UIC symposium 2021

30 November - 1 December 2021

Official Platinum Sponsor

Official Silver Sponsor

also sponsored by

UIC will celebrate its centenary in 2022.

To launch these celebrations, UIC is holding a symposium on The Future of the Railways: Making Modal Shift Desirable on 30 November and 1 December at its headquarters in Paris. The aim is to provide a roadmap for transforming the railways into a sustainable backbone for mobility over the next five, ten and 15 years.

This event will bring together the rail sector and representatives of public transport.

The starting point for the discussion will be the vision for rail developed together by UIC members. It describes a 2030 mobility landscape where:

  • cars and lorries are being used less because more freight customers and passengers are using the train than ever
  • high-speed rail traffic has doubled globally from today’s levels and is now competing with aviation well on all short and some medium haul routes
  • many airlines have stopped their short haul services and are working closely to connect with rail

The symposium will then provide an opportunity to show policymakers what transformational projects will have a major impact on efficiency in the short term and will ultimately:

  • transform cities and connect communities
  • contribute to win the race to zero carbon and install the renewables revolution
  • innovate radically for physical and digital connectivity with other modes for a door to door service
  • revolutionise customer experience for changing mobility’s behaviours

These projects will serve as drivers of modal shift to rail and public transport in order to achieve the SDGs goals and the Green Deal objectives in Europe.

Our ambition is to present a concrete roadmap for the next decade in order to become a major contributor to decarbonation through a massive modal shift towards the railways.

Video replay

The full video replay of the two-day symposium is available here.

The playlist also includes the following video messages:

  • European focus - Round Table 1: What new paradigm for 2030? | Mr. Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Mobility, Belgium
  • European Focus - Round Table 2: What steps to achieve this new paradigm? | Mr. Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director, European Union Agency for Railways
  • Asian Focus - Panel 2: Freight corridors: connecting continents through intermodal logistic chains | Mr. Miroslav Antonovich, Chairman, OSJD


UIC Symposium Transition to Clean Mobility

- PDF - 2.1 Mb

UIC Symposium European Focus

- PDF - 4.1 Mb

UIC Symposium Middle East Focus

- PDF - 5.8 Mb

UIC Symposium African Focus

- PDF - 4.1 Mb

UIC Symposium Keynotes

- PDF - 1.7 Mb

UIC Symposium Asian Focus

- PDF - 6.3 Mb

UIC Symposium American Focus

- PDF - 4.4 Mb

UIC Symposium Chair RT

- PDF - 708.1 kb



Day 1 - Tuesday 30 November

Master of ceremony: Mr. Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe

Launch of Day 1 - Opening Remarks (9:00-9:15 CET)

  • Mr. Krzysztof Mamiński, Chairman, UIC, CEO, PKP
  • Mr. François Davenne, Director General, UIC

Keynotes – What kind of world do we live in? What are we doing to improve it? (9:15-9:45 CET)

  • Mr. Andre Dzikus, Chief, Urban Basic Services Section, UN-Habitat
  • Mr. Walter Goetz, Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner, on behalf of Ms. Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport
  • Mr. Mikael Lemarchand, Director of societal commitment and ecological transition, SNCF

Comfort / Coffee break (9:45-10:00 CET)

Transition to clean mobility (10:00-11:40 CET)

Panel 1: Digital game changers in the next 5 years? (10:00-10:50 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Anson Jack, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

  • Mr. Christian Kern, Former Austrian Chancellor
  • Mr. Carlo Borghini, Executive Director, Shift2Rail
  • Mr. Sylvain Haon, Senior Director Strategy, UITP
  • Dr. Florian Brummer, Head of EMEA in Amazon Web service (AWS) for specialty practice, supply chain, transportation and logistics

Panel 2: Modal shift strategy (10:50-11:40 CET)
Moderator: Ms. Sandra Gehenot, UIC Freight Director

  • Mr. Paul Hegge, Director Public Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, Lineas
  • Mr. Philippe Citroën, Director General, Unife
  • Mr. Robert Ampomah, CTO, Network Rail
  • Mr. Jari Kauppila, Head of the ITF Secretary-General’s Office and Head of Quantitative Policy Analysis, International Transport Forum

Lunch Break (11:40-12:30 CET)

European focus (12:30-14:10 CET)

Round Table 1: What new paradigm for 2030? (12:30-13-20 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe

  • Mr. Keir Fitch, Head of Unit, DG for Mobility and Transport, European Commission
  • Ms. Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, MEP for the Greens/EFA
  • Mr. Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Mobility, Belgium (Video Message)
  • Mr. Alberto Mazzola, Executive Director, CER
  • Mr. Yuwei Li, Director, UNECE Sustainable Transport Division
  • Ms. Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, Board member for Digitalization, Deutsche Bahn

Round Table 2: What steps to achieve this new paradigm? (13:20-14:10 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe

  • Dr. Bettina Wunsch-Semmler, Head of Transport Policy and Compliance Officer, DB Cargo AG
  • Mr. Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director, European Union Agency for Railways (video message)
  • Mr. François Davenne, Director General, UIC
  • Mr Diego Diaz, President, SNCF International

Comfort / Coffee break (14:10-14:30 CET)

Middle-East focus (14:30-16:10 CET)

Panel 1: Development of freight corridors (14:30-15:20 CET)
Moderator: Mr. John Preston, Professor of rail transport, University of Southampton

  • Dr. Seyed Miad Salehi, Deputy Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board and President of Iranian Railways (RAI)
  • Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP
  • Mr. Alberto Grisone, Director, Hupac Intermodal SA
  • Mr. Giordano Bruno Guerrini, Chairman, BIC

Panel 2: High-Speed rail for Regional integration (15:20-16-10 CET)
Moderator: Mr. John Preston, Professor of rail transport, University of Southampton

  • Mr. Metin Akbaş, Acting Chairman of the Board and Director General, Turkish State Railways-TCDD
  • Dr. Bashar Al Malik, CEO, Saudi Railway Company (SAR)
  • Mr. Ibon García Neill, CEO Rail Services, CAF Group Executive Committee Member
  • Dr. Melody Khadem Sameni, Assistant Professor School of Railway Engineering Iran University of Science and Technology

Comfort / Coffee break (16:10-16:30 CET)

African focus (16:30-18:10 CET)

Panel 1: The pan African Rail networks from vision to implementation (16:30-17:20 CET)
Moderator: Ms. Heather Thompson, CEO, ITDP

  • Mr. Mohamed Khlie, Director General, ONCF, Chairman of UIC Africa, UIC Vice Chairman
  • Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere, Head, Economic Integration, AUDA-NEPAD
  • Mr. Wolfgang Küpper, Secretary General, OTIF
  • Ayman Masoud Abdel Aziem, Director of the Risk Assessment Department, ENR

Panel 2: Digitalisation: the African solutions (17:20-18:10 CET)
Moderator: Ms. Heather Thompson, CEO, ITDP

  • Mr. Tilahun Sarka, Director General, EDR
  • Ms. Samia Ben Hamida, Director of Planification and Controlling Department, SNCFT
  • Ms. Mesela Nhlapo, CEO ARIA (African Railway Industry Assosiation)
  • Mr. Norman Frisch, Marketing Director of the Transport Sector, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei

18:15 CET Networking cocktail at UIC HQ sponsored by ERMEWA

Day 2 - Wednesday 1 December

Keynotes (9:30-10:00 CET)

  • Mr. Antoine Kunth, Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank
  • Mr. Bertrand Goalou, Principal Transport Specialist, Asian Development Bank

Asian focus (10:00-11:50 CET)

Panel 1: Connecting megacities and within the cities (10:00-10:50 CET)
Moderator: Ms. Lucie Anderton, UIC Head of Sustainability Unit

  • Mr. HUANG Xin, Director General of the Passenger Department, China State Railway Group Co., Ltd
  • Mr. Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, Environment Programme Coordinator, UNCRD
  • Mr. Tom Sargant, UIC Pacific Representative, on behalf of Ms. Megan Bourke-O’Neil, Deputy Secretary, Transport for New South Wales

Comfort / Coffee break (10:50-11:00 CET)

Panel 2: Freight corridors: connecting continents through intermodal logistic chains (11:00-11:50)
Moderator: Ms. Lucie Anderton, UIC Head of Sustainability Unit

  • Mr. DONG Hui, Deputy Director General of the Freight Department, China State Railway Group Co., Ltd
  • Mr Vyacheslav Pavlovskiy, Deputy CEO, JSC Russian Railways
  • Mr. Miroslav Antonovich, Chairman, OSJD (video message)
  • Dr. Ivan Petrov, President, FIATA
  • Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Director, Compliance and Facilitation, World Customs

Lunch break (12:00-13:00 CET)

American focus (13:00-14:40 CET)

Panel 1: A bright future for American rail freight? (13:00-13:50 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Anson Jack, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

  • Mr. Jeffrey F. Moller, AVP Transportation Systems & Practices, Safety & Operations, AAR
  • Mr. Scott Cummings, AVP Research & Innovation, TTCI
  • Ms. Caroline Healey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, RAC
  • Mr. Jorge Kohon, Consultant, Association of Latin American Railways (ALAF)

Panel 2: A vision to grow Rail service across America (13:50-14:40 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Anson Jack, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

  • Mr. Stephen Gardner, CEO, Amtrak
  • Mr. Martin R Landry, Chief Commercial Officer, VIA Rail Canada
  • Mr. Paul P. Skoutelas, President and CEO, APTA
  • Mr. Joubert Fortes Flores Filho, Chief of Board ANPTrilhos Brazil

Comfort / Coffee break (14:40-15:00 CET)

The Shape of Future Mobility: Proposal from all the UIC Regions (15:00-16:00 CET)
Moderator: Mr. Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe
Focused on ‘full customer experience’, this round table should allow all UIC regions to discuss the proposed work-related issue on the shape of future mobility.

  • Chairmen of all UIC regions: Mr. Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Mr. Mohamed Khlie, Mr. Batyr Kotyrev , KTZ (on behalf of Vice Chairman of Asia-Pacific region), Ms. Barbara Barr, Mr. Metin Akbaş, Mr. José Nicador Villafañe

Conclusion remarks and next steps (16:00-16:15 CET)

  • Mr. François Davenne, Director General, UIC



UIC Director of Communications, Ms Marie Plaud-Lombard

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Ms Barbara Mouchel

Official Platinum Sponsor

Ermewa SA is a European leader in railcars leasing. The company also provides maintenance, repairs and operations through its European network of certified workshops and partners. Its addresses all segments thanks to its 44,000 railcars, dedicated to transport hazardous and non-hazardous liquids, gaseous, bulk and diversified general cargoes including food and non-food products. With a network of 16 offices in Europe, Ermewa SA provides industrial companies, railway undertakings and freight forwarders with a range of more than 120 different types of railcars.

Ermewa SA invests in railcars on a large scale for new built and refurbishments for specific needs on behalf of its customers. Assets are managed with long-term commitments to customers, leading to performance, efficiency and safety. The company is an ECM (Entity in Charge of Maintenance) certified company since 2010. Circular economy is in the company’s DNA since 1956, through four concrete actions: maintenance, reuse, refurbishment and recycling. It is certified EcoVadis (Gold medal) for its CSR performances.


Official Silver Sponsor

Huawei’s mission is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. To this end, we will: drive ubiquitous connectivity and promote equal access to networks to lay the foundation for the intelligent world; provide the ultimate computing power to deliver ubiquitous cloud and intelligence; build powerful digital platforms to help all industries and organizations become more agile, efficient, and dynamic; redefine user experience with AI, offering consumers more personalized and intelligent experiences across all scenarios, including home, travel, office, entertainment, and fitness & health.


KONE is an innovative leader in the elevator and escalator industry. The purpose of public transportation is to provide safe, reliable, and eco-efficient ways for people to move within and between cities.

Working closely with partners and customers around the world, we deliver value for all the stakeholders involved, including the owners, developers, and operators of public transport systems. Railroad, metro stations and mixed transport hubs all have unique people flow requirements, so it our job to help customers to fulfill the vertical and horizontal transportation needs of these demanding environments.

In order to contribute to a better quality of life in urban environments, public transportation systems need innovative, eco-efficient, and durable solutions that are tailored to their precise needs. Our solutions include elevators, escalators, and automatic building doors – all of which can be kept running smoothly around the clock and help to enhance asset management with smart services that enable predictive, proactive maintenance.

Our solutions can be seen in use in some of the world’s busiest and most complex public transport systems – such as Washington, London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, and Shanghai – helping to deliver safe, reliable people flow that keeps people and cities moving around the clock.


UNIFE represents the European Rail Supply Industry in Brussels since 1992. The association gathers more than 100 of Europe’s leading large and medium-sized rail supply companies active in the design, manufacture, maintenance, and refurbishment of rail transport systems, subsystems and related equipment. UNIFE also brings together 12 national rail industry associations of European countries. For more information, visit www.unife.org or follow @unife on Twitter and LinkedIn.

MERMEC is a multinational company founded in 1970 and active in the field of advanced technologies for rail transport - signalling (ERTMS, CBI, RBC, CTC); measuring trains; asset digitalization, monitoring and management; predictive maintenance; measuring services; electric traction; telecommunications; cyber security.
The company is headquartered in Italy and has international offices in 19 countries through which it can provide technical assistance to its customers worldwide. With about 1200 employees, MERMEC boasts an unmatched technical know-how that has allowed it to develop and market a well-structured and unique portfolio of advanced solutions currently in use in 67 countries and adopted by more than 170 of the world’s major railways and rapid transits.
MERMEC is a member company of ANGEL, the high-tech holding that includes some of the most innovative Italian companies in the fields of transportation and mobility, space, aviation and mechatronics.


Fontana identity & design bv (°1999) is a multilingual team of experienced design thinkers, linguists, digital, graphic and UX designers.

On behalf of European and international design organisations we bring solid operational facts to life, we animate data for insight and understanding, we facilitate the introduction of innovation and sustainability through eye-catching graphic, digital and UX design programs.
Over the past 22+ years we have acquired a vast experience servicing organisations and industries promoting sustainability and circularity in manufacturing, mobility, health & life sciences, construction, research, arts and culture.

Between 2012 and 2015 Fontana contributed to the ‘low carbon stations for low carbon cities’ research program coordinated by Yellow design Foundation with the support of UIC, Mistra Urban Futures and ESG Matters. The outcome of this research lead to the concept and development of a series of smart applications to assess and balance the security, energy and environmental performance in the face of climate change resilience of stations, mixed buildings, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and more.

Our vision is to improve performance in the most climate-friendly and cost-effective manner for the individual and the organisation.


WSP is one of the world’s leading professional services advisory firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Transportation & Infrastructure, Property & Buildings, Environment, Power & Energy, Resources and Industry sectors, as well as offering strategic advisory services. With approximately 55,700 talented people globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come.


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Friday 5 February 2021