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Keeping the Rail sector one step ahead

By Jash Bansidhar, Managing Director, Advantech Europe

As with many sectors, the effects of Covid-19 on the rail industry have been far-reaching, with a huge impact on operations, not least in terms of passenger numbers. Figures from the Rail Safety & Standards Board in the UK, for example, suggest that domestic passenger numbers fell at one point as low as 4%, and the picture is similar elsewhere in Europe.

While the picture is improving as national lockdown measures are gradually lifted, the legacy of Covid-19 will no doubt outlast the timescale of the current pandemic. This means that rail operators globally must find ways to deliver high-quality operations and service, and so maintain profitability, for the years to come.

COVID-19: The impact on Rail R&I
Carlo Borghini, Executive Director, Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking

The past months saw the global economy moving in just a few days to smart working arrangements as a result of the pandemic. Everything happened so fast that almost nobody had the time to prepare, but simply to react with the available instruments while mitigating the business and societal risks associated to such a sudden change.

Although it is not yet sure how the pandemic situation will evolve, it is clear that it has had an unprecedented negative impact on the overall global economy, and its consequences will be present for years. Throughout this difficult period, rail has demonstrated a unique resilience to ensure the connectivity of people – health workers in primis – at different levels; in terms of rail freight the opportunity to maintain the supply chain has been matched with a fast response and adaptation.

reener Railways With Bitzer

As one of the most climate-friendly modes of transportation, the railway plays an important role when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Most operators are building on this environmental advantage in order to save CO2 emissions, costs and energy. One of their reliable partners is the specialist for compression technology in refrigeration and air conditioning, BITZER.

In the last few years, railway operators have started several projects to significantly reduce power consumption and CO2 emissions of their vehicles. Besides improvements such as brake energy recuperation, many components of a train can contribute to reduce both energy consumption and emissions.

Optimisation as a driver of efficiency:
making the most of vehicles and staff

Planning vehicle workings and duties is a demanding task – deploying all resources properly and optimally poses a challenge. The potential to generate optimised results is therefore significant. A small increase of a few percent in the efficiency of vehicle workings or duty schedules can save railway companies a lot of money. The optimisation solutions of IVU Traffic Technologies make it possible to always maintain an overview of complex run schedules and duty schedules and to utilise existing resources in the most efficient manner.

Rail companies all around the world put their trust in IVU.rail to optimise the planning and dispatch of all their resources and to reduce operational disruptions. The integrated software solution features entirely digital workflows, meaning that all data is always available across all areas of work – from long-term timetable planning and personnel planning through to the daily deployment of vehicles and employees.









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Special meeting with Jennifer Bächli

Only 16% of the rail industry is made up of women and even smaller number are in senior, decision-making posts. We believe that there are a lot of initiatives in the industry, but we are sure that working together will bring greater success! Special meeting with a woman who will inspire other women. Jennifer Bächli, Head of Marketing at BÄCHLI AG.

Mohamed Mezghani - UITP Secretary General

As the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes, UITP and their global membership knows what direction the sector is going in.

Fly by rail

Drones are in the news as big groups and start-ups alike compete and/or join forces to launch flying taxis for cities. Whether and when they will take off is anyone’s guess. Less The Fifth Element, more here and now, the railways are already using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for maintenance and surveillance purposes.

Dealing with the unexpected

As public transport services become increasingly customer-focused (the name change from ‘passengers’ says it all), what helps an operator really stand out and strengthen or weaken their brand is how they respond to the unexpected. In such cases, an efficient incident and crisis management solution is a means of helping them maximise service continuity and deliver journey experiences that ensure customers come back for more – and tell others to do the same.

KEYNOTE FEB. 24th 2021

The Rise of IoT & Big Data in Rail

26 - 27 May 2021 – Cologne / GERMANY

Firmly established as the Rail industry’s number one event to match buyer requirements with expert solutions during the rail sector’s digital transformation, The Rise of IoT & Big Data in Rail will return to Germany on the 26th & 27th May 2021.

Alpine Rail Optimisation

06 October 2021 – Vienna / Austria

Produced by Ben Holliday of ROTAIA MEDIA, Alpine Rail Optimisation is where heavy rail meets the future. Established now as the key event in people’s diaries to access the latest updates and investments for the region, the conference has become the number one platform to facilitate critical dialogue between the region’s infrastructure heads and rail operators to discuss how they are harnessing the latest digital trends that are revolutionising Alpine rail for better quality, improved reliability and greater customer service.

Alpine Rail Optimisation

31 October 2019 – Vienna / Austria

Established now as the key event in people’s diaries to access the latest updates and investments for the region, the conference has become the number one platform to facilitate critical dialogue between the region’s infrastructure heads and rail operators to discuss how they are harnessing the latest digital trends that are revolutionising the rail sector for better quality, improved reliability and greater customer service.

UIC nextstation 2019

11 - 13 November 2019 – Tehran / Iran

UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, is organising “UIC nextstation 2019”, the 7th International Conference on Railway Stations to be held from 11 – 13 November 2019 in Tehran, Iran. The theme of the conference is “Railway Stations Boosting the City". UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, is co-organising with Iranian Railways RAI the 7th International conference on railway stations “UIC nextstation 2019”, which will take place in Tehran from 11 – 13 November 2019.

Regeneration and Transport Growth in the Midlands

13 November 2019 – Birmingham / UK

Attend to hear the most up to date insight on the key transport and development plans which are modernising the Midlands and optimising the regeneration opportunities these projects create. The event will explore how the region can maximise and respond to major infrastructure delivery through increased collaboration, improved connectivity and future planning.

Rolling Stock Procurement Forum

21 November 2019 – London / UK

The UK Rolling Stock Procurement Forum will provide you with the latest insight into the current and future opportunities for rolling stock. Attend to hear the latest strategic thinking on how to future proof the procurement process and identify future needs. The day will address the long term plans for the industry, including the impact and timelines of the 2040 decarbonisation agenda, the future of franchising and the emerging technology increasing rolling stock reliability and efficiency.