The Intercity and High-Speed Committee Plenary meeting took place in Berlin, at the invitation of DB International & Consulting, on 17 September 2018. Held twice a year, these meetings are a forum for all UIC members active in the field of high-speed rail.
The Committee was chaired by Andrew McNaughton, HS2, and UIC was represented by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General and Marc Guigon, Director of the UIC Passenger Department. There were more than 30 participants at the meeting, representing several railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, policymakers, consultants and research institutes from the Czech Republic, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, USA and the UK.
Mr Loubinoux thanked CR for hosting the 11th High-Speed Congress in Beijing. This next congress will explore new topics and focus on artificial intelligence and block chains.
Among other points, he mentioned that the financial situation of the High-Speed Committee in terms of projects had been clarified and a committee could now build on this sound basis. He invited Members to support a number of initiatives, including the activities of the group, opt-in projects and the Alliance for Universities. Members were asked to finalise and market the next book on high-speed rail which is currently being prepared. Mr Loubinoux also thanked the IRS group for all the groundwork they had carried out.
Mr Guigon presented the new organisation of the Passenger Department, and the best way of working within this new structure. He welcomed the new Senior Advisor for High-Speed Rail: Mr Paolo de Cicco, recently appointed. He also informed the attendees of the UIC Chairmanship given to Mr Gianluigi Castelli, Chairman of Italian Railways FS Group.
Mr Guigon encouraged the members of the Committee to participate in the next main event relating to high-speed rail: the 6th Training Session on High-Speed Systems Level II, to be held from 10 – 14 December 2018 at the Spanish Railway Foundation in Madrid.
The Committee discussed various topics concerning intercity and high-speed trains.
Focus was put on the “High-Speed Rail Atlas" which is a detailed collection of geographic maps that shape the high-speed network worldwide, extended to include other elements of the railway system and treated with a marked visual nature of graphs, tables and maps. Its general objective is twofold: on the one hand, to provide the reader with a vision of the high-speed rail network and its evolution in these 36 years of implementation and service; and on the other hand, to reinforce the technical and informative work of the High-Speed Rail Committee of the International Union of Railways. The document is close to its final validation and is planned to be delivered at the next Plenary Committee on 27 November 2018.
The participants were also informed of the High-Speed International Railway Solutions (IRS) meeting held during the morning and chaired by the Chairman Romo Eduardo (Fundación Caminos de Hierro – Spain) and the co-Chairman Huo Baoshi (China Railway Corporation).
The present status of the H-S IRS was presented along with the approval process, which encompasses several steps.
The first series of eight IRSs is nearly completed.
Two new leaflets were proposed to be put in the pipe line for migration and the first draft of IRS 60680: Design of a High Speed Railway – Infrastructure was presented and discussed during the meeting.
The fresh new document “Guidelines for the UIC standardisation process” was presented. This guide has been written for all of us by the Standardisation team in order to set out the roles and responsibilities of the various internal and external stakeholders, the processes for producing IRS, the transverse and harmonised organisation within the UIC as well as our role as an expert, a Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) and/or a manager.
The special Report EN2018 n. 19, publicly available, – set by the European Court of Auditors - titled: “A European high-speed rail network: not a reality but an ineffective patchwork” was presented and the recommendations given to the Commission were discussed.
Finally, a large number of studies and project proposals were discussed and will be finalised by the UIC Passenger Department. Some of these studies will be undertaken by the Alliance of Universities, while others will be carried out by members and consultant companies.
The next Intercity and High-Speed Committee meeting will be held in Hangzhou (China) on 27 November 2018.