Thursday 2 May 2024

Reflecting on UIC’s success at the Transport Research Arena 2024

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Taking place in Dublin, from 15 to 18 April, the Transport Research Arena 2024 was a pivotal event for the transport sector, representing the largest European research and technology conference on transport and mobility. The event provided an invaluable platform for sharing knowledge, networking, and showcasing commitment to sustainable transport solutions.

Several UIC delegates had the opportunity to present work from several sectors and departments, showcasing the global challenges that rail transport faces, and the solutions and projects that UIC has developed to overcome them.

In line with the TRA 2024 key theme “Transport Transitions: Advancing Sustainable and Inclusive Mobility”, UIC Sustainability Advisors Pinar Yilmazer and Lorenzo Franzoni shared information on the UIC Noise and Vibration Sector and Sustainable Land Use Sector’s latest activities and strategies.

In her presentation, Yilmazer underlined the crucial issues with railway noise, addressing the topic from different perspectives. Firstly, the Nuisance and Health Impacts of Railway Noise demonstrates that understanding the effect of noise on health through high-quality research will support better-informed decision-making. Next, she showed that by analysing operational and technical solutions, for example regarding vehicle noise produced by trains in stationary or parked conditions, where UIC and its experts supported the ISO group, clear terminology was able to be defined and the sector’s understanding of this issue was harmonised. The session closed with the outcomes of the LOWNOISEPAD project being shown, unveiling UIC’s approach to enhancing noise mitigation through asset optimisation.

Then, Franzoni detailed the milestones that led to the development of the UIC Biodiversity Strategy, which was supported by surveys completed by UIC members to understand their priorities in relation to habitat management. European best practices and technical case studies were presented, including the conference host “All Ireland Pollinator Plan”. The session came to a close with the audience receiving updates on the ongoing ECOV4R project, addressing the need to incorporate ecosystem services thinking and science into land management techniques and rail infrastructure planning.

Their scientific papers “Transforming Railways into Quiet Neighbours: Pioneering a Global Approach to Noise Reduction” and Preserving Biodiversity in Railways: Global Strategies for Sustainable Habitat Management” will be published in the Springer series “Lecture Notes in Mobility”.

Virginie Papillault, UIC Manager of Human and Organisational Factors and Safety Culture, gave a presentation on MIND4CHANGE, a UIC Opt-in Project launched in 2023 running until the end of 2025, co-created by the SNCF Group, Infrabel, Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the Slovenian Railways (SŽ), the National Spanish Railway Network (Renfe), the Italian Railway Network (RFI), Infrastructuras de Portugal (IP), and Network Rail.

This project aims to prepare railway staff for cultural changes linked to digital and technical innovation in the rail sector, as it is expected to undergo major transformation in terms of technology, transport, training, work organisation and also socially. Therefore, one of the project’s key stages is to design scenarios for the coming years, including today, 2030, 2040, and 2040+.

The outcome of this project will be a “Learning Lab”, an interactive digital environment providing solutions for future transformation and skills development, to improve the teaching and training experience for current and future railway staff. This tool will enable railway companies to anticipate the major changes affecting their staff and put in place strategies to support change and manage periods of transition.

Artur Fojud, UIC Head of Research and Innovation (R&I), dealt with the pressing issues in transport and mobility, particularly focusing on ongoing research within the academic community.

He notably participated in a special session organised by the European Railway Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), contributing to discussions on the new Railway Research Innovation Agenda (RRIA Document) currently under development, in which UIC is playing an active role. Additionally, Fojud participated in sessions such as “Efficient and Resilient Infrastructure” and “Best Practices and Synergies to Deploy EU Research & Innovation with CINEA” which highlighted various partnerships and initiatives crucial for advancing research and innovation within the UIC Research and Innovation Coordination Group (RICG), aligning with the members’ needs.

Furthermore, the conference provided a platform for important bilateral meetings where UIC’s R&I endeavours were discussed with key stakeholders including academic institutions like Politecnico di Torino and Newcastle University, research institutes like Eurnex, and infrastructure managers/railway undertakings such as ÖBB, NR, and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). Partnerships with entities such as the US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation were also discussed.

Finally, conversations regarding Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking allowed for ideas to be shared on current and future activities involving UIC, reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to shaping the future of rail transport, in alignment with Europe’s 2030 and 2050 targets.

#Sustainability #TRA2024 #Railways #SustainableTransport #Noise #RailwayNoise #ResearchandInnovation; #R&I; #RCH; #RICG; #IRRB; #ERRAC

To stay connected with the Noise and Vibration Sector or the Sustainable Land Use Sector, please contact


For further information about MIND4CHANGE, please contact Virginie Papillault at

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