5th Harmotrack Project Plenary Meeting

13-14 June 2022, University of Birmingham - Online (hybrid event)

5th UIC Harmotrack Project Plenary Meeting on 13-14 June 2022 at UKRRIN (UKRRIN, University of Birmingham - B15 2TT - Birmingham (United Kingdom) from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Organised by SNCF Réseau and the UIC, with the support of Network Rail and the University of Birmingham, the fifth edition of the Harmotrack Project Plenary Meeting aims to spotlight the success of international collaboration among railway experts engaging to reach the goals of the Harmotrack project.

Bringing together more than 75 member companies and institutions with more than 200 international railway experts. It is present in more than 40 countries from 6 continents all around the globe. The Harmotrack Project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Establish an international benchmark to carry out a State of the Art of measurement techniques for dynamic responses (accelerations and forces);
  • Define the domain of use for the acceleration measurements;
  • Define representative/reliable indicators of track quality (increased vigilance, interventions, or slowdowns) based on accelerations for an improved network maintenance and simulation purpose;
  • Contribute to enhance safety and reduce costs on all networks by prioritising correction of track geometry defects, focusing on those with the most dangerous impact on vehicle dynamics; and
  • Propose these thresholds on accelerations in future international standards or technical recommendations.

For the first day the fifth plenary meeting, the morning session will highlight roundtable discussions tackling the challenges of railway operations, R&D, and innovation. This year, the roundtable discussion will feature high-level speakers coming from major global regions. One of the most important themes the event wants to highlight is the important role international collaboration plays in reaching a competitive and successful railway industry. Therefore, equal representation of international experts from across the globe is a must. This year’s plenary meeting will be on the following topics:

Roundtable 1 - How Research, Development and Innovation is changing maintenance activities and regimes
Challenges in safety and safe systems of work implementation, as a result of reduced access to maintain the network is leading to research and development into automated inspection and repair techniques. How is automation and data analysis is improving the maintenance regime, to improve safety and reduce service affecting failures.

  • Yann Bezin, Professor and Head of Research of the Institute for Railway Research (IRR) at University of Huddersfield – UK;
    • Yann Bezin is Professor of Railway Dynamics at the University of Huddersfield (HUD) and Head of Research of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR). He has over 20 years’ experience in vehicle-track interaction, wheel-rail contact mechanics and track system engineering. He was leading research on switches and crossings (S&C) and transition zones in a recent EPSRC Grant Programme ‘Track to the Future’, developing numerical and field monitoring solutions to solve damage and fatigue issues in track asset and improve their design from first principles. He also worked on numerous EU projects from Dynotrain, Capacity4Rail, In2Rail, In2Track etc. He recently led the publication of an international benchmark on the simulation of railway vehicles in S&C.
  • Martin Brennan, Special Advisor on Research and Innovation at UIC - International;
    • Martin began his railway career with British Rail as an operations manager at local level, followed by HQ traffic planning and freight marketing roles, eventually becoming the National General Manager for its chemicals and general merchandise freight division. At railway privatisation, Martin was appointed Freight Director at the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR), implementing the new regulatory regime, including operator licencing and access contracts. Following consultancy roles with AEA Technology and Lloyds Register, Martin joined the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) as a research strategy manager and was chief editor of the original Rail Technical Strategy. He led RSSB’S European research team and was later seconded to UIC in Paris as its Head of Research and Innovation, acting as Secretary to the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) and the International Railway Research Board (IRRB).
  • Anup Chalisey, Professional Head of Infrastructure at RSSB – UK;
    • Anup Chalisey joined the railway almost 20 years ago. He started as a graduate for London Underground and worked there for 10 years or so, mostly involved in all things track - surveying, design, maintenance, installation and assurance before moving onto wheel/ rail interface. Anup then joined RSSB as a vehicle/ infrastructure interface engineer and over the last 10 years has covered, gauging, wheel/rail friction management, adhesion, R&D and innovation. Last year, he became the Professional Head of Infrastructure and in his current role leads the RSSB’s infrastructure team, setting the direction for strategic infrastructure priorities, balancing the needs of members, industry and RSSB objectives.
  • Dingqing Li, Executive Director, Engineering Infrastructure Group at MxV Rail (formerly TTCI) – USA;
    • Dr. Dingqing Li is Executive Director and Sr. Scientist - Engineering Infrastructure Group, MxV Rail (formerly TTCI), a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). He has 30 years of experience in railway engineering and published more than 230 technical papers and reports. Dr. Li is a registered Professional Engineer, and is a member of AREMA, TRB and ASCE. He has also received several professional awards including the Eagle award, the highest level award for extraordinary and exemplary performance from TTCI/AAR, and Best Paper Awards from IHHA and WCRR.

Roundtable 2 - The importance of technology implementation in enhancing the operational railway
The introduction of technology into the rail industry has fell behind other industries. How important is the introduction of technology to enable significant improvements in passenger and freight experience? The has been a focus change in the usage of the rail as a result of the pandemic, with reduced commuting, but increased leisure use, how can technology be deployed to support these changes and enhance the passenger experience.

  • Robert Ampomah, Chief Technology Officer at Network Rail – UK;
    • Robert has over 27 years’ experience in the rail industry starting his career as a graduate civil engineer and has gained a wealth of experience in a number of technical, managerial and leadership roles within maintenance, operations management and Engineering functions with Balfour Beatty and Network Rail. He now heads the Technology team in Network Rail focusing on creating the structure, energy and throughput of innovation and legal compliance through diverse teams to deliver solutions that help to reduce cost, improve safety and performance, and achieve environmental and climate resilient benefits to rail.
  • Marco Gallini, Head of the Mobile Diagnostics and Maintenance Vehicles Department at RFI - Italy;
    • Marco Gallini obtained his Civil Engineering degree at "La Sapienza" University of RomeHe has over 20 years in railways and has been in charge of the Infrastructure Maintenance Unit in Bari, the Regional O&M Department in Naples, the National Workshop for Infrastructure Components in Bologna and the National Safety Department in Rome. Since 2017, he is serving as Head of the Mobile Diagnostics and Maintenance Vehicles Department in Rome.
  • Thomas Joindot, Technical Director at SNCF Réseau – France;
    • Thomas is Technical Director at SNCF Réseau since 2016 and has been in the rail industry for 15 years, holding positions related with rolling stock maintenance, corporate strategy and ERTMS. Within the engineering department of SNCF Réseau, he was successively responsible for the development of software-based signalling products and for bridges and structures. Before entering SNCF Thomas spent 7 years as a civil servant, being in charge of industrial safety and acting as an assessor for the Minister for Transport. In his current position, Thomas is responsible for the design, engineering and maintenance rules for all the components of the railway infrastructure. He was also at the UIC chairman of the Control-Command, Signalling and Telecom sector and is now a member of the Rail System Forum Steering Committee. Thomas is an engineer by education; he graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines de Paris as a civil servant.

The roundtable discussions will be moderated by David Briginshaw (International Railway Journal).

A presentation on Railway Technology will be given by Harmotrack members from “Aleksandër Moisiu” University, Durrës, Albania, Dr. Ing. Alma GOLGOTA, Ing. Nezir BASHA, and Eneida ELEZI, MBA IUKB. Another presentation will be given by Carlos Nieva Hernando from ADIF.

Special technical session led by our own members and international experts:

  • Dr. Mani Entezami, University of Birmingham;
    • Dr Mani Entezami is a research fellow in railway condition monitoring systems at the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education, University of Birmingham. Mani has been involved in several condition monitoring projects and has developed novel techniques in condition monitoring systems. He has been actively involved in commercialising research that has been successfully delivered to rail, food and wind industries. His current research portfolio includes projects to use low-cost inertial navigation systems for condition monitoring of track and ride quality on passenger trains.
  • Russell Licence, Network Rail;
    • Russell is a time served charted engineer with over 21 years’ experience in the rail industry. After a brief spell at Serco Railtest, specialising in vehicle testing, Russell moved to Network Rail to apply measurement and monitoring expertise to the infrastructure asset. Russell is recognised as a track and track geometry measurement system Subject Matter Expert within Network Rail. During his career he has acquired varied and broad experience, ranging from vehicle maintenance, vehicle dynamics and infrastructure asset condition testing and reporting through to non-technical project implementation. He has delivered and implemented multi-million-pound measurement systems improving industry safety, performance, and efficiencies. Russell has vast experience with Network Rail’s Infrastructure Measurement fleet, but most recently he has moved into the Track and Switch and Crossings team, to broaden his component knowledge and to support and steer the development of the Track and S&C Research, Development and Innovation strategy. A big focus for Russell is improving Network Rail’s vehicle/track interaction understanding and associated risks.
  • Sin Sin Hsu, Network Rail;
    • Sin Sin is an internationally recognised technical expert in railway engineering, specialising in wheel-rail interface and Track, with a demonstratable focus on technology, data utilisation and modelling to develop sustainable solutions. Broad range of experience of over 25 years in design, maintenance, renewals, asset management and HQ functions, providing technical and safety leadership for both conventional and highspeed lines. A member of various national and international technical standards committees.
  • Danilo Sorrentino, SNCF Réseau;
    • Danilo Sorrentino is Head of Vehicle-Track Interaction Section at SNCF Réseau and leads high technical activities on infrastructure gauging, railway dynamics and track layout and is the youngest international expert within SNCF Group (Synapses network, level 3 out of 4). Previously, he worked as Project Manager in railway dynamics managing national/international project while developing advanced industrial techniques based on the use of multi-body simulation. He is also member of CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standard groups (TC256/WG10 and WG55), UIC TTI Sector, advisory board member at University of Technology of Compiègne. and a Lecturer at École Supérieure des Techniques Aéronautiques et de Construction Automobile (ESTACA). Presently, he leads the global UIC Harmotrack project that gathers more than 200 international experts across 6 continents which aims to improve the use of dynamic measurements to monitor the track quality. He holds a double degree MSc. in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA Paris).

The afternoon session will feature technical discussions led by the SWG Leaders of the Harmotrack project. Since the creation of the project, SWGs have reached significant milestones and it is rather important to celebrate each milestone of the groups.

  • SWG1-A: Study of correlation between forces and accelerations - Fatih Ünlü (SBB CFF FFS)
  • SWG1-B Alpha: Study of filters - Fulvio Cianci (RFI) & Hakkı Küçükkeskin (TCDD)
  • SWG1-B Beta 1: Study of most dangerous combination of track geometry defects - Ali Tajaddini (FRA), Raphael Marotta (VLI Logística) & Brian Marquis (VOLPE)
  • SWG1-B Beta 2: Study of correlations between accelerations and track geometry using statistical analysis - Danilo Sorrentino, Florian Latestere (SNCF Réseau), Emily Greve & David Stolnis (Amtrak), Dominik Rudisch (Technische Universität München)
  • SWG1-B Beta 3: Detection of track geometry defects using machine learning techniques - Alfonso Panunzio (RATP) & Cassandre Diaine (SNCF Réseau)
  • SWG1-B Gamma: Study of occurrences and risk analysis, transferring thresholds from reference vehicle to different vehicle and speeds - Nicolas Lestoille (SNCF Réseau) & Maciej Pałyga (PKP PLK S.A.)
  • SWG2: Optimal use of axle box accelerations for the detection of short length defects - Stanislaw Banaszak (SBB CFF FFS), Olivier Vo Van (SNCF), Claudio Somaschini & Egidio Di Gialleonardo (Politecnico di Milano)
  • SWG3: Use of innovative and cheap devices - Franck Dadié (SNCF Réseau)

Furthermore, technical visits led by Network Rail and the University of Birmingham will be held on the second day of the event. The technical visits include the following locations:

Network Rail Infrastructure Monitoring Fleet - Loram UK

  • Located 10 minutes from the centre of Derby in the East Midlands, England, the Rail Technical Centre (RTC) is home to Loram UK where Network Rail’s Infrastructure Monitoring Vehicles are maintained. A hosted tour showcasing some of Network Rails Infrastructure Monitoring vehicles, where the equipment can be seen in a static, safe environment will be featured.

New Measurement Train (NMT) - Network Rail

  • The New Measurement Train is Network Rail’s flagship monitoring vehicle. It comprises of Track Geometry, OHL, Radio Survey, laser sweeping and a multitude of Visual imagery capabilities. The live measurement run will take you on board the vehicle allowing you to experience infrastructure monitoring at up to 125mph from Derby Railway Station alighting at London Euston.

Experiments Laboratory – MTC

  • The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is located in Coventry, England and was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry. The MTC supports Network Rail significantly in current and future R&D.

UKKRIN – University of Huddersfield

  • The University of Huddersfield – situated in Huddersfield, England supports Network Rail with Vehicle/track interaction projects. With a state-of-the-art simulator, planning on providing significant insight into ride quality, the University of Huddersfield have a number of laboratories and extensive test facility to showcase R&D in the rail sector.

UKKRIN – Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education

  • BCRRE is Europe’s largest academic-based group that provides world-class research, education, and innovation to the global rail industry. With a tour route of approximately one hour long, simulation and timetable modelling laboratories plus Switches & Crossings, Power Electronics, Robotics and Pantograph testing facilities are to be demonstrated.

Here is a little preview of in some of our facilities for the technical visit!

Previous Plenary Meeting (click to zoom in):


The event will be held in English.



- PDF - 433.2 kb


13–14 June 2022, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm


UKRRIN (UKRRIN, University of Birmingham - B15 2TT - Birmingham (United Kingdom)

Directions to UKRRIN

- PDF - 161.3 kb



Please note that:

  • The morning session (13th June) is open to the public;
  • The afternoon session (13th June) is exclusive for Harmotrack members only;
  • The technical visits (14th June) are open to the public. However, due to the limited slots of the technical visits, priorities will be given to the Harmotrack Project members.


For further information please contact Mr. Danilo Sorrentino, Head of Vehicle-Track interaction section at SNCF Réseau, at danilo.sorrentino@reseau.sncf.fr or the Harmotrack Management Team at harmotrack@reseau.sncf.fr

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Monday 11 April 2022