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Iberian Rail Development 2009 – Successfully linking the Iberian region to the rest of Europe

Posted: 26 March 2009 | | No comments yet

Craig Waters provides a round up of the first Iberian Rail Development conference which brought together the industry personnel concerned with the ongoing developments for railway infrastructure and rolling stock in the Iberian region, and the links it has to the rest of Europe.

Craig Waters provides a round up of the first Iberian Rail Development conference which brought together the industry personnel concerned with the ongoing developments for railway infrastructure and rolling stock in the Iberian region, and the links it has to the rest of Europe.

On 17 and 18 February 2009, Global Railway Review organised the first ever Iberian Rail Development conference, held at the Lisbon Marriott Hotel, Portugal.

Attracting over 200 delegates, the conference was specifically developed to invite all industry personnel concerned with the ongoing developments for railway infrastructure and rolling stock in the Iberian region, and the links it has to the rest of Europe.

Hosted by REFER/RAVE, the two-day conference also had significant importance for the sponsors involved who included Alstom, Bombardier, Dimetronic, Indra, Nokia Siemens Networks, Talgo and Thales.

Day One began with a keynote welcome from Romeu Reis, Member of the Board of REFER/RAVE before Ana Paula Vitorino, Secretary of State for Transports, Portugal opened the conference by highlighting many key points for promoting the development of railways and for enhancing the sector. Ana Paula Vitorino commented that it was pleasing to see a “high-level quality of speakers” at the conference and hoped that all attendees would find the event “fruitful and beneficial”.

Next to the stand was Ignacio Barron de Angoiti, Director of High Speed at UIC. His presentation was entitled ‘High-Speed role in Sustainable Economic Development’ which touched on many topics such as high-speed and the environment plus an overview of the world and its current high-speed projects status.

Paulo Ferreira, Customer Director of Alstom Portugal was next to the stand who mentioned that the conference was “very important for Alstom” and his presentation focused on Alstom’s high-speed customer centric solutions. He highlighted the many advantages that operators who chose Alstom’s products can benefit from and explained that customers can “chose from a range of trains according to their needs”.

The third presentation of Day One came from Carlos Fernandez who is a Member of the Board for REFER/RAVE. His presentation focused on all aspects concerning high-speed for Portugal, explaining the importance of the five main axes and the priority links (Lisbon-Madrid, Sines-Elvas, Lisbon-Oporto and Oporto-Vigo). Mr. Fernandez highlighted that with the success of high-speed lines, dramatic reductions in travelling times will be seen.

The last three presentations of the morning came from Vicente Gago Llorente, Strategic Planning General Director of ADIF, Jean Bergé, Vice President of Sales for Bombardier Transportation and Emilio Garcia, Research and Development Director of Patentes Talgo S.L.

A panel discussion of speakers from the morning came before a networking lunch which gave delegates and speakers the chance to make new contacts whilst exchanging important information.

The afternoon was split into two Parallel Sessions – the first under the title of Infrastructure Development and the second under the title of Rolling Stock.

Parallel Session 1 (Infrastructure Development) included, among others, presentations from:

  • José Alves Monteiro, General Director Engineering & Strategic Planning, REFER
  • Agustín Menchén Alumbreros, Railways Customer Team Head, Nokia Siemens Networks
  • Vicente Gago Llorente, Strategic Planning General Director of ADIF
  • Tiago Rodrigues, Finance Director, RAVE

Parallel Session 2 (Rolling Stock) included presentations from:

  • Jacinto Lima, Mechanical Engineer, CP Freight
  • Carmen García Cristóbal, Marketing Manager of Renfe Integria
  • Armando Sena of Metro do Porto

Day One finished with a cocktail reception giving delegates and speakers another chance to exchange views, opinions and work notes.

Day Two began with a presentation from Francisco José Cardoso dos Reis, Chairman of the Board for CP, giving a view from the train operator’s perspective. He explained many important points including the need to maximise capacity, replacing old locomotives, engaging in competition and improving overall productivity, investing in high-quality features and finding the best possible solutions for providing high-speed throughout Portugal.

Next was a presentation from Ricardo Ramos Fernández, Export Area Manager, Invensys Dimetronic Signals who focused on the new ATP systems for main line and mass transit applications.

After a morning coffee break came another set of Parallel Sessions. Session 3 focused on Infrastructure and Session 4 focused on Rolling Stock.

Parallel Session 3 (Infrastructure) included presentations from:

  • Eduardo Frederico, General Director of Infrastructure Exploitation, REFER
  • Antonio Lozano del Moral, Technology Innovation Director, ADIF and Chairman of the Technology Sector of UIC
  • Sérgio Calado, Deputy Director for Central Traffic Command, REFER
  • Jorge Iglesias Diaz, Director de Investigación y Desarrollo, ADIF

Parallel Session 4 (Rolling Stock) included presentations from:

  • Santiago Badillo Diaz, ADIF
  • Mikael Aho, European Railway Agency
  • Augusto Costa Franco, Railway Technology and Innovation Unit Director, EMEF
  • Mário Alves, Director Railroad Systems Division, REFER

Another networking lunch was provided before the afternoon presentations began.

Moderated by Michael Robson of the EIM, the first afternoon presentation of Day Two came from António Crisóstomo Teixeira, President of IMTT who gave a comprehensive overview of his company including an explanation of the IMTT’s mission.

Next was Alberto Calvo, Director of Land and Railway Transport for Indra Systems, who focused his presentation on improving railway systems competences environment.

To follow was Oliver Sellnick, Director of Railway Undertakings at the UIC whose presentation was about the development of rail freight in Europe, which touched topics such as current issues and projects and so forth.

The final three presentations came from Michael Robson, Secretary General of EIM (the afternoon moderator of the conference), Matthew Arndt, Head of Roads and Rail Division, European Investment Bank and João Salgueiro, Commercial Director, Thales Security Solutions & Services.

To end the two-day conference, Mário Lino, Minister of Public Works Transports and Telecommunications, made a visit to make a speech to sum up the conference as it came to a close. Mr. Lino explained the importance of the railways and how important it is for high-speed to be in place. Mr. Lino said that the conference “dealt with relevant aspects” and expressed that the conference came at a “pertinent time”.

The sponsor companies of Iberian Rail Development 2009 were also given the opportunity to exhibit their products and services in the foyer area of the conference space which delegates were able to visit during coffee breaks, lunch breaks and the cocktail reception.

Global Railway Review would like to thank the hosts and sponsors of Iberian Rail Development 2009, without whom the conference would not have been possible. Thank you to the delegates for their continued support of Global Railway Review and we look forward to seeing you at a future conference organised by Global Railway Review.

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