High-speed rail is impressive, but urban rail is where the action is

UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch

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We are coming up to our biennial rail conference, and with so many exciting rail projects being undertaken by UITP members around the world, it's a good moment to reflect on the state of the industry:

Rail is getting more efficient: predictive, condition-based maintenance is becoming more prominent, as is the technology that reduces the chance of human error and keeps passengers safe. Metros are increasingly running autonomously, and energy consumption is getting more efficient, leading to a reduction in waste as well as the cost of running a rail network. These developments are the after two centuries of progress, and there is no doubt, as the pace of change gathers in digital technology, the best is yet to come.

High-speed rail is impressive, and there have been many great developments that are bringing far-flung cities closer together. However, the majority of rail journeys are made in cities; 100 billion trips now made on metros and trams every year around the world and new lines and networks are being added all the time. Meanwhile, the European Union is attempting to create a single railway to make it easier for cross-border traffic, as well as to end monopolies by state-controlled operators.

Despite its long history, rail transport retains an image of modernity, efficiency and desirability, and are increasingly implicated in making the smart cities of tomorrow. Our biennial rail conference is an opportunity to talk about the specifics of each type of rail mode, their individual challenges, as well as intermodal relationships. It will also be a chance to talk about financing, customer service, safety and the potential for rail integration.

At UITP we are involved in a number of different rail projects, funded by the EU, that are being used to speed up the pace of progress and change in the rail sector; our metro, light rail and rail working groups are constantly working in the vital issues that our members face on an ongoing basis.

The conference in Munich is the place to hear all about it, and to meet the professionals and pioneers who are making the future of rail happen.

We hope to see you there,

Alain Flausch

Learn more and register to our International Rail Conference


In order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the topics related to investment in public transport infrastructure, UITP has prepared a number of key reference documents available in the members-only service MOBI+. Click on the banner below and enjoy your reading. Note that only UITP Members can access this information. Click here to find out how to become a UITP member.

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