Reporting Representing

François Davenne takes up his role as new Director General of UIC

François Davenne has been announced as Director General of UIC at the UIC General Assembly held on 25 June in Budapest. The appointment will take effect on 1 July 2019 with a four-year mandate. Mr Davenne succeeds Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who served as Director General of UIC for over ten years.

Mr Davenne was appointed last year during the UIC General Assembly in Madrid, and joined the association as Deputy Director General in January 2019 in order to ensure a smooth transition with his predecessor in the spirit of continuity.

During his mandate, Mr Davenne will focus, in particular, on improving the perception of the rail sector and on consolidating the position of the railways as the backbone of smart and decarbonised mobility. He will continue to promote UIC’s operational role globally. Thanks to the commitment of its members, the association benefits from a remarkable asset of standards describing the entire range of operational functions in the rail system. To fight against climate change and to establish the railways as the transport mode of the future, UIC must serve as a central forum in which its members can define an innovative technical vision.

Mr Davenne graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications d’Evry in 1988 and from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in 1999. Throughout his career, he has consistently promoted interdisciplinarity as a key factor for success. Having gained experience in international satellite telecommunications, he initially held various roles in the housing sector, making use of his strong financial and legal skills. He was involved in policy and regulation of the sector and managed key operational programmes, most notably for the city of Paris.

After three years with the French Ministry of Transport, working on railway safety and regulation, with an emphasis on European regulations, he was elected in 2012 as Secretary General of OTIF, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail. From early 2013 to the end of 2018, he promoted interdisciplinarity and partnership building in order to expand and develop the uniform regulations for international carriage by rail.

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For an interview with Mr François Davenne, please contact Marie Plaud-Lombard, UIC Director of Communications:

3 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Reporting Representing

94th UIC General Assembly held on 25 June 2019 in Budapest

01.(Tamás Vargha, State Secretary for Civil Intelligence of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Tamás Vargha, State Secretary for Civil Intelligence of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
02.(Gianluigi Castelli, UIC Chairman
Gianluigi Castelli, UIC Chairman
03.(From left to right: G Castelli, F Davenne, JP Loubinoux, A Mazzola, FS, A.I Uygun, UIC Vice Chairman, TCDD Director General, A. Kiliçaslan, TCDD, R Homolya, MÁV CEO
From left to right: G Castelli, F Davenne, JP Loubinoux, A Mazzola, FS, A.I Uygun, UIC Vice Chairman, TCDD Director General, A. Kiliçaslan, TCDD, R Homolya, MÁV CEO
04.(François Davenne, UIC Director General
François Davenne, UIC Director General
05.(Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Deputy Director of Telecoms, Signalling and Digital Applications, Rail System Department
Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Deputy Director of Telecoms, Signalling and Digital Applications, Rail System Department
06.(Francis Bédel, CDO, talking about UIC's digital activities
Francis Bédel, CDO, talking about UIC’s digital activities
07.(Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, talking about testing blockchain technology on Eurasian corridors
Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, talking about testing blockchain technology on Eurasian corridors
08.(Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Fundamental Values Director, summarising UIC's global activities with a focus on research and sustainable development
Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Fundamental Values Director, summarising UIC’s global activities with a focus on research and sustainable development
09.(UIC Standardisation Platform with Laurent Schmitt, Chairman of the Standardisation Platform; Simon Fletcher, Chief Standardisation Officer & Coordinator Europe; Célia Lévy, Head of Standards Programming
UIC Standardisation Platform with Laurent Schmitt, Chairman of the Standardisation Platform; Simon Fletcher, Chief Standardisation Officer & Coordinator Europe; Célia Lévy, Head of Standards Programming
10.(Simon Fletcher, UIC Chief Standardisation officer
Simon Fletcher, UIC Chief Standardisation officer
11.(The UIC General Assembly paid tribute to all the work, involvement and progress achieved by Marc Antoni, Rail System Director
The UIC General Assembly paid tribute to all the work, involvement and progress achieved by Marc Antoni, Rail System Director
12.(Thierry Bera, UIC Finance Director
Thierry Bera, UIC Finance Director
13.(UIC signs an MoU with UIRR
UIC signs an MoU with UIRR
14.(UIC signs an MoU with ALAF
UIC signs an MoU with ALAF
15.(UIC signed an MoU with ALAF and ANP Trilhos during the General Assembly
UIC signed an MoU with ALAF and ANP Trilhos during the General Assembly
16.(Abbas Nazari, Director of the UIC Middle East Regional Office, promoting the UIC nextstation 2019 to be held in Tehran, from 11-13 November
Abbas Nazari, Director of the UIC Middle East Regional Office, promoting the UIC nextstation 2019 to be held in Tehran, from 11-13 November
17.(Wang Tongjun, Vice President of China State Railway Group, Co.,Ltd., announces the next UIC High-Speed Congress in Beijing next year
Wang Tongjun, Vice President of China State Railway Group, Co.,Ltd., announces the next UIC High-Speed Congress in Beijing next year

Mr François Davenne becomes UIC Director General

Focus on Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), digital, sustainable issues and standardisation

The Executive Board and the 94th General Assembly of UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, took place on 25 June in Budapest, at the kind invitation of MÁV Hungarian State Railways. The meetings were chaired by UIC Chairman Mr Gianluigi Castelli, Chairman of Ferroviedello Stato Italiane (FS), in the presence of Ali İhsan Uygun, Director General of TCDD, Turkish State Railways and Vice Chairman of UIC.

Dr Róbert Homolya, CEO of Hungarian State Railways MÁV welcomed the UIC Members:
“MÁV is truly grateful for this occasion to demonstrate our commitment to the railway community, to celebrate our common values as represented by UIC: unity, solidarity and universality. We also wish to express our appreciation for all the work, sharing of experience and progress done under the aegis of UIC, be it the high-level meetings or in the technical working groups. Whether its interoperability, intermodality, standardisation, sustainability, safety or digitalisation – UIC addresses those issues which are most pressing not only for MÁV Hungarian State Railways, but also for each of us as members. Let us take this important opportunity to share and discuss our experience, locate our common challenges and turn them into opportunities”.

Also as part of the opening speeches, Mr Vargha, State Secretary for Civil Intelligence of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the competitiveness of the region and the necessary need to continue to link cities, ports and airports and to further implement the modern railway network. The UIC General Assembly then appointed Mr Ali Ishan Uygun as Director General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) as UIC Vice-Chairman until the end of 2020.

UIC Governance
UIC Chairman Gianluigi Castelli highlighted that the period of transition has been managed very well over the last six months thanks to Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and François Davenne. He said: “These days Mr Loubinoux, after more than ten years at the top, leaves behind a great legacy of work, competence and prestige at UIC, while François Davenne takes on the challenging role of Director General. I am confident that François Davenne will be very successful. Vice Chairman Mr. Apaydin, whom I thank for his excellent work, leaves the post of Vice President to Mr. Ali İhsan Uygun. We recently met in Rome and, as Chair, we are both committed to ensure the fluidity of these important changes and the continuity of UIC activities. In fact, we had tasked Mr Loubinoux and Mr Davenne to conduct a smooth transition from the former to the latter and, judging by the feedback received, this has been achieved”.
Furthermore, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux has been named Honorary Director General by the General Assembly.

Report from the UIC Chairman
UIC Chairman Mr Castelli in his report reviewed the activities of UIC since the last General Assembly in December in Paris and reminded the meeting of the orientations and main challenges for the months to come.
He said: “As a world organisation, UIC has the duty to draft the future of the railway and transport sector as a whole, from a global perspective.
In the freight sector, the intercontinental horizon has been clear already for a long while and, in the next few years, we will be challenged to push the integration between countries to the maximum, both those belonging to the European/Asian/African terrestrial platform and the American ones. Strengthening the East-West and North-South international corridors, we can make freight a vehicle for the social and economic development of our planet. UIC is working on that.
Passenger transport is based on the development of high-speed corridors, thus creating a “proximity” network tightly linking many more countries. In fact, high speed railways are growing all over the world, and commuter services as well. Performance has constantly been improving thanks to the use of more and more advanced technologies together with the rapidly increasing number of kilometres of tracks.
Establishing common standards is a long and arduous process, requiring the approval of many international stakeholders. But interoperability is the only road ahead to further develop our industry.
The UIC, by tradition, vocation and competence, plays a crucial role in this process. In fact, our organisation is a privileged observatory of the railway business and is the world organisation, together with ISO and IEEE, capable of driving the definition of appropriate standards, thus enabling the creation of a true world market. As Chairman, I am particularly keen on discussing and approving the plan to update and keep updated all the 700 UIC leaflets. To realise such an ambitious plan, anyway, we need to rigorously rationalise the process as well as to respect quality and meet deadlines. In my opinion, new resources must be deployed. For example, I would like to propose to this Assembly, in particular to the representatives of the major railways, to take a direct responsibility, in cooperation with other UIC members, to update some of the leaflets.
Further digitalisation of railways relies on good cooperation both between railways and with telecommunication players. New 5G networks offer a great opportunity for railways by enabling, among others, the internet of things and better real-time information. This will make railways more reliable, effective and efficient.
The deployment of ERTMS and FRMCS (Future Rail Mobile Communication Systems) should be the centrepiece of the technical UIC strategy. FRMCS is currently one of the most important projects: UIC and its members are committed to a very large investment on a multi-year timeline.
Current systems do not sufficiently take advantage of new technologies and practices, including the use of satellite positioning technologies, high-speed, high-capacity data and voice communications systems (Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE) and automation, as well as innovative real-time data collection, processing and communication systems.
The recent presentations on the FRCMS, Blockchain, Digital Platform’s DIGIM I and II, all show concrete progress and demonstrate the UIC’s global engagement in the digital transformation of the Rail System.
Digital tools need to address individual requirements by creating door-to-door solutions and added value for the customer experience before, during and after travel.
In this new context Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) describes a shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service based on travellers needs. MaaS regards the entire transport system as a single entity and heavy and light Rail, with its low rate of emissions, shall be part of it.
In the first half of 2019, the UIC has made progress in pursuing this goal:

  • MERITS, the timetable and fare database aimed: on 1 March MERITS data were marketed to all players (railway companies, third parties, authorities) with new contractual schemes that allow a non-discriminatory access to data through license fees.
  • Two new projects on intermodality have been launched in 2019:
    • Air + Rail: initiative in collaboration with IATA and some railway companies, aimed at testing the effects of modal integration between rail and air transport.
    • Door2Door: project in partnership with UITP and some railway companies involved in the challenge of the One Stop Shop for the issuing of intermodal tickets.

UIC work for COP25 is in progress as the railway sector must be considered a main actor in achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the ninth (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and the eleventh (Sustainable Cities and Communities). The UIC is currently working on the taxonomy of green activities with the purpose to orient “green finance” towards rail investments.”
He added: “Undoubtedly, the current significant level and number of ongoing technical projects protects the UIC know how and technical heritage. Fortunately, the UIC remains attractive: all major members have confirmed their participation - and we have had a slight increase in the number of members. However, increasing interregional cooperation remains a challenge. All of us shall look at the UIC as an institution that can boost our business, contribute to our success, promote research and innovation, select the best practices and make them available to all of our associates. This is made possible by our commitment to make UIC an increasingly inclusive organisation, being aware that our improvements drive the improvement of the whole railways community of the world”.

Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, as Director General for more than 10 years, has passing the torch on 25 June to François Davenne, highlighted the record participation of the members showing the interest and recognition of the added value of their association. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux also emphasised the global representativeness of the General Assembly. Beyond the technical, administrative and financial topics, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux has highlighted the exceptional harmony that has prevailed both in these statutory meetings and in friendly meetings between Members. Harmony that exists at the UIC, combined with the excellence of Hungarian hospitality. He sent his farewell message after more than 10 years at UIC. He started by “My dear colleagues, my dear friends,
After merely 11 years as Director General of UIC, time has come for me to hand over this responsibility to François Davenne.
I wish him full success in steering and further developing our worldwide association.
I also wish to heartily thank all the teams from our headquarters or our regions, all our members and partners for their support and involvement, without whom nothing could have been possible.
As any organization composed of so many members, of so many people, men and women, coming from so many countries, UIC needs attention and care.
I could talk about UIC for a long time! Talk with strength, with passion and conviction, but also with tenderness”.

The full message is available at this link:

François Davenne becomes the new Director General of UIC

François Davenne has been announced as Director General of UIC. The appointment will take effect on 1 July 2019 with a four-year mandate. Mr Davenne succeeds Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.
Mr Davenne was appointed last year during the UIC General Assembly in Madrid and joined the association as Deputy Director General in January 2019 in order to ensure a smooth transition with his predecessor in the spirit of continuity.

François Davenne, taking the floor to share the mid-year report with Members, said:“I have a strong feeling of responsibility and trust in succeeding Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.” And then: “UIC is today in full capacity to deliver to its member the full added value of a collectively designed set of standards. The times are coming for developing a global approach for railways in Europe due to the completion of the 4th Railway package. In Asia and Middle East due to the will of networking the major economies. In Africa because the challenge of urbanisation and development will not be fulfilled without strong railway and public transport. In the Americas, where the issues related to climate change and growing urbanisation are also crucial.
In this framework, UIC is to become the forum were our members can define the global standards and the system vision they want to achieve. Due to the team efforts under Jean-Pierre Loubinoux leadership, we are now ready to install UIC as the reference for setting up rail services, as IATA and ICAO are the reference for setting up aviation services. Our organisation has the potential to deliver this achievement because we are encompassing the full spectrum of what it takes for organising a service, from ticketing to radio systems, passing by wagon exchange regulation. For the sector, collectively, we are the only place where the picture is complete. This is also more and more recognized by the European Commission, that requests increasingly our technical expertise because, though central, interoperability and safety are not the whole rail system.”

During his mandate, Mr Davenne will focus, in particular, on improving the perception of the rail sector and on consolidating the position of the railways as the backbone of smart and decarbonised mobility. He will continue to promote UIC’s operational role globally. Thanks to the commitment of its members, the association benefits from a remarkable asset of standards describing the entire range of operational functions in the rail system. To fight against climate change and to establish the railways as the transport mode of the future, UIC must serve as a central forum in which its members can define an innovative technical vision.

Global issues

Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS)
GSM-R covers some 150,000 Km of tracks in Europe, 210,000 Km in the world and is still growing. GSM-R obsolescence is estimated at the horizon 2030 from an industrial point of view and 2035 from a contractual point of view. The sector needs to be therefore ready by 2025 with a new system. All countries currently using GSM-R are concerned. National migrations will need to happen most probably between 2025 and 2035.
This new system is the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) which will replace GSM-R and cover new needs, such as ATO (Automatic Train Operation). It is one of the key ERTMS game changers and probably the most impacting one; it is also an essential support to railway digitalisation.
FRMCS will be a major component of the European system, part of next ERTMS (including Technical Specifications for Interoperability, TSI), but is applicable to the worldwide railway community. An Interim report has been given to the Members.

The DIGIM II project was presented by Francis Bédel, UIC Chief Digital Officer. DIGIM II is seeking to benefit from the digital impact on the business processes in the rail sector to develop business processes, to improve safety and security, to optimize and improve the operations and to better use the existing data.
DIGIM II project goals and objectives are:

  • To alert drivers about the status of level crossing.
  • To detect potential collision risk and warn the driver or intervene on behalf of her/him to prevent the collision.
  • To design, test and validate a Proof of Concept (PoC)
  • The collaboration between railways and manufacturers.
    The connected digital level crossing project is seeking to be connected with cars to alert and warn drivers about level crossing, and in case of no action/not enough action from the driver, to take control of the car; hence the system would be used by cars equipped with driver assistant technologies. This project is developed in partnership with Dassault Systems.
    It started in April 2019 and will finish at the end of March 2020. FS, Network Rail, IP, CARS, RAI and SNCF have confirmed their participation. Confirmation from VIA RAIL, ÖBB and SBB (through the Swiss Association of Public Transport) is expected. More Members are encouraged to join this project.
  • Block Chain as freight use case for DIGIM III was also presented during the General Assembly, by Sandra Géhenot, UIC Freight Director and Francis Bédel, UIC Chief Digital Officer.
    UIC is particularly committed to supporting the successful implementation of international rail freight services at world level. Particular attention has been paid since 2010 to rail freight corridors linking Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The latest study, carried out in 2017 in collaboration with Roland Berger Transportation Consultancy, showed that Eurasian rail cargo transport has grown significantly in recent years. Interviews with stakeholders confirmed that a number of improvements have driven the volume development on Eurasian rail routes. However, there is still room for efficiency and quality gains in areas such as waiting times and processes for border crossings and customs, and in reliability and client information to increase the attractiveness of rail transport for logistics service providers. Taking into account the characteristics of Blockchain in terms of transparency, traceability, trust and distributed governance, it is easily understood that this technology can potentially allow the development of a better mobility and bring substantial advantages/benefits to the transport system, and to rail freight corridors in particular.
    With this in mind, UIC developed a Proof of Concept (PoC) based on the transport contract. This PoC was presented during the Global Rail Freight Conference in June 2018. It is now envisaged to run a pilot train. Members are highly encouraged to take part in this strategic project which will be launched in 2020 in the framework of DIGIM III.
  • Sustainable development issues
    The interim report on Eco-scoring project was given by Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Director of Fundamental Values. Information was given at last General Assembly that UIC is at the initiative of developing a non-financial evaluation of the societal benefits of rail investments.
    In this context, a workshop took place in November 2018 with several financial stakeholders and a number of interested members from which a number of possibilities emerged.
    Since then these interested members from all region have gathered 4 times as part as a very active working group. The group is currently elaborating some criteria to evaluate which of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant for the rail sector and when a SDG is relevant, which criteria of this given SDG is relevant and how it can be assessed vis à vis the rail sector. A synopsis will be available for the December General Assembly.

A mid-year standardisation report was presented by Laurent Schmitt, Chairman Standardisation Platform, Simon Fletcher, UIC Chief Standardisation officer & Célia Levy, UIC Head of Standardisation Programming. This focused on:

  • the rolling 3-year International Railway Solutions (IRS) Work programme, which includes the migration plan for leaflets to become IRSs
  • the publication of the standardisation guidelines (processes) and the ‘editors’ guide for drafting an IRS (M1). These will be available on UIC website before summer
  • the IRSs that have already been published this year. By end June, 11 IRSs will have been published for a total of 15 IRSs published. Two more IRS are following very closely. The others are programmed for the second half of this year
  • the relationships with external bodies such as ISO, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), OSJD (Organisation for the cooperation of Railways), CEN_CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization).

The General Assembly has kept on fully supporting this project.

Innovation and Research
The General Assembly approved the updated version of the Global Vision for Railway Development prepared by the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) and presented by Jerzy Wisniewski to the Members. This document will be available soon.

UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux announced the following appointments within UIC working bodies and UIC HQ:
- Christian Chavanel, currently Director Interoperability and Standardisation at SNCF, as Director Rail System as of 1 July 2019.
The UIC General Assembly paid tribute to all the work, involvement and progress achieved by Marc Antoni, Rail System Director from January 2015 to July 2019: “curiosity, humility, respect are the keys to building the railway brotherhood”.

The General Assembly approved the 2018 accounts, noted the current financial situation and the projections for 2020.

Relations with partner organisations and third parties
One agreement and three Memorandum of Understanding were signed or approved during the General Assembly.
- Memorandum of understanding signed with UIRR, the International Union for Combined Rail/Road (UIRR) Transport, in presence of Sandra Géhénot, UIC Director for Freight and Mr Ralf-Charley Schultze, President of UIRR. The UIC has developed a specific structure to support the development of combined transport (GTC), in particular to develop cooperation at international and European levels with a view to advancing and promoting intermodal techniques and making them reliable, competitive and better-suited to the requirements of the market and the environment. Having enjoyed a regular work relationship with UIRR for many years, the parties now wish to consolidate the relationship and better define the perimeter of their joint work in order to propose concrete results in the chosen areas for their collaboration.

- Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Latin America Railway Association (ALAF), in presence of Marc Guigon, Coordinator of UIC Latin American Region and José Nicanor Villafane, Secretary General of ALAF. ALAF was created with the purpose or promoting safe, efficient and economic rail transport in Latin America. ALAF and UIC have decided to reinforce their cooperation, assistance and exchange of knowledge in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding.

- Memorandum of Understanding with the National Association of passenger transport of Brazil (ANPTrilhos), in presence of Marc Guigon, Coordinator of the UIC Latin American Region and Joubert Flores, President of ANPTrilhos. ANPTrilhos is the National Association that represents the passenger rail operators and the rail sector in Brazil and promotes passenger rail transport.
ANPTrilhos and UIC wish to promote and reinforce cooperation, assistance and exchange of knowledge and experience among them in an adequate general framework to establish cooperation and a long-term partnership among themselves in a number of selected areas.

- Memorandum of Understanding with Monash University. Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology is part of the Australian University and one of the main technology service providers to heavy haul railway operations and leading mass transit railway systems; it provides a “one-stop” technology access point for the international railway industry. The Institute of Railway Technology is continuously developing new technologies to support increasing productivity and safety requirements at the same time as reducing risks and costs, ultimately improving the bottom line for its enterprise partners. Anticipating a future membership of Monash University, UIC and Monash University have decided to cooperate on a number of mutually beneficial fields of activities in the framework of an MoU signed in Manila last month and approved by the General Assembly.

During this General Assembly, 5 new Members were welcomed by UIC:

- Zambia Rail (ZRL) as associate member

- Tongji University (China) as affiliate member
- Department of Transport and Main Roads of Queensland (TMR) as affiliate member

- KEOLIS (France) as associate member
- University of Pardubice (Czech Republic) as affiliate member

Mr Abbas Nazari, UIC Representative of the UIC Middle East Regional Office, on behalf of Mr Saeid Rasouli, Vice-Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board and President of Iranian Railways RAI, invited participants of the General Assembly to the International Conference on Railway stations UIC nextstation that will be held in Tehran on 11-13 November 2019. The brochure is available here:

Mr Wang Tongjun, Vice President of China State Railway Group, Co.,Ltd., invited Members to the UIC World High Speed Congress to be held from 30 June to 2 July 2020 in Beijing.

The next UIC General Assembly will be held on 11 December 2019 in Paris.

4 Votes

Average rating: 4.25 / 5


High-Speed Congress meetings, Intercity and High-Speed Committee and related meetings were organised at Beijing from 17 – 20 June 2019

High-Speed Congress, Intercity and High-Speed Committee and related meetings were held in Beijing from 17 – 20 June. UIC was represented by Marc Guigon, Director of the Passenger department, Paolo De Cicco, Senior Advisor for High-Speed Rail, Francis Bedel, Chief Digital Officer, Kenzo Fujita, Senior Advisor for High-Speed Rail and Michel Leboeuf, UIC Consultant for High-Speed Rail.

IRS: A meeting on IRS development was held on the morning of 17 June. IRSs are coordinated between two different UIC forums: the Passenger Global Forum and the Rail System Forum.
The main points covered during the meeting were as follows:

  • IRS 60661: “Dynamic integration tests and trial operations before revenue operation” has been sent for publication
  • IRS 60673: “Implementation of a high-speed line – design phase” was published on 14 March 2019
  • IRS 60675: “Implementation of a high-speed line – operations phase” has been sent for publication

4 further IRSs (60671, 60672, 60673 and 60674) will be published following formal approval by the Rail System Forum.

Alliance of Universities for High-Speed Rail
Professor Wang Jiaqiong, President of Beijing Jiaotong University, will replace Professor Ning Bin as President following Professor Bin’s death. On behalf of the President, the meeting was chaired by Mr Guan Zhongliang, Vice-President and PhD Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University. Professor Anson Jack, Director of International Railway Benchmarking at the University of Birmingham, was elected as Vice-President. Professor Mr Andrzej Szarata, Dean of the University of Krakow and Mr Shinya Hanaoka, Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, also represented the universities in the alliance steering committee.

A number of progress reports were presented:

  • “HSR Productivity” by Professor Wu Jianhong of BJTU
  • “HSR Equity” will be presented by Professor Francesca Pagliara (University of Naples) at the next meeting in Krakow
  • “HSR marginal cost and value of time” will be presented by Professor Andrzej Szarata (Krakow University of Technology), at the next meeting in Krakow
  • “EU-CHINA” will start on a voluntary basis on Universities’ responsibility

A level 3 training session is to be developed jointly by UIC and the Alliance, and will involve using the content of IRSs for high-speed rail in dedicated training courses.

Southwest Jiaotong University is organising a hackathon within the framework of the World High Speed Congress (WHSC).

The competition of students for the WCHS will be managed by BJTU.

Intercity and High-Speed Committee (IcHSC)
Mr Andrew McNaughton, current Chair of the Intercity and High-Speed Committee, has advised that he will step down from his position as chair in summer 2019. A call for candidates has been issued; however, no candidates has been put forward by UIC members. Marc Guigon warmly thanked Andrew McNaughton for his unwavering commitment and extensive work devoted to the Intercity and High-Speed Committee over the past number of years.

Mr Guigon has asked Mr Huo Baoshi to act as Chair on an interim basis.

The following points were discussed during the meeting:

  • Reports were provided on all activities: IRSs, Alliance of Universities for High-Speed Rail, World High-Speed Congress
  • The book “High-Speed World” was presented by the editor, “Langages du Sud”
  • The Atlas, a book containing all relevant data on high-speed rail, was presented. The Atlas is available from the UIC ETF online shop in A3 and A4 format. For details, please see
  • High-speed development plans and implementation of projects were presented
  • Reports were provided on the following projects:
    • HSR comparison study
    • D2D and autonomous vehicles - Door-to-door solutions for integrated and sustainable mobility: the Italian experience (Trenitalia)
    • EU-China: project status
    • High-speed mix
      Study on “Operations under difficult conditions – low temperatures and snow” - co-operative workshop held at UIC HQ on 14 May. A workshop was also held on the afternoon of 20 June in Beijing

A short video describing the activity of the IcHS Committee is available at the following address:

World High-Speed Congress (WHSC): scientific and organising committees
In addition to UIC representatives, CR was represented by Mr Qian Zhengyu, Deputy Director-General, Department of Science, Technology and IT Applications, and CARS was represented by Mr Qi Xiangchun, Director, Scientific and Technological Information Research Institute, along with their teams. Mr Mohammed Smouni and Mr Ali El Karram of ONCF also participated in the meetings as observers, with ONCF due to organise the next Congress in Morocco.

The conclusions from the meeting were as follows:

  • Date and location of the Congress: 30 June – 2 July 2020 in Beijing (exact location to be determined)
  • The call for papers for parallel sessions will be launched at the end of June 2019. Responses are to be sent by the end of October 2019. The speakers will be selected in November 2019 and announced to the participants in early 2020
  • A hackathon and student competition are being organised by Chinese universities
  • The Congress logo will be available in July 2019
  • The website will be available in mid-July 2019:

The full programme for the WHSC was reviewed in detail: opening ceremony, parallel sessions, round tables, closing ceremony, etc.

The next series of meetings will be organised in Krakow from 9-12 September 2019. A workshop on Hyperloop will be held on 12 September.

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

0 vote
Reporting Representing

UIC participates in the “Smart ERTMS” panel at the 2019 European Rail Infrastructure Forum

As part of the 2019 European Rail Infrastructure Forum held on 12-14 June in Bern, Switzerland, UIC participated in a session on “smart ERTMS” at the invitation of the Swiss Federal Railways. The panel comprised Michel Ruesen, ERTMS Users Group, Andy Doherty, Network Rail, Kay Euler, Deutsche Bahn, Jürg Lütscher, FOT, Jacques Boschung, SBB, Elisabeth Werner, European Commission, François Davenne, UIC, Carlo Borghini, Shift2Rail and Josef Doppelbauer, ERA.

François Davenne highlighted similarities between the rail network and data networks. Within the framework of the Swiss Smartrail 4.0 initiative, the goal is to use digitalisation to identify the right path toward upgrading ERTMS in order to facilitate simpler, less expensive traffic management and deliver greater capacity using existing physical infrastructure.

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5


UIC participates in the International Railway Conference from 11 – 12 June 2019 in Bucharest

On 11 and 12 June in Bucharest, UIC Deputy Director General François Davenne participated in the International Railway Conference, organised by the Ministry of Transport of Romania, in the context of the EU Presidency of Romania.

Key personalities such as Ms Elisabeth Werner, Land Transport Director, DG MOVE Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director, ERA, Mr Keir Fitch, Head of Unit Rail Safety and Interoperability, DG MOVE participated in the event.

François Davenne participated in the panel on the “Harmonisation of the railway legislation in parallel with the adaptation of the technical solutions in achieving interoperability.” He presented rail as the smart backbone for mobility, having to manage with internal regulations and external interfaces.

He also defended the place of the UIC operational standards (International Railway Solutions, IRS) for the implementation of an integrated European railway area.

1 vote

Average rating: 4 / 5

Reporting Representing

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux speaks about the Value of Rail in the Professions Financières financial publication

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux has provided Professions Financières, a French financial magazine, with his latest article on the Value of Rail in his capacity as Director General of UIC.

You can read it here in French and English:

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The ATTI General Assembly was held on 4 June 2019 at UIC in Paris

ATTI is the “Agreement on Freight Train Transfer Inspection” and organised as a Special Group at UIC. Currently, 118 European freight railway undertakings (RU), inside and out-side the UIC, adhere to the agreement which enables trains to be handed over from one RU to another without the need of carrying out an additional technical inspection.

The 2019 General Assembly was held on 4 June at UIC Headquarters in Paris, under the chairmanship of Mr Stefan Zebracki, DB Cargo, Germany. More than 40 RUs from all over Europe were represented. As a special guest, Ms Karen Davies from the European Agency for Railways presented the view of The Agency on ATTI and the role it can play in the framework of European railway legislation. In this context, she underlined that the mission of The Agency is to set the framework of what safety principles must be met but leaves the sector to define the concrete measures through which this can be achieved. For her, ATTI is a good example of how procedures can be appropriately organised within the safety man-agement systems of the sector and without compromising the traditionally high safety level of railway operations.

ATTI is creating a network of confidence among its members through a well-defined quality management system and so helps to identify those who guarantee a high level of reliability and those whose procedures would need further improvement.
The constantly growing membership is a sign that ATTI responds to the sector’s needs and represents a business case also for new-entrants and smaller RUs.

The focus on this year’s General Assembly was the further development of the QMS in the context of the collaboration with the expert group for dangerous goods (“RID experts”) and the “Operations Study Group”.

For further information please contact Dirk Oelschläger, UIC Senior Freight Advisor:

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Cooperation Reporting

UIC participated in 1st OSJD Commission meeting on new High-Speed task force

The UIC delegation attended the meeting of the 1st OSJD Commission on the new special HS task force held on 17 – 19 June 2019 in Warsaw. The meeting addressed issues of Fast & High-Speed passenger & freight transportation to be developed within OSJD Members as well as HS documents & IRSs to be elaborated jointly by UIC & OSJD while accommodating the general requirements of 1435/Europe – 1520 – 1435/Asia railway systems.

The meeting was attended by representatives from OSJD Member States: Hungary, Georgia, Republic of Poland, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Tajikistan as well as representatives of the OSJD Committee (HQ) and UIC.

OSJD strategy for development of Fast & High-Speed passenger transportation

Mr Mikhail Vsevolozhskiy, OSJD Committee Deputy chairman, addressed the meeting stressing the importance of issues to be discussed for further development of railway transportation.

On behalf of Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, and Mr Francois Davenne, UIC Deputy Director General, the UIC delegation spoke about the challenges for Fast & high-Speed passenger transportation to be implemented nationally by OSJD & UIC Members. It should be supported by the development of technical solutions enabling seamless high-speed transportation in the context of railway systems using different gauges 1435/Europe – 1520 – 1435/Asia. UIC has collected a significant experience in HS technical issues which is able to share with OSJD as a strategical Eurasian partner.

The meeting adopted and discussed the following agenda:

1. Exchange of information about implementation of perspective national plans for development of Fast & high-speed passenger transportation within OSJD Member States.
2. Review of proposals for technical solutions enabling uninterrupted high-speed freight transportation with railway systems of different gauges.

Forecast on development of OSJD HS networks

Hungary is interested in the development of high-speed communication with the countries of the Vyshegrad Four Group (“V4”), which would ensure the connection of the capitals of four countries: Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland. To this end, on 1 October 2018, the ministers of the V4 group decided to create a high-speed railway connecting the above-mentioned countries.

One of the main priorities at this stage for the Hungarian side is the development of not only international high-speed communication, but also the provision of high-speed mobility inside the country.

At this stage, the Hungarian experts are preparing a feasibility study to clarify the most optimal direction for the construction of new sections of railway lines that would meet the requirements of high-speed traffic.

The representative of the Russian Federation reported on the programme for the development of fast and high-speed traffic for the period up to 2030 and the progress of its implementation. The goal of the programme is to modernise the base structure of railways and the construction of high-speed main lines (HSML) connecting major cities on the North-South and West-East axis.

HSML Moscow – Kazan – Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk will be part of the Eurasia HSML project, which, in turn, will add a new quality to the OSJD corridor No. 2, linking it to the corridor No. 1 in Europe.

HSML Eurasia is not only for passenger traffic, but also for freight, which, in its own way, provides for the development and implementation of innovative rolling stock (electric train) with the possible use of containers that are currently used in aviation (this technical solution will help the development of multimodal transportation using rail transport and aviation), as well as direct fastening of goods on pallets in innovative specialised electric train cars, external forms of which will match the external shape of electric passenger train cars.

The Russian Federation can share their existing experience collected during the modernisation of the Moscow – St-Petersburg railway line (at this stage, the speed reaches 250 km / h) and the design of the HSML Moscow – Kazan (design speed of 360 km / h).

In addition, it was noted that the development of e-commerce forms the business model for the development of high-speed freight traffic between Asia and Europe.

The participants agreed to continue the exchange of information on the implementation of their national projects.

Technical solutions for high-speed rail to be developed

The meeting agreed on the list of issues to be addressed at the intergovernmental level by OSJD Members who are interested in HS transportation:

  • The expediency of creating a working group composed of specialists from the 1st OSJD Commission (on Transport Policy and Development Strategy) and the 5th OSJD Commission (on Infrastructure and Rolling Stock) on Fast and High-Speed Traffic in transportation Asia – Europe – Asia;
  • Analysis of the regulatory and technical documentation of the countries involved in freight and passenger transportation between Europe and Asia, which regulates the organisation of high-speed rail passenger and freight traffic;
  • Development of common approaches to the technical and operational compatibility of railway infrastructure and rolling stock of gauges 1435/Asia – 1520 – 1435/Europe for high-speed traffic across all major subsystems of railway transport: infrastructure (track and track facilities); power supply; signalling, interlocking and communication; rolling stock (locomotives and multiple-unit rolling stock); operational activities;
  • Identification of possible legal, technical, technological barriers and development of proposals for their elimination;
  • Exchange of information on the current regulatory framework of the participating countries concerned on the organisation of high-speed freight and passenger traffic, as well as on the issues of interaction with government bodies and the organisation of electronic document transfer as part of transportation service.

The participants of the meeting proposed to hold expert meetings on this topic in the framework of the Work Plan of the 1st OSJD Commission (on Transport Policy and Development Strategy) with the involvement, if necessary, of specialists from other Commissions and OSJD Working Groups and at the invitation of UIC experts.
It was also suggested to consider the HS issues in the framework of OSJD cooperation with other international organisations, including ERA (European Union Agency for Railways).

IRS – the global solution to be addressed

UIC gave a presentation on the topic “Creating a basis for future mobility” which described the new IRS concept and resulted in proposals on (1) the development of joint HS documents and IRSs on the base of UIC HS documents (using IRS format where relevant), (2) to combine current activities of UIC-OSJD JG on IRS (5th OSJD Commission) with the new OSJD HS task-force (1st OSJD Commission).

For further information please contact Mr Vytautas Kinderis, UIC Coordinator for Standardisation and East-West Relations:

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7th UIC nextstation international conference to be held in Tehran from 11 – 13 November 2019

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) give their patronage to the international event

Register here:

The 50% early bird rate for the conference is available until 22 September 2019. After this date the full rate will apply.

UIC is organising the 7th edition of the international conference on railway stations, UIC nextstation, to be held in Tehran from 11 – 13 November 2019 with “Railway Stations Boosting the City” as the main theme. The conference will be hosted by the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI).

At international level, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) have just given their patronage to this international event.

The purpose of this event is to understand how railway stations can/should impact the city in a positive way. In order to make the most of all opportunities, the UIC scientific committee proposes that the panellists and speakers share their expertise and best practice through eight parallel sessions, namely: Station Design (urban planning), Sustainability, Smart Solutions for Stations, Services & Commercial activities, Station Design (building approach), Mobility, Accessibility & Door-to-Door Solutions, Security & Safety, Station Management & Financing.

UIC invites experts in these fields to submit their paper through the UIC nextstation conference website: The deadline for submission has been extended to 30 July 2019.

There is also the possibility for sponsors to support this international event as well as for exhibitors to register and claim their exhibition space.

All information about the conference, registration, the programme, speakers and any other practical and required information such as getting visas, reserving accommodation and so on are available on the dedicated website:

For further information please contact Clément Gautier, Station Project Manager, Passenger Department:

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Standardisation Plenary Meeting to be held on 17 September 2019 in Paris

Railway 4.0: standardisation for a fully-integrated digital railway system

Register here:

Digitalisation is now unanimously recognised as a key lever to increasing system performance, to achieving cost reduction and to enlarging the range of personalised services offered to end-users.

This is why our 2019 Standardisation Plenary Meeting is dealing with the key topic “Railway 4.0: standardisation for a fully-integrated digital railway system.”

You are invited to join us for this meeting and to discuss this issue with a high-level panel of keynote speakers who will give their vision of the future digital railway eco-system and how standardisation can support the evolution of railway transport.

This event will take place at UIC Headquarters in Paris on 17 September 2019 from 11.00 16.00.

There is no charge for participation but the number of places is very limited.

Registration will be on a “first-come, first-served basis”, therefore in order to secure your place, you are invited to register as soon as possible by clicking on the following link:

The deadline for registration is 3 September 2019.

We look forward to seeing you in Paris!

For further information please contact:

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News from UIC members

12th Transport Africa Awards 2019

UIC member Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway (EDR) wins award for Transport Operator of the Year 2019

Launched in 2008, the Transport Africa Awards have become the blue-chip mark of success for the African transport and infrastructure sector. The annual Transport Africa Awards are designed to identify and award companies that have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to succeed and have continually set standards of excellence in the industry. The winners take part in an exclusive and prestigious awards ceremony and gala dinner, attended by the region’s leading authorities in transport and infrastructure innovation.

The awards are open to all rail, port, airport and airline operators across Africa. Entries must highlight the operator’s focus on operational efficiency and effectiveness and the ability to demonstrate best practice in the sector. The judges review the range of initiatives the operator is involved in to improve service and achieve results. Performance, reliability, growth and service are all key factors. Other criteria include: long-term vision, improvement in service and facilities, innovation, volumes and growth, reliability, operational efficiency, investment in operations and customer service.

Congratulations to UIC member Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway (EDR), which has won the award for Transport Operator of the Year 2019.

(Source: EDR)

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News from UIC members

Greece: Attica Group Tourism Awards 2019

Five Awards for Attica Group in Tourism Awards 2019

Gold in category “Innovative Concept”
Gold in category “On Line Strategy”
Silver in category “Loyalty Programs”
Silver in category “Storytelling Experience”
Silver in category “Social Media Presence”

Attica Group, the parent company of SUPERFAST FERRIES, BLUE STAR FERRIES and HELLENIC SEAWAYS, is proud to announce that it has been awarded with 5 prizes in Tourism Awards 2019, organised by Boussias Communications.

In the awarding ceremony that took place on 9 April, in the presence of more than 700 executives and celebrities from the industry, Attica Group received the following awards:

  • Gold award in category “Innovative Concept” – Eurail – Interrail Greek Islands Pass for 5 Domestic Destinations
  • Gold award in category “On Line Strategy” - Online Performance Marketing SUPERFAST FERRIES
  • Silver award in category “Loyatly Programs” - SEASMILES Loyalty Scheme
  • Silver award in category “Storytelling Experience” - Action “The Unseen Beauty of the Aegean” BLUE STAR FERRIES
  • Silver award in category “Social Media Presence” - Helenic Seaways’ Social Media

The Gold award in category “Innovative Concept” refers to the railway “Eurail and Interrail Greek Islands Pass for 5 Domestic Destinations” by ATTICA GROUP, which are valid for ship travel in 5 Greek islands of choice. This is an innovative product, which has already reached the Top 10 of preferences for railway passengers in Europe.

The Gold award in category “On Line Strategy” refers to the fully targeted Performance Marketing strategy applied by SUPERFAST FERRIES, which led to an increase in Online bookings during 2018.

The Silver award in category the “Loyalty Programs” refers to the Seasmiles Loyalty Scheme for best practices in building trust relationships with member passengers and offering travel deals and privileges.

The Silver award in category “Storytelling Experience” refers to the Action “The Unseen Beauty of the Aegean” by Blue Star Ferries, which aims at showcasing the cultural heritage of the Aegean islands through the promotion of photos depicting the manners and customs in our islands.

The Silver award in category “Social Media Presence” refers to the multi-faceted and dynamic presence of Hellenic Seaways on social media channels, which resulted in a significant increase in fans, as well as the effect on the public.

Attica Group is engaged in passenger shipping through SUPERFAST FERRIES, BLUE STAR FERRIES, HELLENIC SEAWAYS and AFRICA MOROCCO LINK, operating 30 vessels providing modern, high quality transportation services in Greece and abroad. Attica’s vessels serve 60 unique destinations in four countries, connecting 71 ports transporting over 7mln. passengers, 1mln. private cars and 400,000 trucks per year.

(Source: Attica Group)

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: Eurostar introduces third direct daily service from London to the Netherlands

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, is launching a third direct daily service from London to Amsterdam on 11 June.

To mark the introduction of the additional service and the opening of Van Gogh’s sunflower exhibition in Amsterdam next week, Eurostar unveils a specially commissioned gown made entirely of fresh sunflowers.

Inspired by the iconic Dutch masterpiece, celebrity costume-designer, Kate Tabor, has created the dress to celebrate the “Van Gogh and the Sunflowers” exhibition, which runs from 21 June – 1 September at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Growing demand for Amsterdam service
Since launch in April 2018, over 300,000 passengers have travelled on Eurostar’s new route from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam, which is testament to the ease and comfort of the high-speed rail link between these cities.

Competitive fares start at £35 one-way, with journey times from just 3hrs 13mins to Rotterdam and 3hrs 52mins to Amsterdam.

Mike Cooper, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said:
“With environmentally responsible travel rising up the consumer agenda, we’re boosting capacity and offering more flexibility with a third daily service.”

Environmental benefits of high-speed rail versus the plane
A high-speed rail journey from London to Amsterdam emits 80% less carbon per passenger than the equivalent flight, reinforcing high-speed rail as the most environmentally friendly choice for European short haul travel.

Since the service began, over 16,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been saved by passengers choosing high-speed rail over plane1. This is the equivalent to the amount of CO2 that would be emitted from 1,231 average houses in a year, or to taking 3,137 cars off the road for a year2.

The third daily service will increase capacity on the route to the equivalent of 12 flights per day3, further boosting carbon savings.

The London-Amsterdam route continues to provide travellers with a fast, environmentally friendly alternative to the airlines.

(Source: Eurostar)

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News from UIC members

Czech Republic: SŽDC will solve Střešovice Tunnels issue with the so-called Option South

Construction of the railway reached a turning point this year when long-term cooperation between the investor and the suppliers of construction and project works brought concrete results. Reconstruction of the Negrelli viaduct is to be completed in a year, four of the six remaining line sections are under territorial proceedings and the architectonical contest for the shape of the railway station Praha-Veleslavín has moved to Phase Two. However, the most recent news is that Správa železniční dopravní cesty (SŽDC) has designed a new option, the so-called Option South for the Střešovice tunnels between the boroughs of Dejvice and Veleslavín.

”I am pleased that we were finally able to solve the issue of the most complicated section of this whole investment. Tunnels designed in the so-called Option South are led through a geologically stable milieu; they do not endanger underwater sources and descend very deep under ground level. With the use of boring machines, the inhabitants of the Ořechovka quarter do not have to worry about anything. For that matter, the same technology was used while extending the Metro A line to Motol and although the boring machines were working right under the housing estate, nobody registered them“, said Mr Jiří Svoboda, Director General of SŽDC.

Reconstruction of the Negrelli viaduct thus remains the only construction in the phase of implementation within the modernisation of the Praha – Kladno line with a connection to Václav Havel Airport. A month ago, builders laid the bridge steel construction over Prvního pluku Street. At present, works continue on renovating arches at Štvanice Island, brick arches on the premises of the Florenc bus terminal including connected pillars and grounding bridge abutments over Křižíkova Street.

The project of the railway line to the airport includes six more partial constructions which are currently in various stages of the permit procedure. Territorial proceedings are underway for the sections Praha-Bubny – Praha-Výstaviště, Praha-Ruzyně – Kladno and Kladno – Kladno-Ostrovec; recently the proceedings were also opened for the section Praha-Výstaviště – Praha-Veleslavín. SŽDC will open tenders shortly for the preparation of documents needed to obtain a building permit concerning all these constructions. Preparation of documentation for territorial proceedings concerning the three remaining sections is underway.

Modernisation of the Praha – Kladno line with a connection to Václav Havel Airport is one of the biggest transport projects in the Czech Republic; it presents the necessary infrastructure in response to the expected air traffic development. Modernisation of the last line near Prague will place our capital and the city of Kladno among the modern agglomerations in Europe with a railway connection to the airport.

(Source: SŽDC)

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5

UIC calendar

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 26 June 2019

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