UIC launches the project “Exploratory study of new rail-type transportation systems and their impact on sustainable development, railway technology and standards”
On 8 May 2018, the kick-off meeting was held by representatives of UIC and RUT (former MIIT). The 24th Asian Pacific Regional Assembly assigned RUT (MIIT) as the Project Leader for the APRA project “Exploratory study of new rail-type transportation systems and their impact on sustainable development, railway technology and standards (NEWTRANSYS)” which was launched during the kick-off meeting. Following the decision of the recent APRA Web Conferences, the principles of Quality Management Process during the implementation of the project were discussed and agreed by teams of RUT (MIIT) and UIC representatives.
From the UIC side the kick-off meeting was attended by Ms Irina Petrunina, UIC Advisor for CIS countries and APRA international organisations, and Mr Vytautas Kinderis, UIC Coordinator for Standardisation and East-West Relations.
From the RUT (MIIT) side the kick-off meeting was attended by Mr Evgeny Zarechkin, RUT Director of Strategic Programs’ Centre, and Mr Aleksey Davydov, RUT Associate Professor of Department of Physics, Ph. D. (Engineering).
New kinds and types of transportation and transit systems have been or are actually being developed worldwide. Those systems are at different stages of the life cycle of their development. Some of them are at stages of exploratory research, project research, feasibility study, development, others are implemented in acting models, or are subject to field testing, and some have already been operated.
A large part of them are based on techniques and technology which are railway-like or rail-similar, either using some elements of railway transport (rails as basis of their infrastructure, electric feeding systems, signalling etc.). Nonetheless they are not railways in the strict sense of the word. A clear classification of them is missing. The new transportation systems are classified by one criterium or by a set of different criteria taken at a time. They are e.g. focused on purposes (urban, public, commuter transit systems, trams, metro or subway systems), construction features (light rail systems, monorail, string-rail systems, vacuum tube transport), operated engines or principles of moving (electromagnetic transport, linear motors, magnetic levitation), features of rolling stock (rail-road vehicles (railbuses etc.)) etc. Most known systems are:
- Suspension railway (e.g. elevated monorail, using either Maglev or linear motor technology);
- Electromagnetic transport, Maglev transport for rapid transit systems (not to exclude high-speed systems);
- Vacuum tube transport (Hyperloop, Evacuated Tube Transport Technology ET3);
- String-rail transport (SkyWay) etc.
The project corresponds to sustainable development objectives as most of those systems are resource saving and use environmentally safe technology. It is particularly important under the existing conditions, when the status of those systems is not defined, that their future impact on sustainable development and the status of their relationship to railways should be identified. The summary of those features together with systematisation of the technology used will assist members that consider possibility of the operation of those systems and experience a need in single internationally approved approach.
Study phases & deliverables to be expected
Phase 1 (2018): The first phase of the research in 2018 should be devoted to the general review of new rail or rail-similar transit systems using open source data which has never been analysed and systemised under the suggested angle of view and with regard to practical application for UIC APRA members. The report will give the general review of existing and developed systems of that type, particularly in APRA region. Next phases of the research will include:
Phase 2 (2019): Identification (comprising in-depth search of patent bases) of particular innovative technologies used in those systems.
Phase 3 (2020): Identification of features and criteria, inherent to those systems, which can be used for their classification. Tentative classification of considered systems.
Identification of the systems that can be considered as types of rail or railway transport and then be subject to APRA/UIC activities under different aspects (by technological criteria or by the criteria that their development is realised by railway companies etc.) along with conclusions on their impact on traffic safety, environmental protection, assessment of climate consequences of transportation business and standards.
Mr Boris Levin, RUT Rector and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, have been informed about results of kick-off meeting and confirmed strategical necessity of study goals to be achieved for competitive superiority of international railway community against other modes of transport to be progressively advanced.