The PoSE met for the second time this year in Lisbon. Its annual autumn meeting took place in the historic Rossio Station from 25 to 27 September and was hosted by Infraestruturas de Portugal.
Tuesday’s opening session was opened by PoSE Chairman, Mr Muncke. The agenda for the first day of the meeting was filled with various administrative and technical topics, particularly new project proposals, an overview of UIC leaflets and bridge-specific items.
The draft of the new IRS 70719 was presented by working group leader José Estaire Gepp of CEDEX and was then discussed in depth. The working group will review the comments at its next meeting at the end of the year. The next and final presentation will be in Paris in January 2019.
Harald Sattler, UIC Senior Advisor for Infrastructure, presented the current situation, news on the sector, revision of the 2016-2018 budget, main ongoing PoSE activities and projects, progress on IRSs and leaflets and preparation of the 2019-2020 work programme.
An overview of Infraestruturas de Portugal, which hosted the meeting, was presented by Mr Cardoso dos Reis. Mr Clemente presented new and upgrade projects to be rolled out in Portugal in the coming years to improve infrastructure for 2023 with the support of the EU, including CEF and other sources of funding.
The UIC workshops on masonry arch bridges were also presented. The first workshop was held in Madrid in June, and the next workshop will be held in Bristol in October. Dr Adrienn Tomor of the University of West England (UWE), one of the speakers at the workshops, presented a number of proposals for new masonry projects via video link.
The first day concluded with some technical sessions, comprising presentations by Mr Reber (SBB) and Mr Barrera (Bane NOR) on fluent ballast and tunnels, respectively.
The second day started with a tour of the new information centre (Experiência Pilar 7) at the 25 de Abril bridge over the Tagus river in Lisbon, the world’s third-longest suspension bridge for combined rail and road traffic. The group of experts were given interesting information on the bridge itself, as well as the upgrade project. The tour led the group to the viewpoint at road level, which provided a wonderful view of the Lisbon riverside.
After a visit to Infraestruturas de Portugal headquarters, the group enjoyed a technical tour around the 25th April Bridge. In small groups, and equipped with safety helmets and gloves, the group had a unique opportunity to explore the bridge, initially between road and rail level. The group then used a small maintenance elevator to get to the top of the pillar. After climbing through the narrow steel structure, the group squeezed through the last trap door. Their efforts were rewarded with a breathtaking view from a height of 200 m of the traffic and river edge far below, as well as the bridge structure.
Upon their return to IP headquarters, the group was kindly hosted by Mr Cardoso dos Reis, Director of International Affairs.
The third day began with a presentation by Mr Durot (SNCF) on the final “Repair Work in Tunnels” document. After that, the day was once again dedicated to technical information, with a particular focus on standardisation processes at UIC. Ms Lévy presented the standardisation unit and new UIC processes. The presentation was of great benefit to the participants, highlighting how standardisation is coordinated internally, as well as UIC’s role within the framework of standards .
Mr Friedl (SBB) gave a presentation on a new bridge built with an innovative material: UHP-FRC (ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete).
The session closed with information on new European regulations, provided by the Chairman, Mr Muncke.