Friday 4 November 2022

5th Training on Commuter and Regional Train Services successfully held at UIC Headquarters in Paris from 26 to 28 October 2022

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After two years of online activity, the UIC Passenger Department was eager to hold the 5th Training on Commuter and Regional Train Services in person at UIC HQ in Paris. More than 40 participants from different countries attended for three days.

UIC CRTS training sessions are not only a chance to expand international networks by talking to other participants during the breaks, lunches and social events, but also an exceptional opportunity to gain an overview of the main challenges relating to commuter and regional train services.

This is all thanks to the inspiring lectures of more than 20 international high-level railway experts that provided their perspectives from countries such as Japan, Italy, Spain, France, Denmark, the USA and China on different issues including planning, infrastructure, legal frameworks, digitalisation, and customer experience on commuter and regional services.

For the first time, part of the training was dedicated to an innovative and dynamic design thinking session organised in cooperation with the EELISA HEAR Community to discuss future solutions to improve the appeal of railways to younger generations.

During the session, participants had the opportunity to discuss the topic with students from Paris and Madrid universities, as well as young advisors from UIC, supported by five experienced moderators.

On 28 October, attendees participated in a workshop in cooperation with universities and members of other UIC groups as part of the “Cool Rail” project.

The “Cool Rail” project

During 2022, members of the Commuter and Regional Train Services sector agreed to work together on how to adapt to the new needs of customers after Covid-19 in order to become more attractive, with a special focus on younger generations.

As part of the European Year of Youth, UIC organised the “Cool Rail” project, providing the following tools:

  • A survey which is still open until 6 November:
  • A video competition for young travellers aged between 15 and 29 to better understand what makes trains attractive for younger generations and to inspire others to get on a train and explore new places, now that it is possible to travel again.
  • A round table with experts from different UIC working groups, academia and associations.

On 28 October, the first results of the survey were presented, and the winners of the video contest were invited to present their videos and ideas to make railways cooler in a special live workshop held at UIC HQ in Paris. The also had the opportunity to discuss the attractiveness of rail for younger generations with guest experts in a round table session.

All the videos are available on the UIC website,, including the winning videos:

  • Best Video selected by popular vote: Baggage by Gustavo Terrer and Carmen Garcia
  • Best Video selected by the jury: Interrail 2022 by Lucas Souza

The round table

What are railways doing and what should they be doing to increase their appeal to younger generations? International experts discussed this essential topic regarding reshaping rail services in order to meet the expectations of customers in the future.

The speakers were:

  • Jörg Ostwald, Head of Product, Services, and Events, SBB
  • Carles Casas, Chair of TopRail (Rail Tourism), FGC
  • Federica Follesa, Chair of CRTS (Commuter and Regional Trains), Trenitalia
  • Nacima Baron, Senior Research Fellow, University Gustave Eiffel, Paris
  • Anna Burzio, co-founder and board member of OUAT (Once Upon A Train)

Concluding remarks were shared by Federica Follesa, Chair of the UIC Commuter and Regional Sector, and Marc Guigon, UIC Director of the Passenger Department.

The round table is available on the UIC YouTube channel using the following link:

Next steps

During the last day Hellenic Trains announced that they will host the 6th CRTS Training in Athens at the end of October 2023.

UIC Commuter and Regional Train Services is open to all UIC members.

For further information, please contact Vanessa Pérez, Senior Advisor for the UIC Passenger Department at

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