UNIFE BRIEFING – NOVEMBER 2016

UNIFE BRIEFING – NOVEMBER 2016

Category : uncategorized

Foreword from Philippe Citroën
European Commission new Standardisation Platform – Kick-Off
UNIFE participates in the “Assises de la mobilité” Sustainability Conference
18th International Wheelset Congress (IWC)
European Commission proposes changes to the EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation
UNIFE participates in COP22 transport events
Event of the future Maltese Presidency of the EU on urban rail developments
“16+1” Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries
Agreement reached on Conflict Minerals
Difficult negotiations ahead for more EU funds for rail
UNIFE insists on the need for better terms for export credits
ERTMS Stakeholders’ Platform: launch of the validation and test working group
UNIFE attends the ETSI workshop on Managing Rail Mobile Communications Evolution
Update on IRIS
Shift2Rail lighthouse projects Mid-Term event
DYNAFREIGHT Kick-Off event
ST4RT & GoF4R combined Kick-Off event
Launch of the new Shift2Rail Call
Upcoming events

Foreword from Philippe Citroën

Dear Members,

As you can see from this e-briefing, November has been an activity packed month for UNIFE.

The Shift2Rail lighthouse projects mid-term event was one of the highlights of this month, bringing together hundreds from the sector, the European Commission, the EU Agency for Railways, and the Shift2Rail joint Undertaking. There are high expectations for Shift2Rail, but there is an equally high level of commitment from the sector to meet these and support research and innovation.

UNIFE also had the opportunity to participate in COP22 this year and draw attention to the critical role that the investment in rail transport can play in addressing climate challenges.

Finally, I would like to call your attention to an upcoming event. The Maltese government, which will hold the Presidency of the EU from 1 January to 30 June 2017, is organising an event on the development of urban rail transport, with a focus on environmental and financing issues.

I encourage you to scroll down for further details on the above, as well as updates on China, ERTMS, IRIS and more.

Best regards,

Philippe Citroën
Director General

European Commission new Standardisation Platform – Kick-Off

UNIFE is a member of the newly established Rail Standardisation Coordination Platform for Europe (RASCOP). The platform brings together parties involved in the planning and development of railway-related legislation, and standards and technical documents in Europe, in order to coordinate effectively on these and on other related technical documents in the sector. The platform’s kick-off meeting was on 7 November in Brussels. It is chaired by the European Commission (DG Move), with the support of the European Union Agency for Railways.
Contact: Nicolas Furio

UNIFE participates in the “Assises de la mobilité” Sustainability Conference in Casablanca

The first conference on sustainable mobility – “Assises de la mobilité durable” – organised by Moroccan Railways (ONCF), was held in Casablanca on 3 November 2016. The main theme was “Climate challenges: what transport systems for tomorrow?” The goal of the conference was to bring policy makers, media and international experts to share best practices and solutions to meet the growing demand for mobility.

The conference gave participants the opportunity to discuss in-depth issues of sustainable mobility, its challenges and to focus the necessary attention on the required efforts for adapted and resilient transport. Many high-level speakers from Moroccan authorities, ONCF, international railway stakeholders and banking organisations (e.g. EIB)  attended this event. Philippe Citroën intervened as a speaker in a session dealing with technology and innovation, highlighting the key role of the railway and rail industry in setting-up of efficient sustainable transport. He also highlighted the strong commitment of the rail industry to research and innovation (e.g. Shift2Rail).
Contact: Nicolas Furio

18th International Wheelset Congress (IWC)

UNIFE and ERWA, as owners of the IWC brand name, have worked very closely with the organisers of this year’s IWC edition (Southwest Jiaotong University and China Academy for Railway Sciences), to bring to a successful completion this prestigious event which took place from 7-10 November 2016 in Chengdu, China. Through three full days of plenary sessions, encompassing five keynote speeches, 12 parallel sessions and two panel discussions, followed by two days of technical visits and cultural events, this edition of the IWC brought together 40 exhibitors and over 500 participants, who enjoyed 48 poster presentations and 62 oral presentations. During the closing ceremony, the torch was passed on to Lucchini RS, who will be organising the 19th IWC which will take place in Venice in 2019.
Contact: Stefanos Gogos

European Commission proposes changes to the EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation

On 9 November, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new method for calculating dumping on imports from countries where there are significant market distortions, or where the state has a pervasive influence on the economy.
The purpose is to make sure that Europe has trade defence instruments able to deal with current realities – notably overcapacities – in the international trading environment, while fully respecting the EU’s international obligations in the legal framework of the WTO. It is in fact deeply linked to the legal dispute on whether Market Economy Status (MES) should be automatically granted to China on 11 December 2016. The European Parliament and the Council will now decide on the proposal through the ordinary legislative procedure (formerly co-decision). It is expected that the European Parliament will proactively defend a tougher stance.It should be noted that this proposal does not replace the 2013 one on modernising the EU’s Trade Defence Instruments. This earlier proposal would streamline procedures and allow the EU to impose higher duties in certain circumstances, but it is still under discussion at the Council mainly due to disagreements on the so-called lesser duty rule, which would enable the imposition of higher duties on products.
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

UNIFE participates in COP22 transport events

On 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force – i.e. just before the start of the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference which was held in Marrakesh (Morocco) from 7 to 18 November 2016. This COP was focused on the implementation and concrete actions necessary to achieve the ambitious objectives defined in the Paris agreement. UNIFE participated in COP22 and conveyed once again the message that the development of tram, metro, freight and passengers rail transport is a crucial part of the answer to climate challenges. In particular, UNIFE attended the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) Transport Day on 13 November and actively participated in several events organised by the rail and public transport international community (ONCF, SNCF, UIC, UITP…).
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

Event of the future Maltese Presidency of the EU on urban rail developments

The Maltese Government will hold the Presidency of the European Union between 1 January and 30 June 2017. The future Maltese Presidency will organise an important event in Malta on 27 and 28 April 2017 on “Developing urban rail transport: environmental performances and financing solutions”. As European urban areas are engaged in the fight against congestion and pollution, this event will be a unique opportunity to learn about best practices in Europe on developing and financing urban rail systems (tram/metro). This event will take place at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Malta and will be organised with the support of UNIFE as well as UITP, POLIS & EUROCITIES. It will bring together numerous urban operators, Cities/local Governments and tram, metro & rail equipment manufacturers from all over Europe.The Maltese Authorities started sending official save-the-dates at the end of November. Should you be interested in attending this event, but have not yet received one, please contact UNIFE and we will sort this out for you.
Contact: Leonardo Dongiovanni

“16+1” Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries

On 5-6 November, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the leaders of the 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries (11 EU Member States and five Balkan countries, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia) participated in the fifth 16+1 Summit in Riga, Latvia.While all participants repeatedly made references to the “complementarity of 16+1 to other EU initiatives” (the EU had an observer status), the 16+1 Summit continues to be a central forum for deal-making between China and CEE countries. Thus, important documents were signed during the summit, paving the way to the construction of the Belgrade-Budapest railway line (on which the European Commission has launched an investigation) and countries lined up to sign various other agreements with China announcing new Chinese investments.

A new 16+1 investment fund worth EU 10bn will provide financial support for cooperation projects. Officially the fund is called “Sino-CEEF Holding Company Limited”, which was registered earlier this year in Hong Kong by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (a state-owned bank). According to China Daily, the establishment of this holding company is “a crucial move to promote China-made equipment and products by helping finance joint projects in the region”. The aim is to raise EUR 50bn in project finance for various projects in CEE countries, including infrastructure and high-tech manufacturing.
Contact: Arturs Alksnis

Agreement reached on Conflict Minerals

In March 2014, the European Commission published a legislative proposal intended to create a responsible sourcing strategy for tin, tungsten, tantalum (3Ts) and gold to break the link between minerals extraction, minerals trading, and the financing of armed conflicts in certain conflict-affected areas.On 22 November, the presidency of the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission reached an informal agreement on the regulation. Since a political understanding on the core elements of the Regulation was reached in June of this year, the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament had been working together to finalise the text.

The Regulation carries clear obligations to source responsibly for the ‘upstream’ part of the production process, which involves the extraction and refining of these minerals. The Regulation will ensure sustainable sourcing for more than 95% of all EU imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which will be covered by due diligence provisions as of 1st January 2021. In addition, the Commission will carry out a number of other measures to improve due diligence by EU ‘downstream’ companies, which are those that use these minerals as components to produce goods.
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

Difficult negotiations ahead for more EU funds for rail

The coming months will be crucial in determining the outcome of the mid-term review/revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). While the European Commission proposed to increase the Connecting Europe Transport grants budget by EUR 1.4bn (with EUR 1bn reserved for ‘blending’ with the European Fund for Strategic Investments, thus leaving EUR 400m for ‘pure’ grants), the Member States want to reduce the amount of additional ‘pure’ grants from EUR 400m to EUR 250m.Another hotly debated issue is the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments beyond the initial 3-year period, i.e. beyond 2018. UNIFE has actively voiced its concerns that so far there have only been three signed EFSI rail projects with a majority of the EFSI transport projects being for the widening and modernization of motorways. In this context, UNIFE welcomed the Commission’s proposal that EFSI support should be limited to the projects in the cohesion countries (or cross-border projects involving at least one cohesion country). However, several Member States and the EIB oppose this proposal and want to see continued EFSI support for motorways.

With the European Parliament and the Council entering negotiations on these key topics, UNIFE will continue to advocate for more funding and financing for rail.
Contact: Arturs Alksnis

UNIFE insists on the need for better terms for export credits

The UNIFE Working Group on Investment and Project Financing has prepared the European Rail Supply Industry’s position on the review of the OECD Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Rail Infrastructure (RSU), to be undertaken no later than 20 June 2017. In view of the ever-increasing international competition for financing, UNIFE insists on the need to extend the maximum repayment terms to 18 years (from the current period of 14 years) that would provide the European Rail Supply Industry with an efficient tool to offer competitive financing solutions against competitors from non-OECD countries.UNIFE submitted a written submission to the OECD and made a presentation during the Consultation between Civil Society Organisations and Members of the OECD’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits on 15 November in Paris.
Contact: Arturs Alksnis

ERTMS Stakeholders’ Platform: launch of the validation and test working group

ERTMS was designed to match the needs of the different railways in Europe. However, operational rules, certification and testing procedures are still being developed and agreed upon at national or project level, consequently creating differences from one country to another. Even in a single project, multiple tests must be performed by all stakeholders (suppliers, infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, in cooperation with National Safety Authorities) before the ERTMS equipment is “cleared for operation”. ERTMS has been designed to cope with diverging national situations; however, these differences in certification and testing procedures create a high degree of complexity, especially when international traffic is involved.On 27 October, the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) kicked off the ERTMS Validation and test working group. This group, set up in the framework of the ERTMS Stakeholders’ Platform, is expected to develop and propose a common European testing and verification process, providing holistic coverage, from component/products to sub-system and system level. This process should be developed in the context and in line with the provisions included in the Fourth Railway Package on “one single vehicle authorisation”.

The group is currently working under the leadership of Michel Van Liefferinge (UNISIG) and is expected to provide its first conclusions in 2017.
Contact: Léa Paties

UNIFE attends the ETSI workshop on Managing Rail Mobile Communications Evolution

In early November, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute organised on a conference dedicated to the evolution of the telecommunication system for rail. In the context of the ongoing sector discussions on the introduction/evolution of key functions for rail signalling, this event was the occasion to gather all key experts in this field and them to exchange information on the status of both short-term and long-term developments. Representatives from the European Commission (DG MOVE), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) and the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking presented their respective visions on to the evolution of telecommunications for ERTMS.
Contact: Léa Paties

Update on IRIS

On November 16 and 17, the IRIS Steering Committee and Advisory Board, approved the following final proposal from the working group and IRIS Management Centre (IMC):
•    Improvements on Assessment methodology
•    Assessment sheet structure and approach
•    Clarification of certification process rulesThe adaptation of the IT system as well as the updated training documents for the auditors are also underway to ensure that the system is availability for all stakeholders by the start of the transition phase.

The boards members are confident regarding the May 2017 publication deadline for all associated documents will be met.
Contact: Bernard Kaufmann

Shift2Rail lighthouse projects Mid-Term event

A combined mid-term event of the Shift2Rail lighthouse projects (Roll2Rail, IT2Rail and In2Rail) took place on 17 November 2016 in Brussels. This event was organised by UNIFE, the coordinator of the Roll2Rail and IT2Rail projects and the Dissemination Leader of the In2Rail project. The Shift2rail lighthouse projects feed into the Innovation Programmes of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.The event brought together 230 participants from the rail industry sector (representing railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, industry, SMEs, research institutions and academia from Western, Central, and Eastern EU Member states) and high level representatives from the European Commission (Matthew Baldwin – DG Move Deputy Director General and Clara de la Torre DG Research & Innovation – Director Directorate H -Transport), the European Union Agency for Railways (Josef Doppelbauer – Executive Director) and the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (Carlo Borghini – Executive Director).

This event highlighted the high expectations for Shift2rail and the strong commitment of the rail sector towards research and innovation.
Each of the projects held individual workshops following the opening panel.
Contact: Nicolas Furio

DYNAFREIGHT Kick-Off event

The DYNAFREIGHT (Innovative technical solutions for improved train DYNAmics and operation of longer FREIGHt Trains) kick-off meeting was held on 23 November in Brussels. Coordinated by UNIFE, this 20-month Shift2Rail project brings togehter 10 partners from six EU Member-states: UNIFE Lucchini RS, KTH, Politecnico di Milano, Technische Universität Berlin, Huddersfield University, ADIF, Laird Controls Europe and FIT Consulting. DYNAFREIGHT will contribute to the EU rail freight transport vision by focusing on the next generation freight bogie locomotives and on preparing the path for regular operations of long freight trains (up to 1,500m), providing the first steps for the development of TD5.5 New Freight Propulsion Concepts within Shift2Rail IP5.During the event, partners presented their plans and had a fruitful discussion with members of the corresponding CFM project FFL4E (Future Freight Locomotive for Europe), ensuring the full alignment of the projects in terms of activities and transfer of results.

In addition to coordinating the project, UNIFE will lead the Working Package dealing with dissemination and exploitation activities.

For more information on DYNAFREIGHT, please click here.
Contact: Andrea Demadonna

ST4RT & GoF4R combined Kick-Off event

The kick-off meeting for the two Open Call projects coordinated by UNIFE, which are related to the 4th Innovation Programme of Shift2Rail, took place on 29 November in Brussels. Both projects started on 1 November 2016:  GoF4R is a Coordination and Support Action and  ST4RT is a Research and Innovation Action.GoF4R (Governance of the Interoperability Framework for Rail and Intermodal Mobility) is a 2-year project which brings together 16 partners from eight EU Member States. Its objective is to analyse the economic determinants of the market for customer-centric mobility services as they are shaped by the introduction of the Interoperability Framework technology currently being developed in the Shift2Rail “lighthouse project” IT2Rail. The project also aims to design specific governance structures and processes that maximize the effect of market forces on the adoption of the technology, while providing mitigating measures for residual market failures. Lastly, it will generate recommendations on possible needed adaptations of the legal framework regulating the provisioning of compatible networked customer centric mobility services.

ST4RT (Semantic Transformations for Rail Transportation) is a 2-year project which brings together eight partners from five EU Member States. Its objective is to develop cost-reducing translator technologies drawing from the ontology repository and the service registry hosted by the Interoperability Framework.

Due to their close links with Shift2Rail IP4 and the technologies being developed in IT2Rail, the kick-off meeting also brought together partners from IT2Rail and the Shift2Rail JU. This was the first occasion for all of them to meet and discuss about their collaboration.
Contact: Stefanos Gogos

Launch of the new Shift2Rail Call

The second Shift2Rail Call for Proposals has been officially launched on 10 November with the publication of the Annual Work Programme 2017 on both the Shift2Rail website and EC portal. Consortia will be able to submit proposals starting from 10 January 2017 and the deadline for submission has been set on 30 March 2017.Following the successful event in January 2016, UNIFE will organize a second workshop for all UNIFE non-JU members on the 13th of December in Brussels. The main objective of the workshop is to present the Open Call topics and engage the members in a fruitful discussion in order to facilitate the involvement of UNIFE members in consortia. UNIFE foresees the participation of more than 10 of its members and will illustrate the content of the Annual Work Plan 2017 as well as clarify the rules of participation.

Last year, UNIFE successfully participated in the first S2R call and was awarded with three projects as Coordinator in IP4 and IP5 and with one as partner in IP5.
Contact: Andrea Demadonna

Upcoming events

Rail Forum Europe dinner on freight transport – will be a dinner taking place in Brussels on 5 December, sponsored by the sector’s Associations CER, ERFA and UIRR. MEPs and rail stakeholders will address issues related to rail freight, considering a recent report of the Court of Auditors on this topic. Please click here to register.
Contact: Leonardo DongiovanniThird EU Rail Freight Day – will take place on 9 December at the Palais Ferstel in Vienna, hosted by Rail Net Europe (RNE). The event aims to continue the exchange between rail freight stakeholders and the European Commission on operational, interoperability and innovation issues in rail freight. UNIFE is actively engaged with the Commission in the preparation of this event to ensure adequate representation of the European rail industry in the ongoing discussions. Further information will follow in the coming weeks.
Contact: Leonardo Dongiovanni

European Railway Award 2017 – will take place on 7 February 2017, at The Square Brussels Meeting Centre, in Brussels. Since its launch in 2007, the European Railway Award has honoured the achievements of 18 laureates in its technical and political award categories. In 2017 – which will mark the 10th anniversary of the ceremony – we’re changing things up. There will be no awards, and instead, we will mark this milestone in the event’s history by paying tribute to our past winners, to our speakers and to all who have contributed over the last ten years to making the event what it is today. Please join us on this very special anniversary occasion, which will conclude with an Annual Reception hosted by UNIFE & CER.
Click here to register to the event and here for more information about the European Railway Award.
Contact: Agathe Marie


Arhiva