might identify missing Pandrol clips, which secure rails to the sleepers, for example. This is a common fault. Where an incident is recorded, the teams on the ground will replace them.

In total, the NMT is equipped with a track geometry system, laser track scanners, a high-resolution video camera, unattended geometry measurement system, and overhead line inspection systems. These are in addition to the PLPR system and a radio survey system which check coverage for the GSM-R communication system.

New Measurement Train by numbers

  • 1 New Measurement Train, which can measure track condition at 125mph.
  • The train surveys 20,000 miles of track every two weeks.
  • It carries out shifts of up to 1,000 miles at a time
  • The train covers 115,000 miles in a year.
  • There are 14 sensors on board – from linear variable differential transformers and lasers to gyroscopes and accelerometers.
  • Each Plain Line Pattern Recognition image file, recorded by seven cameras on the NMT, is 2048 pixels wide and 30 miles long.
  • It captures around 10TB of image data every 440 miles.

Train layout
At either end of the NMT, a diesel-electric engine within a Class 43 power car pulls the train. There is a conference area that seats 12 along with two carriages for the on train crew. The monitoring takes place within two of the carriages. One houses all the in-use equipment while the other has systems that are in testing stages.

Preventing faults
There are three main types of track defect that the NMT helps to prevent:

  1. Twist – when two tracks are no longer parallel. When one rail is raised or dropped slightly it can create a tilting movement that could derail a train.
  2. Cyclic top – where a dip in the rail surface causes a wheel to bounce. The rail surface gets worse with every train that passes over it. The bounce can lead to damage elsewhere on the rail, potentially leading to a sequence of dips and a derailment.
  3. Problems with gauge – The NMT monitors the gauge (width) of the track to prevent it becoming too wide or tight.

(Source: Network Rail)

2 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Finland: Opening ceremony of the Rauma channel and the extended container terminal

The deepening of the Rauma channel, which has been deepened to 12 metres, the extended container terminal and the improved container berth have been serving maritime transports since the end of last year. The deepening of the channel by two metres deeper enables more transport efficiency as cargo volumes can be doubled. The improved port area facilitates more efficient cargo handling before loading and after discharging. The opening ceremony was held on 26 April 2018, in the Port of Rauma.

“It is fantastic that we have finally completed this long-term project. The deepened channel significantly increases transport efficiency from the perspectives of both logistics costs and the environmental load. Functional connections by sea are vital to Finnish trade and competitiveness, as 80% of exports and 90% of imports are carried by sea”, said Kari Wihlman, Director General of the Finnish Transport Agency. “The project has been an interesting testing platform for new solutions regarding both building and the development of more intelligent maritime transport. More exact condition information helps clients to optimise their transports, while smarter aids to navigation placed in the channels increase maintenance efficiency.”

The deepening of the southern channel in Rauma from 10 to 12 metres commenced in 2016. The deepening operations, completed last December, were carried out during two open-water seasons. “This was our first time using data modelling for planning and implementing construction work in a fairway project. Thanks to this data, it was possible to follow the work progress in more detail”, said Project Manager Seppo Paukkeri, when describing the special features of the project.

The concern for the marine environment was the starting point of the project: “All the clean dredge spoils were deposited in the Järviluoto dredge spoil basin built in connection with the project. Building the dredge spoil basin was one of the largest separate subprojects. The contaminated soils were deposited and stabilised in a separate dredge spoil basin, separated from the marine environment”, said Paukkeri. During the whole project, the state of the sea area was monitored through extensive waterway and fishery observations. Follow-ups will be organised in 2018 according to the water permit terms.

Sea connections serve all Finnish trade and industry

The container terminal was extended at the same time as the Rihtniemi channel was deepened to 12 metres. “The projects supported each other and the now completed projects will significantly improve the competitiveness of the Port of Rauma. The investments will create a strong foundation for meeting the demands of global competition”, said Hannu Asumalahti, Managing Director of the Port of Rauma. “The capacity of the container terminal was nearly doubled (500,000 TEU), which significantly improves performance efficiency. In addition to the continuous 520-metre container berth, the port area for cargo handling has been extended by about four additional hectares. The investments of the port’s collaboration partners complement this whole project and support the loading of larger vessels in the future.”

The extremely successful cooperation between the parties involved in the project to coordinate work and traffic enabled safe and smooth vessel traffic during the project, and contributed to the fact that the channel could be taken into use slightly ahead of schedule.

(Source: FTA)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

News from UIC members
  

Latvia: Discussion on cooperation opportunities between different Eurasian railway regions

At the beginning of April, during the OECD International Transport Forum, VAS (State Joint Stock Company) “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (LDz), its subsidiaries SIA (Limited Liability Company) “LDz Loģistika”, and SIA “LDz Cargo”, as well as experts of the State Railway Technical Inspectorate of the Ministry of Transport met the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) to discuss the challenges faced by the international railway carriage in Europe, including the specifics of its organisation in the territories with the 1435 mm and 1520 mm railway gauge.

OTIF maintains the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), which Latvia joined in 1999. All in all, COTIF brings together 46 member states, including 26 EU Member States (except Cyprus and Malta). Moreover, the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS), regulating cooperation with other countries with the 1520 mm railway gauge, is applicable in Latvia.

The President of LDz, Edvīns Bērziņš, during his conversation with the Secretary General of the OTIF, François Davenne, emphasised: “Latvia is a member state of the European Union and OTIF, therefore in its operations it complies with the regulatory framework of these organisations. However, a large part of our operations is still closely connected with the carriage from Russia or through it, therefore the provisions of the SMGS apply, too. In addition, the “Rail Baltica” project will be implemented soon, as a result a completely new and unprecedented infrastructure will be developed. Consequently, we have to find the way how to ensure compliance with the existing regulatory framework and maintain cooperation and digital information exchange in line with unified approach, as, due to the development of international carriage, we realise more and more that we are a part of carriage that includes both systems.”

During the meeting it was emphasised that, since Latvia has joined OTIF, a comparatively small amount of cargo has been carried from the countries of 1435 mm railway gauge, when they are moved on the Baltic railway gauge in Lithuania and the transport documents are processed manually. To facilitate development of this type of carriage, in 2017, cooperation between Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian railway companies was started to ensure more efficient processes.
The Secretary General of OTIF, Davenne, noted: “This is the first such meeting with the Latvian specialists and it is very significant. Our goal is to understand how to develop a successful cooperation between different markets, China, Russia, European Union, from the point of view of legislation, organisation of logistics, and information technologies. It is important to discuss these matters to develop a full cooperation that is favourable for all stakeholders.”

LDz introduced the representatives of OTIF to the opportunities of electronic information exchange which are currently used in the SMGS system with the railways of Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania, as well as in inland carriage. It is possible to implement the electronic document exchange provided in COTIF; however, that requires a joint approach across the whole Baltic region. During the meeting, the parties agreed that such information exchange could be implemented until 2020.
Continuing the negotiation started at the beginning of April, at the end of the month, the representatives of LDz and its subsidiary “LDz Loģistika” will participate in a forum during which the use of railway carriage in transporting postal shipments will be reviewed. The forum is organised by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in cooperation with OTIF.

The goal of OTIF is to improve and simplify the international railway traffic, and improve joint regulations applicable to the international passenger and cargo carriage by railway. OTIF develops consistent legal regimes of the international railway transport for three significant fields of operation: technical interoperability, hazardous cargo, and railway contractual rights.

(Source: LDZ)

0 vote
News from UIC members
  

Kazakhstan: “Digital Railway” will improve the logistics climate in Kazakhstan

On 2 May this year, the meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on export policy, export support measures, consumer protection, digitalisation of transport and logistics took place under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev in Ukimet үйi.

Kanat Alpysbaev, the head of NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC reported on the implementation of the Digital Railway sectoral strategy.
K. Alpysbaev reported on the introduction of modern information systems in the key operating segments of the Company - freight, passenger transportation, railway infrastructure and transport logistics.

"The Digital Railway strategy for 2018-2022 provides for the implementation of 21 projects, two of which are implemented under the “Digital Kazakhstan” state programme", said the head of the Company.

In the sphere of passenger traffic, the objectives are to increase customer-orientation, improve the quality of services provided. So, in the framework of electronic ticketing, passengers are presented with an alternative possibility of issuing tickets through internet resources and over 17,000 terminals. Transparency in the availability of seats in trains, as well as the functions of “waiting list” and “train rating” were provided. By the end of 2017, e-ticket sales accounted for 64% of the total number. By 2020, the goal is 90% of the transition to e-tickets.
“It is planned to implement a system of centralised management of customer appeals 24/7, which will improve the feedback from clients through prompt response to appeals and complaints,” Alpysbayev added.

Digitalisation of processes in the sphere of multimodal transport is aimed at the development of transit container transportations. A single platform for the electronic exchange has now been created. Its participants are more than 1,700 customers. The automated system of processes on the SEZ «Khorgos - Eastern Gate» was introduced. This reduces the passage of vehicles through the checkpoint from 10 minutes to 30 seconds, the costs of participants at registration - from 2 000 € to 200 €, and also reduces the risks of corruption offenses.

“In order to reduce the time for processing orders and to select the optimal logistics route, an integrated multi-modal transportation management platform is implemented on the principle of a “single window”,” Alpysbayev said.
Information systems are also being introduced in freight rail transport. They increase the efficiency of the organisation of the transportation process, ensure the timely delivery and safety of goods, and simplify the procedures for crossing the borders of other railway administrations.

“The company implemented a service for online tracking of goods, introduced a system of electronic lock devices that ensure the safety of cargo and prompt response to attempts to unauthorised access to cargo, introduced an automated system” Contract and commercial work" . The 100% “paperless” application for freight transportation was developed, as well as integration with the “Astana-1” information system of the State Revenue Committee of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan," K. Alpysbayev said.

Within the framework of the “Digital Railway”, the Company is working on cost optimisation, the implementation of the digital railway track diagnostics project, the Traffic Management and Digital Services Centre at 17 railway stations.
According to preliminary estimates, the total economic effect from the implementation of the Strategy’s projects will be 115 billion tenge.

“Successful implementation of the projects of the “Digital Kazakhstan” state programme will improve the country’s logistics environment,” K. Alpysbayev emphasised.

(Source: KTZ)

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 9 May 2018

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