With a stable governance structure, UIC is accompanying its members as they strive for a new approach, with a series of projects and initiatives on standardisation, sustainable development, digitalisation, telecommunications, security and safety, passengers, freight and expertise development, as well as research and innovation.
In January, UIC had the pleasure of meeting its new Chairman, Mr Gianluigi Castelli, Chairman of FS Italian Railways. This first meeting with UIC’s management board and staff provided an opportunity to confirm the stability of UIC’s governance structure. Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, said on the occasion: “I’m proud to see that we were able to preserve stability and continuity in an evolving context, perhaps even disruptive. François Davenne, UIC Deputy Director General since January 2019, will become Director General at the General Assembly of 25 June in Budapest”. Mr Loubinoux added that the search for and selection of his own successor as Head of UIC had been one of his key tasks in 2018 and, together with ensuring a smooth transition for the new Chairman and a number of regional Chairmen, had been part of a concerted effort to preserve a stable governance structure within UIC’s Executive Board.
Key priorities and initiatives in 2019
UIC’s key areas of focus for 2019 include:
- Continued efforts regarding the publication of International Railway Solutions (IRS), with the objective of some 50 IRSs to be published this year. The IRS is a structured framework of documents prepared and published by UIC for use within the railway sector. IRSs contain a range of voluntary solutions to support the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the railway system and services (for more information, see https://bit.ly/2WQNo0L).
- The pursuit of efforts in the field of sustainable development, with the publication of an IEA-UIC report on the “Future of Rail” (http://www.shop-etf.com/en/), recent developments related to eco-scoring, and preparation for the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP25.
- Continued digital development, with the DIGIM (Digital Impact on Business) projects, as well as the Clear Station project. For more information on Clear Station, see https://bit.ly/2SgznuN. The UIC paper on digital progress can be consulted at: https://bit.ly/2BUgqnK
The first UIC African Rail Digital Summit, organised with NEPAD and with the support of the African Union, will be held in Cape Town on 25-27 February: https://bit.ly/2TD2cOD.
The first UIC global Intelligent Digital Rail conference will take place on 3-5 June in Brussels in partnership with Infrabel. The impact of digital technology in society will be fundamental for adaptation of our transport systems in terms of productivity, services and security. Management of interfaces is also key to sustainable development in the sector. An integrated chain of mobility is the answer, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that rail is the backbone of this multimodal chain.
2019 will also see a ramp-up of the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), a universal system and a five-year project to replace GSM-R. FRMCS is the future worldwide telecommunications system, designed by UIC in cooperation with the various stakeholders of the rail sector, and will succeed GSM-R as a key enabler of rail transport digitisation. The FRMCS conference will take place at UIC headquarters on 14-15 May 2019: https://bit.ly/2I2lpb2
UIC has also planned a diverse programme of security-related activities for 2019. The SHERPA (Shared and coHerent European Railway Protection Approach) project is already underway; for more details, see www.sherpa-rail-project.eu. Other European projects are also in the pipeline this year. The fifth UIC Security Week will be held at UIC headquarters on 18-20 June 2019, and the 15th UIC World Security Congress will be held in November 2019.
UIC will take a systemic approach throughout 2019, linking security, sustainable development and safety. The 11th edition of the ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day) worldwide campaign, organised by UIC, will be held in the Netherlands on 6 June 2019.
The MERITS (Multiple European Railways Integrated Timetable Storage) database will shortly become available to third parties – a major development in terms of passenger activity. MERITS is a single database containing timetable data from 32 railway companies, which is integrated and reproduced on a monthly basis. MERITS offers railway companies rapid access to all the data they need to produce timetables and to operate with one single source of data, thereby doing away with large volumes of multilateral exchanges. UIC nextstation, the international conference on railway stations, will be held in Tehran on 11-13 November 2019:
Pioneered by the Rail Freight Forward coalition, the “Noah’s train” initiative and awareness campaign to promote modal shift is a key focal point for 2019. For more details, see https://bit.ly/2Gxjb14. Last week, UIC also published its 2018 Report on Combined Transport in Europe.
View the report at https://bit.ly/2GxQ7qq and see https://bit.ly/2tf3lAu for more details.
As part of UIC’s ongoing efforts to develop and nurture railway expertise, the fifth UIC World Congress on Rail Training (WCRT) will be held in Rabat, Morocco, on 9-11 October 2019. 2019 will also see the establishment of the Virtual European Railway Academy (VERA). The objective of VERA is to provide a sustainable solution for attracting young talent to the railways to replace the current generation and to keep the railway businesses up to speed with new technologies.
In keeping with its focus on research and innovation, UIC will participate in WCRR 2019, to be held in Tokyo from 28 October to 1 November. WCRR is the world’s largest international congress on railway research, founded by SNCF (France), DB AG (Germany), Trenitalia (Italy), RTRI (Japan), RSSB (UK), TTCI (USA) and UIC. WCRR aims to provide an overview of technical railway developments and contribute to steering its future direction from the perspective of the world’s railway operators. WCRR is the world’s only cross-thematic congress dedicated to the subject of innovation in the railway sector and is open to all stakeholders, from railway companies to industry and research institutions.
For more information, see https://wcrr2019.org/about.html