Successful 10th edition of the UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail in Ankara

The UIC World Congress on High Speed rail, organised by UIC and TCDD, Turkish State Railways, for its 10th edition in Ankara from 8 to 11 May, brought together 1,000 participants from the rail and transport world, representing 30 countries. High level representatives, speakers and participants exchanged this year on ’Sharing knowledge for Sustainable and Competitive Operations’.

Over the course of three days, all the actors concerned by the development of the high speed rail system held fruitful discussions on this theme. An opening session with official interventions (cf eNews n° 598), included the Turkish Minister of Transport Mr Ahmet Arslan and the President of the Board, Director General of TCDD and Vice Chairman of UIC Mr Isa Apaydin.

During the opening session, UIC Chairman, Mr Renato Mazzoncini, particularly highlighted the sustainable dimension of high speed: “High speed rail does have a part to play in responding to the challenge of reducing the sustainable impact of transport. In this sense the main High Speed Rail strategy is “shift to rail” where journey are made by lower CO2 per passenger emitting modes. High Speed Rail advantages in terms of energy consumption compared with other competitors is one of the main drivers to reduce carbon footprint in transport sector. A study conducted by UIC in France and China already concluded that the carbon footprint of High Speed Rail can be up to 14 times less carbon intensive than car travel and up to 15 times less than aviation even when measured over the full-life cycle of planning, construction and operation. The constant UIC cooperation with the United Nations are giving us the opportunities to better influence the UN Agenda. Also in terms of green finance, let me underline the crucial role green bonds could play in boosting growth by financing climate and environment goals. Promoting long-term green finance has to be one of our priorities to raise capital market finance. Today, we represent a decisive sector among transport modes. Each of our projects are directly impacting present and people’s lives in future, that is why I think we have to consider green bonds as instruments to mobilise capital. Green finance has the great potential to let investors make informed and explicit decisions.”

He followed by saying: “This UIC Congress, with its worldwide dimension, represents today an emblematic stage of the globalising world that the railway system is facing. The global high speed rail network is one of the great feats of modern engineering proving to be the best form of transportation ever invented. It is rapidly expanding across continents worldwide. Indeed High Speed Rail is currently in operation in more than 14 countries with a length of 42,000 Km.

The High Speed rail network is constantly growing and this proves why each year more than 2.2 million people decide to take High Speed Trains.

Over the past 10 years, High Speed has represented a complete transformation, a sort of revolution in motion. It not only boosted tourism, economic development and business but it also changed people’s lifestyles. For example, today travelling from Tokyo to Osaka, from Paris to Bordeaux, from Madrid to Barcelona, from Rome to Milan, from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, from Seoul to Busan and from Beijing to Shanghai by High Speed train has become a daily fact.
Indeed, from 2010 to 2016 the number of passenger/km increased from 248 to 715 billion, more than 460 billion only in China. Once again allow me to underline how the service and quality we delivered in the past 10-12 years have been well recognised by users and rail passengers.”
Finally, he highlighted the projects, investments and benefits of the high speed system of tomorrow.

He said: “Most of the countries allocated significant investments to High Speed Rail. Money spent today in High Speed is going to go a long way into the future.
16 countries currently have 14,000 km of High Speed network (8000 miles) under construction, while 36 countries have 35,000 km (22 000 miles) of planned lines. Ambitious projects for high speed links are being developed in several countries aiming at achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion in boosting economic growth and development while ensuring more connectivity. The European Union has been pursuing Trans European Transport Corridors for almost 20 years and still plan to invest 500 billion euros; China has developed in the last 15 years an impressive high speed rail system with huge investments; the USA is also predisposed to make extensive investments; India is on the verge of a new rail deal. All major world economies are developing new corridors comprising rail high speed such as the Miami Orlando brightline, the Mumbai- Ahmedabad, the Kuala Lumpur - Singapore, the Moscow-Kazan and the Casablanca-Rabat-Tangier. All these projects are creating thousands of jobs either during construction, or operation and maintenance. Now, new forms of transport are emerging, thanks to the technological revolution. In this context, everyone is waiting for the completion of the Maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka as well as what Hyperloop can bring. These new technologies will be rated according to their cost-benefits and in terms of capacity, availability, frequency, affordability and sustainability.

And he concluded by saying: “Today, at this Congress we have the opportunity again to strengthen UIC’s mission and values in promoting High Speed Rail transport at world level. I hope that each debate and idea that emerges from the next parallel sessions and round tables will lead us to strengthen and create new technical and environmental performances, to improve competitiveness and to reduce costs.”

UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, said: “More than 3000 high speed trainsets are operating daily worldwide transporting 2.2 billion customers every year. High speed, wherever it has been developed, is a booster of innovation for the railway sector and its industry. Why not imagine it would be the new opportunity to be the vector of a new freight high speed mobility in line with e-commerce, development. High speed, wherever it has been developed, is an enabler of employment and growth of GDP. High speed, wherever it has been developed or will be developed, must be accompanied in parallel by the renovation or upgrade of conventional interconnected lines, to extend the benefit of speed to larger and further territories and cities”.

He followed by saying: “High speed helped railways to survive the third energy and technical revolution. As a driver for the rail sector, it must now be an actor and vector of this fourth industrial revolution of the 21st century, the digital revolution. New connectivity, big data, blockchain, augmented intelligence, will bring to the rail sector better productivity, in operation and maintenance, better security (cybersecurity) and better services for its customer experience”.

He added: “UIC, as the worldwide association of railways, with research institutes and its network of universities, always wish to bring innovative ideas, successful experience, breakthrough developments to its members, to the railway sector”.
Mr Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department, presented the status of High Speed Rail around the world, describing the evolution from the last Congress of Tokyo to the current Congress. He indicated the increase of High-Speed network was 20 % in three years to reach 42,000 km during the Congress, and 46,000 km for the end of this year. The increase of passenger km was more than 40 % over the last three years; that means the existing network increases its efficiency by 20 %. Then he showed maps of High-Speed lines under construction and planned in all continents. He finished with the evolution of rolling stock and railway stations.

Mr Philippe Citroen, Director General of Unife, presented the industry view. He explained that signalling increases capacity and said: “The European rail supply industry strongly contributes to high speed markets through major flagship projects around the world”.

Three round tables were also organised on subjects such as “New Competition and cooperation: what is the impact on High Speed Rail business?”, “How can High Speed Rail (re)shape local and regional development?” (round table moderated by Ambassador Michael B. Christides, General Secretary of Black Sea Economic Cooperation BSEC together with Professor Andrew McNaughton, Strategic Technical Advisor of HS2 Ltd), “Sustainability of High Speed Rail system: experiences and perspectives” (moderated by Mr Isa Apaydin, President of the Board, Director General of TCDD and Vice Chairman of UIC).

During the first one, on New competition and cooperation, Mr Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP, who co-moderated the session together with Mr Michel Leboeuf, Honorary Chairman of UIC High speed Rail Committee, said: “Intermodality is the key word. New technologies should be more included into a door to door package”.

During this three-day congress, 25 parallel sessions took also place and gave the floor to 115 speakers which grouped together more or less one hundred people. Subjects addressed among others infrastructure planning, infrastructure earthworks, infrastructure bridges & viaducts, rail system signalling, station design & architecture & performance, train design and purchasing strategy, commercial competition & traffic forecasts, electric power supply, operation maintenance, socio-economy service quality, RAMS and cybersecurity (session moderated by UIC Head of Security Division Jacques Colliard, who emphasised the importance of managing carefully the huge amount of data), energy and environment (session moderated by UIC Director of Fundamental Values Jerzy Wisniewski, who emphasised that UIC Members work together to make railway the backbone of sustainable transport and to develop rail transport to meet the needs of sustainable mobility), as well as Asset Management & LCC, maintenance renewal, standards & regulations, station construction & management & connections (session moderated by the Director of the UIC Passenger Department Marc Guigon), or territory management.

During the closing session held on 10 May, a session was dedicated to universities and the crucial role that they can play in the railway dynamism. Professor M. NING Bin, Academic of China Engineering Academy and President of University of Transport of Beijing (BJTU), presented the main objectives of the Universities Alliance network. Among them: the need to identify the specific research projects with common interest, or the need to establish several joint graduate-students education programs.
He also made a call to Universities wishing to join this club. He said: “UIC is a driving force for sharing the railway knowledge”.

Another session was dedicated to the necessary link that railways have to develop with the start-up ecosystem if they want to remain open to the latest developments and innovations.

Three start-ups presented their projects in front of the audience of the Congress, and the public voted for their favourite one. The first was Ermeo Company, which provides a business software solution to convert technical documentation into an interactive and smart format; the second one was SocialDev, which provides virtual interactive train operator or how to improve the traveller experience. The third one was Hedgehog solutions, which provides energy saving solutions.
Three students from Turkish Universities also had the possibility to present their innovative projects in favour of high speed rail.

The closing session also gave the opportunity to key speakers to take the floor. Mr Donald Upson, Co-founder and Vice Chair of CES Government, Upson Technology Group, addressed the participants with inspiring thoughts on the development of technology. Mr François Davenne, Secretary General of Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by rail (OTIF), presented the work done by his organisation and said: “We have to work together to make this global network happen. OTIF provides interoperability beyond EU. And access to network is a priority”.

During this Congress, the host country, our co-organiser and UIC Member from the Middle East region TCDD (Turkish States Railways), had the pleasure to organise several technical visits in order to present to the participants the real vitality of Turkish railways, through the visit of several railway places, such as the visit of Ankara Railway Station, a visit of a rolling stock maintenance centre and a visit of the city of Konya, organised by taking the high-speed train from Ankara, and a ride in the driving cab at 250 km/h.

A trade exhibition was held to demonstrate the products, the solutions, the innovations offered by the industry. 51 exhibitors participated in the trade exhibition in several booths: China (CARS, CR, CRCC, CRDC, CREC, CRRC, CRSC),TCDD, Spain (Renfe, ADIF , CAF, Talgo), FS, Siemens, RTRI…

Finally, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux delivered a few concluding words: “Our UIC values, to open, to share and to connect have been very well respected here. A lot of information was exchanged, many messages were given, and a vision was shared”.
He followed by saying: “Rail is not just a mode of transportation but also a means of social and economic growth. And possibly a vector of peace in international links, in once again bridging continents with trains”. And then: “During three days in Ankara, information on technology, services, customer experience and expectations, and new projects was exchanged”.
He finished by saying: “Over three days in Ankara, messages on the position of high speed as a backbone of a new chain of sustainable, integrated, connected, international mobility were given. Chain in which transportation is becoming a combination of spare and time slots”.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux also briefly presented a book in preparation at UIC on High speed rail, in cooperation with Langages du Sud. The subject of the book is: “An invitation to travel. High speed rail lines around the world”. The publication will be launched in autumn 2018 in French and English.

The next two editions of the UIC World Congresses on High speed rail were announced by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, during the closing ceremony on 10 May. The 11th Congress will be held in China at the end of 2019 or 2020. The place and date are currently in discussion with China Railways CR. The theme would be “Augmented Intelligence for Mobility” and would expand to more topics than the high speed issue, in line with the creation of the UIC Passenger Forum, and of course in relation with the UIC digital team. Morocco will host the 12th edition in 2021.

To finish, it is worth mentioning the further high speed meetings to be held in 2018: the Intercity and High speed plenary committee meeting will be held in Berlin on 17 September, and the UIC training on high speed systems will take place in Madrid from 10 to 14 December.

The presentations of the 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail will be available soon for speakers and participants.

The UIC team warmly Turkish State Railways TCDD for their hospitality, their involvement and their friendship. UIC also thanks CMS Project for their support and cooperation.

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

To pre-order your copies of the book “An invitation to travel. High speed rail lines around the world”:

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Cooperation Reporting

UIC Middle-East Regional Assembly (RAME) held its 21st Meeting in Ankara, Turkey

This meeting welcomed the UIC Asia Pacific Region (APRA) Members prior to the opening of the 10th UIC High Speed Congress co-hosted by UIC and Turkish State Railways – TCDD.

The 21st Meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle-East (RAME) was held on 7 May in Ankara, Turkey, prior to the 10th UIC High Speed Congress starting on the 8 May.

The Chairman of this UIC Region, Mr Isa Apaydin, President of the Board and Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and UIC Vice Chairman launched the event along with Mr Renato Mazzoncini, UIC Chairman and CEO of Italian Railways and Dr Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Vice Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board and President of RAI but also with Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC. The Assembly gathered TCDD and Tasimacilik A.S. -Turkish Railkways, RAI – Islamic Republic of Iran Railways and JHR - Jordan Hejaz Railways. On this occasion, the Asia Pacific Region was represented at the meeting by its UIC coordinator, Mr Vincent Vu as well as representatives from RZD- Russian Railways and Beijing Jiaotong University.

Mr Isa Apaydin took the opportunity during his opening speech to acknowledge this interregional meeting opportunity with the APRA region and emphasised how “keeping interregional relationships will be beneficial for everyone”. Mr Isa Apaydin also welcomed a new Member of the RAME region: TCDD Tasimacilik A.S. in the presence of Erol Arikan, Deputy Director General of the organisation.

Mr Renato Mazzoncini, expressed gratitude towards TCDD and the RAME team for organising this meeting, showing that UIC Members are “developing a strong cooperation despite of regional context”. He reminded the audience about the main topics for the region that are: International Freight Corridors, Standardisation and Interoperability, Safety, Infrastructure and Asset Management, Train Control and Signalling and Dedicated Training Programs: “Those are the main pillars around which we are developing the railways of the future at UIC”. Mr Renato Mazzoncini also drew the attention of participants to the development of Euro-Asian long-distance corridors, including the New Silk Roads linking China to Europe, as it will constitute a great challenge for railways from Asia, the Middle-East and Europe in the next years and decades. UIC in this field is committed to developing a comprehensive study on Euro-Asian routes and the New Silk Roads presented for members and shippers.

Dr Saeed Mohammadzadeh, welcoming the 90th anniversary of Iranian Railways, reinforced the importance of regional relationships and cooperation in support of the regional programme and to extend partnerships between the 15 Members of the Middle-East Region and implement its dedicated action plan to encourage investments in the region and benefit from them. He said: “I wish for more development and interaction between the railways: this will develop peace and friendship in the region”.

Mr Azmi Nalshik, Director General, JHR Jordan Hejaz Railways, expressed the ambitions of the railways in the country, despite many challenges, especially in cooperation with other countries with the objective to create a rail network of around 1,000 km connected to neighbouring countries. Jordan is willing to work with new sources of funding such as Public-Private Partnership projects in the region.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General or UIC, took the floor to thank TCDD for hosting the Regional Assembly and RAI for managing the regional office “keeping unity and solidarity” in the region. Mr Loubinoux gave an update of UIC actions over the last six months. On this occasion he also thanked Mr Wisniewski, new Coordinator for the Middle-East Region. Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed the need to discuss the question of freight corridors during the Assembly especially in the presence of Ms Sandra Géhénot, Director Freight, UIC and of the Asia Pacific Region, Chaired by Mr Oleg Belozerov who could not be present but who encouraged this opportunity of a joint meeting to favour international initiatives from one region to the other.

Mr Abbas Nazari (Director of UIC M.E. Regional Office) then presented the report of UIC RAME activities and UIC Regional office for the first half of 2018 including the update of the publication” Strategic Action Plan, 2016-2020”, the preparation of the document “Rail International Corridors passing through Middle East, connecting Asia to Europe”. The UIC Regional Office prepared and diffused the updated edition (May 2018) of the “Map of UIC Middle-East Railways” which presents the current network together with the new railway lines planned in the Region.

Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East, together with UIC RAME Members discussed and updated the UIC RAME 2018-2019 Action Plan. Mr Jerzy Wisniewski reminded the audience that UIC is very satisfied with the work done with the Region and how UIC is willing to share its expertise for training and actions on the ground as access to education and training is one of the key topics for the Middle-East Members, with the support of the MERTCe training centre in Ankara, Turkey. It was announced that online trainings will be launched and will be very helpful to develop the expertise of Members. Workshops on maintenance, seminars on freight, standardization, safety as well as the 7th Next Station conference in Yazd, Iran, to be held in autumn 2019 were also topics of discussions for the region Action Plan.

Two major events of interest for the region for the first semester of 2018 were discussed: The High Speed Congress that took place from 8 – 11 May as well as the 6th Global Rail Freight Conference to be held in Genoa, Italy from the 26 to 28 of June 2018, hosted by Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane. Members of the region were warmly invited to join the event. This transition allowed Ms Sandra Géhénot, Director Freight, UIC to propose a presentation about freight corridors and the freight forum to participants. It was highlighted that the New Silk Roads linking China to Europe is a major topic for UIC Headquarters and both the Middle-East and Asia Pacific Region.

Afterwards, Mr Vincent Vu, Director – Institutional Relations and Coordinator for the UIC Asia Pacific Region presented cooperation opportunities and sharing experiences between Members particularly for technological developments and innovations. Mr Vincent Vu invited Members of RAME to join a training in Seoul, Korea, first regional workshop opened to Members outside the region: the UIC-IRaTCA Training Session 2018, 18-22 June 2018.

To conclude, this Regional Assembly was an excellent opportunity to discuss how Members can work towards a greater promotion of integrated networks, to make the most of each Members expertise and power to grow stronger in a mindset of cooperation in the Middle-East Region and beyond.

The 22nd Meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle-East (RAME) will be held in November 2018 in Isfahan, Iran.

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

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Average rating: 5 / 5


UIC Freight Forum held on 3 May 2018 in Vienna

The UIC Freight Forum hosted by Rail Cargo Group was chaired by Dr Clemens Först, CEO of Rail Cargo Group.

The agenda was very complete and addressed important topics such as:

  • The CEO Task Force update and focus
  • Selected priorities have been proposed, as well as a roadmap to endorse the way forward
  • The Freight Digital issues and especially the e-Wag and e-Railfreight projects
  • How can the Freight Forum help in the discussion on open data and support its members in their step change towards becoming a more digital industry?
  • The Operational issues such as ECCO, Linda and X-Border projects and the sector position on the Noise TSI
  • The UIC Freight Department presented the organisation of the activities in order to support relevant priorities of the Sector Statement
  • Wagon issues (GCU, CoReDa, Message broker)
  • A proposal for a fundamental revision of the GCU should be developed at the initiative of UIC
  • Two realistic options were proposed on how to further proceed with CoReDa

The update on the UIC Freight Department working programme for the next three years was also presented to the floor.

The next Freight Forum will be held on 8 November 2018 at UIC HQ in Paris.

For further information please contact Eric Guenther:

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Average rating: 5 / 5


Raildata vision for the future

The UIC special group Raildata plays a crucial role in the daily operation of freight trains. All over Europe the consignment note and wagon data are shared between the major freight railway undertakings through the Raildata platform. Raildata also operates other shared applications and databases to facilitate the interoperability of the rail freight community. Raildata will be a key player for the digitalisation of the sector (paperless transport, intelligent wagons, automated train operation). In order to achieve this RUs will have to define the strategy for Raildata in line with the highest (CEO) level.

As a step in that direction a Strategic Workshop was organised and moderated by Sandra Géhénot, Freight Director and Patrick Mantell, Senior Advisor to:

  • Determine an adequate structure which would allow to develop a common strategic vision for rail freight
  • Improve visibility and understanding of the added-value of current services/products of Raildata

This workshop took place on 2 May in Vienna with the participation of CIOs and CDOs from European RUs. The discussion helped to identify the difficulties encountered by Raildata (lack of resources, commitment of the members, shifting business environment and missing) and decided two actions:

  • Improve the visibility and awareness of Raildata through online communication, factsheets and a strong presence at upcoming freight events (High Level Freight Meeting – HLFM in May, Global Rail Freight Conference – GRFC in June, Freight Digital Days in November).
  • Reposition a Strategic Board for digitalisation, governance and strategic vision with CIO/CDO participation

The first objective will be to develop a strategic vision for the digitalisation of rail freight in Europe. The UIC Freight Department will assist Raildata in achieveing this goal.

For further information please contact Patrick Mantell, Senior Freight Advisor:

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


Call for Papers is now open for the 12th World Congress on Railway Research

On Monday 7 May, the Call for Papers for the 12th WCRR was officially opened! All researchers are invited to submit papers on their important work to innovate the railways using the online conference management system that can be accessed through the website The deadline for submission is set for 10 August 2018. The possibility for sponsors to support this prestigious event as well as the possibilities for exhibitors to register and claim their exhibition space has been opened.

The 12th World Congress on Rail Research will take place from 28 October to 1 November 2019 at the Tokyo International Forum situated directly next to Tokyo’s main railway station.

The WCRR was first held in 1994 and is the world’s largest international congress on railway research. It is a major gathering for engineers and researchers as well as for executives and managers to exchange ideas. Besides that, it is also a great opportunity to present the technology of your organisation to railway experts from around the world.

The theme for the 2019 WCRR is “Railway Research to enhance the customer experience”.

This edition of the WCRR will be hosted by the JR Rail Technical Research Institute, while the members of the supporting Organising and Executive Committees consist of representatives of the AAR – Association of American Railroads, TTCI, DB, RSSB, SNCF, JR RTRI, Trenitalia and UIC.

For more information please see or contact

For questions concerning the submission of abstracts & papers or for more general questions please email or Dennis Schut (member of the WCRR Executive Committee) at

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CRITIS 2018 Submissions Extended Deadline: 22 May 2018

Following the successful organisation of CRITIS 2016 at UIC HQ, and the support given to CRITIS 2017 (Lucca, Italy), UIC ensures continuity with the previous editions by supporting the scientific programme of CRITIS 2018.

This year, the International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security, will be held in Kaunas, Lithuania from 24 – 26 September 2018.

The paper submission deadline for the International Conference on Critical (Information) Infrastructures Security (CRITIS 2018) has been postponed to 22 May. Please note that the new date is strict and there will be no further extensions.
Papers can be submitted via EasyChair; ( for poster contributions, submission can be limited to an extended abstract. All accepted contributions will be included in full length in the pre-proceedings that will appear at the time of the conference; accepted papers are planned to be published in the LNCS Springer-Verlag series.

Special attention will be devoted to young talents. To this purpose, a prize (YCA: Young CRITIS Award) will be awarded to the best contribution presented by a young author.

As in previous years, keynotes and invited speakers within a special session “Energy infrastructure operators and stakeholders: key challenges and solution directions” will complement the programme.

For further information on CRITIS 2018, please visit the website, look for #CRITIS2018 on social media.

At UIC, please contact Grigore Havarneanu:

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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

Two weeks 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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News from UIC members

United States: Amtrak Northeast Corridor customers to experience faster, more reliable free Wi-Fi

Amtrak travelers on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) will soon enjoy improved Wi-Fi, with a more reliable and easier connection to high-speed broadband.

Amtrak Acela Express customers are already benefiting from performance tuning, including improved stability and reliability of VPN connections for customers accessing corporate networks. This summer, Northeast Regional trains will receive upgraded processors and modem cards, as well as new antennas that will improve speed. These upgrades will allow for quicker loading times for webpages and other content, the ability to send and receive files faster, improved video streaming and audio performance, and a more productive and enjoyable experience.

“These Wi-Fi upgrades are another example of recent steps we have taken to improve the customer experience and why we are the preferred choice for travel on the Northeast Corridor,” said Amtrak Vice President of Marketing Kerry McKelvey.

Later this summer, customers will also experience a new, simplified Amtrak Wi-Fi landing page. As part of this upgrade, customer preferences will be saved over a period of seven days for both onboard and in-station connections, providing a simplified and convenient experience.

NEC Wi-Fi Stats include:

On average, 20,000 Wi-Fi sessions occur on the NEC every day
More than 70 percent of devices aboard Acela trains connect to Amtrak’s Wi-Fi
The average session time on Regional trains is 1 hour 41 minutes, and on Acela is 2 hours and 9 minutes
NEC Wi-Fi users combine to consume on average over 2 Terabytes of data per day (1 Terabyte equals about 472 hours of broadcast-quality video)
Largest day of data consumption on the NEC (April 2, 2018) was over 3 Terabytes of data
Starting in mid-May, customers accessing free Wi-Fi will simply select Amtrak Wi-Fi from the list of options on their smartphones, tablets or laptop computers. Once selected, customers must agree to the terms and conditions to gain access to the service.

In addition to this work on the NEC, Amtrak is also upgrading Wi-Fi at 29 stations throughout the national network. For a full list of wireless-enabled stations and train routes across the Amtrak national network, visit

(Source: Amtrak)

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News from UIC members

Russia: Preliminary preparation stage for concession on Northern Latitudinal Railway completed

A working meeting has been held on the implementation of the Northern Latitudinal Railway project.

Taking part in the meeting were Russia’s acting Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, the Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District Dmitry Kobylkin, representatives of the future Northern Latitudinal Railway concessionaire, the Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) Gazprom and other parties to the project.

At the meeting, which was held in Salekhard in north Russia Top of Formon 11 May 2018, the participants finalised the main conditions and parameters of the concession scheme and signed the final protocol.

The participants also noted that all the documents necessary to start the construction of the Northern latitudinal Railway were ready for submission to the Government of the Russian Federation for a decision.

At the moment, the potential concessionaire is currently completing design and survey work in order to begin construction work in 2019.

As part of the concession, more than 350 kilometres of railway track and bridges across the Ob and Nadym rivers will be built.
The construction work is scheduled for completion in 2023.

According to the meeting participants, the project’s implementation fully corresponds to one of the key tasks set by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in the decree “On National Goals and Strategic Tasks in the Development of the Russian Federation during the Period until 2024” – that of increasing the degree of economic coherence across the country’s vast territory.

After the meeting, Maxim Sokolov, Oleg Belozerov and Dmitry Kobylkin took part in a ceremony to lay a memorial capsule in the foundation of the future bridge over the Ob River.

“Today we are not only making a symbolic start to the construction of a bridge across the Ob, but are also opening up a new large-scale stage in the development of Russia’s transport infrastructure. The construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway will change the picture of transportation across the whole country,” concluded Oleg Belozerov during the meeting.

The construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway is scheduled for 2018-2023. The projected volume of transportation is 23.9 million tons, consisting mainly of gas condensate and oil products.

The Northern Latitudinal Railway will be implemented on the principles of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the form of a concession.

In global practice, PPPs are the most progressive form of implementing such large capital-intensive projects, facilitating the provision of financing and rationally distributing the risks between the participants.

In the framework of its investment programme, Russian Railways will carry out the reconstruction of the adjacent sections of the Konosh - Kotlas - Chum - Labytnangi stretch on the Northern Railway, including Ob station, and the Pangody - Novy Urengoy - Korotchaevo railway line, which is part of Sverdlovsk Railways.

PJSC Gazprom will complete the construction and commissioning of its own 104 km Nadym - Pangody railway line

Under the concession agreement, a special project company called SPK-Concessionaire will provide the financing, construction and operation of the Obskaya-Salekhard-Nadym line. A railway section of the bridges across the rivers Ob and Nadym and the approaches to them will be built, as well as a new 353 km Salekhard-Nadym railway section.

The administration of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District will be an investor in the construction of the automobile section of the bridge across the Ob and will provide the necessary project documentation.

Yamalo-Nenets will also provide federal property with the plots of land needed for the construction of the road, and will ensure that construction workers have access to water bodies and forest areas. The Autonomous District will also make available benefits on the property tax.

(Source: RZD)

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News from UIC members

Italy: NTV Italo marks six years of high-speed rail operations

On 28 April 2012, the privately owned Italian company NTV Italo started operating its first high-speed rail services on the Naples-Milan railway line.

Thanks to continuous investments, the quality of the service offered to passengers, the comfort of the high-speed trainsets, and the commitment and professionalism of the company’s staff, the number of passengers carried by NTV Italo grew from six million passengers in 2014 to 13 million in 2017.

The objective is to continue to grow within the next period.

The NTV Italo trainsets today serve 19 railway stations in 14 cities and from 1 May, new services will be offered along the transverse Turin-Milan-Venice rail link. To this end, Italo has purchased 17 new EVO trainsets from Alstom and recruited 150 new staff members to guarantee the excellent quality of service.

(Source: NTV Italo)

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Today we are putting the spotlight on NTV Italo, affiliate member of the UIC Europe Region

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
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Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 15 May 2018

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