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).