Training sessions on High-Speed Rail Systems Level I: 8-12 April 2019 / Level II: 18-22 November 2019

By means of UIC member cooperation, around 50 participants are given the opportunity each year to interact with more than 40 high-level speakers during a week-long training session that reviews all of the components of a high-speed Rail (HSR) system in detail. The Training on High Speed Systems (THSS) is aimed at decision-makers and is held every year, divided into two different stages.

General context

High-Speed rail (HSR) is not just a single area of expertise, but a complex system combining wide-ranging technical fields such as infrastructure, rolling stock and operations with cross-disciplinary issues such as finance, socio-economic factors, business, management, communication and training.

Taking these factors into account, and often within the context of a challenging economic, political and social climate, managers need to make difficult decisions with potentially far-reaching consequences in the field of transport in general and in rail transport in particular.

Building and implementing a High-Speed rail (HSR) is complex due to the numerous parameters, different potential combinations and variety of stakeholders involved.

To answer these questions and to satisfy the many requests for comprehensive and unbiased information on the subject from its own members as well as consultancy firms, ministries, railway companies, etc., UIC launched a dedicated course in 2004: Training on High-Speed Systems (THSS).

Since then, more than 700 trainees have taken part in these annual sessions in order to learn and to share their experience with us (UIC members). The 15th session of the Level I programme was held in Paris, 8-12 April 2019.

Based on feedback from past participants, and at the request of UIC members, we introduced a second level of training in 2012. The second-level programme focuses on more indepth, specific elements of HSR, with a particular emphasis on theoretical aspects of fundamental issues (standards, environment, modelling, etc.) and a more practical approach.

The second-level programme pays particular attention to analysis and discussion of practical cases, which can prove beneficial when making decisions in practice. A series of technical visits complements the course programme.

The 7th edition of THSS Level II will be held in Spain, 18-22 November 2019. UIC is working in close cooperation with Spanish stakeholders in the field of HSR (Renfe Operadora, Adif, Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles and Fundación Caminos de Hierro FCH and Talgo), to organise a number of technical visits, giving participants the opportunity to see real-life examples of system integration.

The High-Speed Planner 4.0 is the software developed by the R&D team of FCH. It is an automated software mode of four modules: infrastructure, cities & stations, demand and trains which allow trainees to simulate the implementation of a high-speed line from A to B seen from different points of view; in particular from a railway infrastructure manager, from a railway undertaking, from a governmental institution and from an integrated railway.


All of our speakers are experts in the subjects presented and are drawn mainly from railways, universities and industry. They represent all of the world regions and countries with experience in the field of high-speed rail systems.

This training programme has been specially designed by the UIC Intercity and High-Speed Committee. This group is composed of experts from all of the companies and countries involved in HSR systems, such as HS2, SNCF, DB, Trenitalia, FCH, FFE, IK, Oc’via, EUROSTAR, THALYS, RENFE, ADIF, RZD, PKP, AMTRAK, Euskotren, KORAIL, JR, CR, CARS, THSRC, Trafikverket, FTA, TCDD, ONCF, Mesea, etc.


Both training levels complement each other; the first level is primarily theoretical, while the second level is more practical.

Level I
  • Provide a global vision of High-Speed rail (HSR) for experts, with a focus on particular elements of the system
  • Provide managers with all the information required to facilitate decision-making on the subject of HSR
  • Define methodologies for HSR implementation
  • Foster exchange of experiences and information about the latest developments in the field
Level II
  • Provide indepth and comprehensive insight into HSR
  • Provide managers with all the information required to facilitate decision-making on the subject of HSR
  • Discuss and develop practical HSR projects on the basis of HSR implementation methodologies
  • Visit typical High-Speed installations and rolling stock on the Spanish network

Target audience

This programme is aimed at professionals already involved in HSR processes or who are likely to become involved in HSR in the near future. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds: railway companies or ministries, local authorities, universities, advisory bodies, agencies or associations, industry, banks, etc. They may be managers, strategy experts, decision makers, economists, engineers, etc.

Conditions for participation

  • The seminar is targeted towards all those in search of a comprehensive overview of HSR systems.
  • Seminar participants do not need indepth knowledge of any specific subject relating to HSR.
  • Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.
  • Previous attendance of THSS Level I is recommended for participation in Level II but is not a prerequisite.

Venue Level II

Fundación de los Ferrocarilles Españoles
Fernan Nuñez Palace
c/Santa Isabel, 44




Senior Advisor High-Speed
Passenger Department


Madrid (FFE): Mrs Rosa Egido

Paris (UIC): Mrs Beatrix Perrot