Call for Papers

UIC HIGHSPEED 2025, the 12th UIC World Congress on High-Speed Rail (WCHSR), is being coordinated by the International Union of Railways (UIC), CARS and CR, in collaboration with all parties involved in high-speed rail in the world. The congress will be held from 8 to 11 July 2025, at Beijing, China.

The theme of the Congress “High-Speed Rail: Innovation and Development for a better life” will emphasise rail’s contribution to addressing climate change and its role in territorial development.

During this congress, Parallel Sessions covering the main subjects relating to High-Speed Rail (HSR) will take place over one-and-a-half days. The Scientific Committee of the Congress is in charge of setting the programme of those Parallel Sessions as well as selecting the speakers and papers.

Programme of Parallel Sessions

The Parallel Sessions will be held in 5 different rooms respectively through 5 successive time slots:

  • Slot 1: Tuesday 8 July from 2:00 to 3:45 pm
  • Slot 2: Tuesday 8 July from 4:15 to 6:00 pm
  • Slot 3: Friday 10 July from 8:30 to 10:15 am
  • Slot 4: Friday 10 July from 10:45 to 12:15 pm
  • Slot 5: Friday 10 July from 14:00 to 15:45 pm

Programme of Parallel Sessions

R/S Room 1 Room 2 Room 3 Room 4 Room 5
Slot 1 Session 1.1 Session 2.1 Session 3.1 Session 4.1 Session 5.1
Slot 2 Session 1.2 Session 2.2 Session 3.2 Session 4.2 Session 5.2
Slot 3 Session 1.3 Session 2.3 Session 3.3 Session 4.3 Session 5.3
Slot 4 Session 1.4 Session 2.4 Session 3.4 Session 4.4 Session 5.4
Slot 5 Session 1.5 Session 2.5 Session 3.5 Session 4.5 Session 5.5

This programme can be adapted or modified according to the number of abstracts received.

Rules for Applicant Speakers

Applicant Speakers (Applicants) are invited to make one or several Proposals (“Abstracts”).

Each Abstract should be submitted by one person only: papers with two or more Applicants are not accepted. However, the Abstracts may mention their co-authors and other contributors in their core text.

If selected, the Applicant will be the Speaker in charge of delivering the presentation in person during the congress.

For each submitted abstract, the Applicant will indicate:

  • The General topic
  • The Main sub-topic
  • The Detailed sub-topic
  • One or two keywords of their own choice

This information will help to shape the programme of the Parallel Sessions by sorting the Abstracts per topic and by creating homogenous sessions.

A list of General topics and sub-topics is suggested in appendix 1. Applicants should preferably use them.

Example: Mr X submits an Abstract about capacity of rolling stock. Considering its content, the following keywords are selected:

  • General topic: Rolling Stock
  • Main sub-topic: Conception and design
  • Detailed sub-topic: Functional and technical specifications
  • Key word 1: Train architecture
  • Key word 2: Seat capacity

If no general topic and or sub-topic is adequately descriptive, the Applicant can use the “any other topic” option by indicating an additional topic and or sub-topic.

By providing the Scientific Committee with a Proposal, Applicants commit themselves to deliver a Presentation at the Congress venue in accordance with the Congress programme.

If after selection on the basis of their Proposal, the Applicant’s Presentation is not consistent with their Proposal or not compliant with the rules and guidance, the Scientific Committee will be entitled to ask the Applicant to make changes, or in extremis, decline the Proposal.

Should the Applicant not be available to present to the Congress, he/she must immediately advise the Scientific Committee and nominate a suitably qualified alternative for approval. The Scientific Committee reserves the right to decline the proposed alternatives and cancel the Presentation.

The Scientific Committee may reject any Abstract which does not comply with the rules and the schedule of this Call for Papers without having to justify the decision, and, in such a case, no claim would be considered.

The decisions of the Scientific Committee are final.

Preparation schedule

The present Call for Papers is launched on the Tuesday 17 September 2024.

Proposals (Abstracts + Short biographies + Photos) must be submitted no later than Sunday 15 December 2024.

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.

Mandatory guidelines for applications

Applications shall be submitted on, by completing and submitting the form including all the data required (an abstract, a short biography and a photo). All fields of the form are mandatory (as indicated).

The Abstracts will be in English only.

Selection of Speakers

The Scientific Committee will select the Proposals taking into account:

  • Comprehension of the subject addressed by the Applicant
  • Compliance of the subject with the Congress programme
  • Main interest, novelty and/or originality of the paper content
  • Fair geographical representation at the Congress with participation from a wide range of entities

The Scientific Committee will inform each Applicant of its decision by 14 February 2025 by e-mail at the latest, stating whether he/she has been selected, not selected or put on a waiting list. In the case of the first and last responses, details of the Parallel Session to which they may participate will be given. At the same time, instructions will be sent about the required format for the Presentation.

Presentations must be in English and produced in PowerPoint format. Each presentation is limited to 15 minutes and 12 slides including title slide and the final slide.

Slides should highlight key facts, dates and graphics illustrating the paper and avoid repeating long texts.

Delivery of presentations

Final version of presentations of the selected Speakers must be handed in by Friday 16 May 2025. No new presentations and no modifications to Presentations will be admitted after this date. All Presentations must be sent by e-mail to an address which will be advised in the acceptance e-mails.

Non-compliance with this rule and/or the Presentation format may lead to the disqualification of the Speaker and his/her replacement by a Speaker from the waiting list. In addition, each selected Speaker may be asked to accept changes requested by the Session Chair so as to ensure consistency between sessions and avoid repetition.

Congress fees

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).

Travel reservation and accommodation expenses will remain in any case, at the charge of Speakers.

List of topics

General topics Main sub-topics Detailed sub-topics


(ie below the track)

Planning & Design

Network planning

Planning a High-Speed line

Land use

Planning a High-Speed Line
Planning a High-Speed Station
Public/stakeholder  Consultation and engagement
Accessible and sustainable low-carbon infrastructure by design
Environmental and Social impact assessments & consents
Construction Engineering and handbooks
Route selection
Environmental mitigation & compensation
Maintenance Earthworks, tunnels, bridges
Maintenance and lineside vegetation management
Maintenance tools
Railway system Track Slab track
Ballasted track
Maintenance (incl. tools)
Maintenance depot
Track maintenance tools
Signalling Signalling (ERTMS, CTCS…)
Control centres
Telecommunications and other devices Telecommunications
Other fixed installations and related devices and softwares
RCM & Sensing
Electrification Catenaries
Energy storage, supply and power stations
Hydrogen and vehicle Battery charging infrastructure
Onsite Renewable energy
Railway system Maintenance
Infrastructure maintenance depot
Maintenance tools, drones, etc.
RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety)
Stations Station design and construction

Choice of station location

Urban integration of train station

Architectural design and placemaking
Real estate management
Inclusive and accessible facilities for all
Station functionalities (incl. multimodality integration)
Competition within station
Connections with urban, regional networks and airports
Station operations Energy – Efficiency and renewable sources
Asset management
Management of Rail capacity
Business in stations Retail business
Business diversification
Cultural and community activities
Rolling stock Conception and design Functional & technical specifications
Accessibility, design and comfort
Operational performance
Seat capacity, on board service and internal design
Driverless and “Autonomous trains”
Purchasing strategy Rolling stock purchasing strategy
Sustainable and ethical procurement
Energy Energy measurement and efficiency
Hydrogen and battery  power
Operations and maintenance Certification & homologation
Rolling stock depots
RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety)
Disposal system
Operations Interoperability At network scale
At corridor scale
At local scale
Capacity Track and line capacity
Network capacity management
Station capacity management
Track capacity
Network capacity management
Station capacity management
Operations Traffic management and operations under regular conditions
Traffic management and operations under extreme natural hazardous events
Rolling stock fleet management
RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety)
Human resources Staff management
Staff training
Management of competencies
IT evolution
Safety, Security & Human Factors General Data management
Statistics on safety and security
Safety versus security
Safety Railway resilience to extreme weather events and emergencies
Adaptation of the railway to future climate conditions
Safety management Homologation / Certification
Tests and commissioning
Security Protection of privacy
Security strategy
Protection against emerging threats (including cyber security)
Sustainable mobility Social and Environmental impacts during construction Landscape and Visual
Impact on businesses, farming and woodlands
Protected sites, general ecology and ecosystems
Circular economy
Construction, noise, Vibration and nuisance
Emissions to Air, Land and Water
Severance and maintaining community connectivity
Archaeology and heritage assets
Mitigation for Social and Environmental impacts during operational phase Noise
Emissions to air, land and water
Severance and maintaining community connectivity
Ecology and Ecosystems for flora & fauna
Waste and use of natural resources
Competition and cooperation Competition Intermodal competition
Intramodal competition (incl. stations)
Competition on service quality/customer experience
Competition through distribution and communication
Rail governance and regulation
Cooperation Modal complementarity
Cooperation between IMs
Door-to-door service
Intramodal competition
Service quality
Commercial Market evolution Market changes
New competitions
Marketing Advertising
Fare policy
Yield management
Low cost services
Service quality
New Normal Mobility New trends, mobility changes
New expectations
Rail market recovery
Post pandemic recovery Traffic recovery
Financial recovery
Adaptations of the rail mode to a new context In commercial terms
In technical terms
In regulatory terms
In financial terms
In resilience terms
Artificial Intelligence In technical fields In infrastructure
In stations
In rolling stock
In operations
In Safety / security
Digitisation and big data Network digitizing
Big data management
Internet of Things (IoT)
Information management & digital engineering BIM
Economy and Finances Project development Project architecture (Public ownership, PPP, Franchises, etc.)
Project management
Risk assessment
Funding schemes
Asset management
Railway unbundling Access to capacity in infrastructure and stations
Track and station access charges
Economic externalities Value of time saved
Value of human life
Value of CO2 ton
Value of other externalities
Wider socio-economical impacts
Territory management At local level Choice of station locations
Land use around stations
Activity inside and outside stations
Local impact on surrounding areas
Coordination of local transport networks
At national level Network planning and development
Coordination of national transport networks
Impact on establishment of secondary and tertiary sector activities
Impact on tourism
At international level Network planning and development at regional (continental) scale
Coordination of national networks
Impact on international business and trade
Impact on tourism
Any other general topic Another main sub-topic Any other detailed sub-topic