About

La grande vitesse ferroviaire : la bonne vitesse pour notre planète 

 Du 7 au 9 mars 2023, Palais des congrès, Marrakech (Maroc)

About the Congress 

The World Congress on HighSpeed Rail is a UIC event which is held every 2-3 years. The Congress has been successfully convened for ten times since its first edition in 1992, and now is renowned worldwide as the most prominent and a large-scale global event on highspeed rail addressing both HSR operation and technology issues.

Participants include representatives from international railway organisations, government officials, executives of world-leading railway enterprises, senior HSR experts and managers, researchers and scholars, etc. The Congress will review and look at the current development of global HSRs, exhibit the latest state-of-the-art HSR technologies and form a vision on HSRs tomorrow. It will also provide a platform for dialogues and exchanges of HSR countries and set the direction for future HSR research and development, which will exert a profound influence on the future of HSRs.

The Congress will be organised around 3 main blocks: round tables and parallel sessions, where participants may have in-depth discussions and exchanges on the latest technologies and achievements of HSR planning, construction, technology & equipment, operation management and safety, etc. One entire day will be devoted to technical visits.

Over 1,500 representatives will come from around the world.

Organisation

Patronage 

His Royal Highness LeThe King Mohammed VI 

Honorary Chairmen 

Mr Krzysztof Mamiński, UIC Chairman

Mr Mohamed KHLIE (ONCF, Morocco), UIC Vice-Chairman

Organising Committee

Chairmen

Mr Mohammed SMOUNI, DGA Coordination & Development, ONCF 

Mr Marc Guigon, Director of Passenger Department, UIC 

ONCF Members

  • M. Ali ELKARRAM, Directeur Pole Services et DG Supra Tours Travel 
  • Mme Najiba TARACHTE, Chef de Département Communication et Relations Publiques
  • Mme Naïma NACHAT, Chef de Service Communication Externe et Relations Publiques
  • Mme Saoussan LAHSSAINI, Chef de Service Communication Digitale Corporate
  • Mme Zineb NARJISS, Chef de Service Communication Interne
  • M. Mohammed BELARBI, Chef de Service de la coopération internationale, ONCF 
  • Mme Ghizlane AABOUD, chef de service planification, ONCF 
  • Mme Rim El Hajjar, Chef de projet Communication 
  • M. Oussama OUADINI, Chef de projet Communication 

UIC Members

  • M. Kenta TAKASHINA, Chargé de mission Données et Statistiques Grande Vitesse 
  • Mme Marie PLAUD-LOMBARD, Directrice de la Communication 
  • Mme Barbara MOUCHEL, Chargée de mission Communication Grands Evénements 
  • Mme Cécile GENDROT, Chargée de mission Dissémination 
  • Mme Helen SLANEY, Chargée de mission Communication 
  • Mme Beatrix PERROT, Assistante du Directeur Voyageurs 
  • Mme Karine VAN CEUNEBROECK, Chargée de mission organismes statutaires 

Scientific Committee

Chairmen

  • M. Said CHANDID (ONCF), Directeur Stratégie, Coopération et Qualité 
  • M. Philippe LORAND (UIC), Chargé de mission Grande Vitesse Ferroviaire

ONCF Members

  • M. Luciano FERNANDES (ONCF), Directeur Pôle Matériel 
  • M. Khalid KHAIRANE (ONCF), Directeur Pôle Infrastructure 
  • M. Said NASSIRI (ONCF), Directeur Pôle Voyageur 
  • M. Hassan ABOULFARAJ (ONCF), Chef département Stratégie & Coopération internationale 

UIC and Intercity High-Speed Committee

  • M. Michel LEBOEUF, Président d’honneur du Comité Intercités et Grande Vitesse de l’UIC 
  • M. Marc GUIGON (UIC), Directeur du Département Voyageurs 
  • M. Taoufik BOUARIF (ONCF), Commercial Director of Conventional Train 
  • M. HUO Baoshi (CARS), Président du Comité Intercités et Grande Vitesse de l’UIC 
  • M. Eduardo ROMO (FCH) Vice-Président du Comité Intercités et Grande Vitesse de l’UIC 
  • M. Didier Robles (SNCF), Vice-Président du Comité Intercités et Grande Vitesse de l’UIC 
  • M. Alvaro MASCARAQUE (ADIF) – Deputy Director of International Organizations  
  • M. Victorino PERZ FERNANDEZ (RENFE) Area Manager of International Relations 
  • M. Imanol LEZA (RENFE) Director France 
  • Mme Asako TOGARI (JRE) – Deputy Director JRE Paris 
  • Mme Stéphanie JUNG (SNCF Voyageurs) – Directeur Développement de la direction Voyages 
  • Mme Laura NOVELLI (FSI) – International Advisor 
  • M. Pär FÄRNLÖF (Trafikverket), Senior Advisor High-Speed Rail 
  • Mme Marie PLAUD-LOMBARD, Directrice de la Communication 
  • Mme Barbara MOUCHEL, Chargée de mission Communication Grands Evénements 
  • Mme Helen SLANEY, Chargée de mission Communication 
  • Mme Cécile GENDROT, Chargée de mission Dissémination 
  • Mme Beatrix PERROT, Assistante Directeur Voyageurs 
  • M. Kenta TAKASHINA, Chargé de mission Données et Statistiques Grande Vitesse, UIC 

Hosts and Organiser 

ONCF 

ONCF est … (présentation de l’ONCF)

 

UIC 

Founded in 1922 and headquartered in Paris, UIC (International Union of Railways) is a non-governmental international railway organisation. It is also the advisory body of the United Nations Social and Economic Council and the most important organisation and platform for international railway exchange and cooperation in the world. The incumbent chairman of UIC is Mr. Krzysztof  Mamiński, and the incumbent UIC director general is Mr. François Davenne. 

At present, UIC has more than 200 members, including world-renowned enterprises and research institutions in such fields as railway operation, production, design, manufacturing, construction and research. With rich scientific and technological resources, its members regularly hold research and exchange activities.

UIC’s main areas of work and functions include international standard formulation, railway research and cooperation, international conference, talent training, communication and exchange among members, and the sustainable development of railways in the world. 

The UIC’s main tasks include understanding the business needs of the rail community, developing programmes of innovation to identify solutions to those needs and preparing and publishing a series of documents known as IRS that facilitate the implementation of the innovative solutions.

Organiser 

 A compléter (ONCF)

 

Previous Congresses 

The 10th WCHSR

May 2018, Ankara, Turkey 

The UIC World Congress on High Speedrail, organised by UIC and TCDD, Turkish State Railways, for its 10th edition in Ankara from 8 to 11 May 2018, brought together 1,000 participants from the rail and transport world, representing 30 countries. Over the course of three days, all the actors concerned by the development of the highspeed rail system held fruitful discussions on the theme ‘Sharing knowledge for Sustainable and Competitive Operations’. 

During the opening session, UIC Chairman, Mr Renato Mazzoncini, particularly highlighted the sustainable dimension of highspeed,and noted: “The global high speed rail network is one of the great feats of modern engineering, and it is rapidly expanding across continents worldwide. HighSpeed Rail is currently in operation in more than 14 countries with a length of 42,000 Km. HighSpeed not only boosted tourism, economic development and business but it also changed people’s lifestyles. The service and quality we delivered have been well recognised by users and rail passengers. Most of the countries allocated significant investments to HighSpeed Rail. Money spent today in HighSpeed is going to go a long way into the future. 16 countries currently have 14,000 km of HighSpeed network under construction, while 36 countries have 35,000 km of planned lines. Ambitious projects for highspeed links are being developed in several countries. Now, new forms of transport are emerging, thanks to the technological revolution. In this context, everyone is waiting for the completion of the Maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka as well as what Hyperloop can bring.” 

 Three round tables were also organised on subjects such as “New Competition and cooperation: what is the impact on HighSpeed Rail business?”, “How can HighSpeed Rail (re)shape local and regional development?”, “Sustainability of HighSpeed Rail system: experiences and perspectives”. During the first one, said: “Intermodality is the key word. New technologies should be more included into a door-to-door package”. 

During this congress, 25 parallel sessions took also place and gave the floor to 115 speakers. Subjects addressed among others infrastructure planning, infrastructure earthworks, infrastructure bridges & viaducts, rail system signalling, station design & architecture & performance, train design and purchasing strategy, commercial competition & traffic forecasts, electric power supply, operation maintenance, socio-economy service quality, RAMS and cybersecurity, energy and environment, as well as Asset Management & LCC, maintenance renewal, standards & regulations, station construction & management & connections, or territory management. 

During the closing session held on 10 May, a session was dedicated to universities and the crucial role that they can play in the railway dynamism. Professor Mr. NING Bin, Academic of China Engineering Academy and President of Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU), presented the main objectives of the Universities Alliance network. Among them: the need to identify the specific research projects with common interest, or the need to establish several joint graduate-students education programs. He also made a call to Universities wishing to join this club. He said: “UIC is a driving force for sharing the railway knowledge”. 

Another session was dedicated to the necessary link that railways have to develop with the start-up ecosystem if they want to remain open to the latest developments and innovations. Three start-ups presented their projects in front of the audience of the Congress, and the public voted for their favourite one. Three students from Turkish Universities also had the possibility to present their innovative projects in favour of highspeed rail. 

During this Congress, the host country, co-organiser and UIC Member from the Middle East region TCDD (Turkish States Railways), had the pleasure to organise several technical visits in order to present to the participants the real vitality of Turkish railways, through the visit of several railway places, such as the visit of Ankara Railway Station, a visit of a rolling stock maintenance centre and a visit of the city of Konya, organised by taking the high-speed train from Ankara, and a ride in the driving cab at 250 km/h. 

A trade exhibition was held to demonstrate the products, the solutions, the innovations offered by the industry. 51 exhibitors participated in the trade exhibition in several booths: China (CARS, CR, CRCC, CRDC, CREC, CRRC, CRSC), TCDD, Spain (Renfe, ADIF, CAF, Talgo), FS, Siemens, RTRI… 

Finally, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux delivered a few concluding words: “Our UIC values, to open, to share and to connect have been very well respected here. A lot of information was exchanged, many messages were given, and a vision was shared. Rail is not just a mode of transportation but also a means of social and economic growth. And possibly a vector of peace in international links, in once again bridging continents with trains”. 

 

 The 9th WCHSR 

July 2015, Tokyo, Japan 

The 9th UIC World Congress on HighSpeed Rail concluded on 10 July. With over 2,200 visitors in total over the three days, including 250 registered participants and an exhibition, the congress ended with highly positive feedback from the participants. The congress achieved the desired international impact, and even beyond, with Japanese TV and the participation of Japan’s Prime Minister. 

With the motto of the congress being “Celebrate the past, Design the Future”, the conference was divided into two parts, respectively aiming to learn from experience and analyse the opportunities and challenges ahead, and each part ended with a round table. 

The content of the conference was ambitious with the objective of covering several topics related to high speed during 35 parallel sessions: infrastructure, rolling stock, operations, management, distribution and marketing, economics and finance, railway governance, etc. A new concept was to dedicate a full session to the academic world in order to connect it to the training of future managers, experts and researchers. 

Among the conclusions of the congress we must, among other things, remember that: 

  • While the railways lost their important role at the end of last century, high speed rail has unquestionably renewed its appeal and never have there been as many kilometers of new lines built worldwide; new countries have begun to join the “country-club of high speed”, such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United States, and soon Malaysia and Singapore; 
  • The ecological advantage of highspeed rail is certain and partly explains the revitalisation of the train; however, other modes of transport are also in progress and the benefit of rail transport cannot be maintained without further efforts and innovations to always do more and better; 
  • If environmental constraints and the scarcity of natural resources have an impact on the global economy, railways will have to maintain their traffic by increasing their share in a market made less dynamic by attenuating growth; 
  • Competitors (car and airplane) are changing the economic model and the trend introduced by the low-cost model is considered as irreversible; however, new forms of competition can also be seen as opportunities to resolve the issue of the first and last kilometers which generate handicaps for all public transport; 
  • The digital revolution is a source of productivity and a way to decrease costs, but competitors do the same as well; 
  • Innovation has become the main engine of growth; with the digital revolution, entirely new fields open to scientific and technological inter-disciplinarity. 

UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux said in his concluding remarks: “The Shinkansen and later the TGV were conceived by our fathers, for us. And today we are designing a future for our children. And from one High Speed Congress to the other we can feel its evolution. This future will learn the lessons of our present and our past. But we can be proud of our legacy. We must also be demanding with our transmission. Even if we must always stay modest in front of tomorrow. I can see from this congress six evolutions for a future that will be more safe (hopefully), sustainable (necessarily), service-oriented (evidently), connected (digitally), interoperable (technically), intermodal (systematically). Now the show must go on and we must think of the next steps”. 

The technical visit was offered on the last day to the participants of the congress thanks to a trip on the Shinkansen that embodies “punctuality, the politeness of kings”. 

The goal of “zero congress paper – real-time” was achieved with the distribution of tablets to all attendees. Participants had everything in hand in a few clicks: the programme, corporate information from UIC and JR East, the two organisers, the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers or to vote on several issues, speaker presentations, etc. 

 

The 8th WCHSR 

July 2012, Philadelphia, USA 

The 8th World Congress on HighSpeed Rail, jointly organised by UIC and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and in close partnership with all UIC North American members, started on July, 2012 in Philadelphia, USA, in the presence of US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, other prominent representatives of American authorities and the international rail community represented by over 1,000 participants. 

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, expressed great satisfaction in holding this world conference for the first time on the North American continent, at a time when important political decisions are being taken towards the development of the first high speed rail services in the United States. 

Ray LaHood presented the latest perspectives for the introduction of highspeed rail in America and insisted that today’s generation has to leave high speed rail as a legacy to the next generation, and said “The UIC Congress in the USA is a unique opportunity at a time when dreams can become reality for the next generations”. 

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, said “UIC, as a kind of Federal Association around the world of rail operators and specialists, is happy and ready to support the American vision for high speed through the accumulated experience of all its members.” 

The opening included a high-level panel of Ministers and Railway Presidents who described the achievements and perspectives for highspeed rail in their respective countries following a “World Tour of HighSpeed”. 

The programme followed by parallel sessions on all specific aspects of highspeed rail developments and operations. Two high-level round tables on 12 and 13 July were dedicated respectively to the question “How to deliver a high speed rail project in today’s economic context?”, moderated by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC, and “What part can high speed rail play in the future transport market?”, moderated by Michael P. Melaniphy, APTA. 

During the course of the three days, participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with the products of over one hundred exhibitors at the UIC HIGHSPEED Exhibition as well as the rolling stock and equipment displayed by Amtrak and SEPTA at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

 

The 7th WCHSR 

December 2010, Beijing, China 

On December 2010, UIC HIGHSPEED 2010, the 7th world congress on highspeed rail organised and hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MoR) and China Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS) together with UIC successfully fulfilled its targets. 

The official opening ceremony took place on Tuesday 7 December in CNCC (China National Convention Center) in the presence of 2,700 participants from all over the world, including representatives from the government, international organisations, railways, the supply industry and research institutes. 

The opening ceremony was attended by a remarkable number of highlevel representatives including 20 Ministers and Vice Ministers, Ambassadors, 50 CEOs and Directors from railway companies across 26 countries. The speeches were delivered by eminent figures from various countries. 

Mr Zhang Dejiang, Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China welcomed the active role of UIC in promoting highspeed railways across the globe and technology contributing to economic development, efficient use of energy, optimising use of materials, land-use, and overall contributing to greener transport. China has become a leading country in the field of high speed with 7,531 km of highspeed lines in operation and a further 10,000 km under construction. 

Across the world, 14,400 km of lines are in operation and 10,000 are under construction. By the end of 2010, more than 1,750 high speed trains (HST) will be operated in 13 countries on 3 continents at commercial speeds ranging from 250 to 350 km/h. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General reiterated the fact that 18 billion travellers have been using high speed rail since the 1960s, a figure which is set to more than triple by 2025. 

Mr Grillo Pasquarelli from the European Commission underlined the role played by highspeed rail in bringing people closer together in every day life. The world high speed “revolution” makes it necessary to develop worldwide technical standards (with active contribution from UIC). He also mentioned the future outlook of bringing Europe and Asia closer together through rail. 

The congress was organised around two major round tables and 8 blocks of 40 parallel sessions totalling 209 panellists on dedicated topics directly connected with highspeed rail development. All speakers acknowledged the far reaching impact of the UIC HIGHSPEED conference since its first edition in 1992, and more generally the role of UIC in facilitating railway development through worldwide exchange on technical matters, experience and enhancing cooperation between members on all main railway issues. They further highlighted the advantages of high speed for economic recovery, sustainable growth and social development and in securing public welfare. High speed rail is considered as a major part of the current trend in world railway development as a means to face current and future mobility challenges whilst ensuring a high level of performance, safety, environmental friendliness and cost effectiveness. 

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 has been organised alongside the 9th edition of the “Modern Railways” international exhibition that was officially opened on 6 December. 150 companies representing the world supply industry and railway companies showed more than 25,000 visitors the enormous business potential of highspeed rail. 

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 was the first edition held outside Europe, highlighting the fact that high speed is currently developing at an impressive pace around the world. 

UIC HIGHSPEED 2010 has invited 12 students from various countries, and they were divided into two teams. Team I attended all plenary and parallel sessions and participates in the round tables for which they had to prepare a series of questions. They reported on each session and presented a final report at the closing session. Team II worked together with a professional a film director and cameraman to make a film with impressions of the conference and visits to the exhibition. This film shown at the closing session. 

The Closing Session that took place on 9 December, was chaired by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and with a special testimony of Mr Bai Chunli, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), one of the fathers of nanotechnology awarded by UNESCO for his work. 

The 7th UIC HIGHSPEED conference has shown that: 

  • High speed has become a recognised mode of transport at world level,
  • High speed has a great future because high speed means:
  • Safety – Sustainability – Capacity
  • Land planning – Economic Growth
  • Creation of jobs
  • Better complementarity with other transport modes,
  • Highspeed is a very complex system needing the control of various phases: planning, construction, operation, maintenance and integration,
  • Highspeed can best bring its added value as part of a transport master scheme including upgrading conventional rail networks in order to extend the benefits of highspeed rail to more regions and cities,
  • The excellent control of wheel and rail technology has not yet reached its limits in terms of speed, capacity, services and urban integration,
  • We are building a highspeed world system for the benefit of the next generation.

The future will thus bring more in the way of achievements and developments. These further steps will require efforts on the part of operations as well as investment in research and innovation. 

 

The 6th WCHSR 

March 2008, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Theme:

High-speed: Fast Track to Sustainable Mobility

Attendees: 837

 

The 5th WCHSR 

November 2005, Milano, Italy

Theme:

High-speed railway’s leading asset for customers and society

Attendees: 1,350

 

The 4th WCHSR 

October 2002, Madrid, Spain

Theme:

High-speed rail: successes and challenges

Attendees: 1,200

 

The 3rd WCHSR 

October 1998, Berlin, Germany

Theme:

High-speed: Taking you into the Future

Attendees: 1,700

 

The 2nd WCHSR 

October 1995, Lille, France

Theme:

High-speed rail: Mobility on the right track

Attendees: 1,700

 

The 1st WCHSR 

April 1992, Brussels, Belgium

Theme:

High-speed rail: Realities and perspectives

Attendees: 1,200

 

Call for paper

Call For Papers deadline 

Proposals (Abstracts + Short biographies + Photos) must be submitted no later than Tuesday 31st of May 2022. 

All applications, regardless of origin, sent in after the deadline or not complying with the guidelines and the deadline may be declined by the Scientific Committee. 

The Scientific Committee will select the Proposals during the summer 2022.  

Selection criteria are as follows: 

  • The Scientific Committee will inform each Applicant of its decision by 30 September 2022 by e-mail at the latest, stating whether they have been selected, not selected or put on a waiting list. 
  • The deadline for submission of final version of presentations (after all revisions are made based on the review of the UIC Scientific Committee and the Session Chair) will be 2nd November 2022. 
  • The selection as a speaker allows admission to the congress without paying congress fees (only one gratuity in case of a speaker selected for more than one paper). 

Registration to the call for paper

For more information, please click Call For Papers. 

About the venue

 

 

 

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