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IRFC 2022: Throwback the 7th edition of the International Rail Transport Forum and Conference

IRFC 2022: Throwback the 7th edition of the International Rail Transport Forum and Conference
photo: Archive/Throwback to the 7th edition of the International Rail Transport Forum and Conference
30 / 12 / 2022

The Czech Republic hosted the 7th edition of the International Rail Transport Forum and Conference (IRFC 2022) on 5-7 October 2022, bringing together leading representatives of the European rail sector and the political scene. RAILTARGET was a media partner of the event and was happy to keep you updated with our live coverage of the conference and a series of interviews. Today, we will look back at how it all went.

This year's conference focused on innovative technologies and practical examples in the rail freight transport and logistics market in Europe and Asia. The most important European and Asian manufacturers, intermodal operators, and freight forwarders presented their solutions, products, and services. It followed the previous successful IRFC 2017 event, which saw 240 attendees from 27 countries, including 46 senior representatives from leading rail companies and organizations. Speakers then included leading representatives from the European Commission, European Ministries of Transport, the European Railway Agency (CER), and the European Railway Community (ERA).

The RAILTARGET editorial team brought you, our readers, a series of articles on the IRCF 2022 conference. In the first one, we introduced the event and informed you about the two thematic sessions - the first one (rail and its role in the Green Deal) and the third one (EU research and innovation in a globalized world). The following article covered the second section of IRFC 2022, which focuses on standardization and interoperability. The next in the series described the details of the fourth session dealing with VRT issues. And the last one provided information in the fifth section. Here, TEN-T will be discussed.

The first day of the conference started with the opening ceremony, featuring speakers such as Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, Miroslav Fukan, CEO of OLTIS Group and Adina Valean, European Commissioner for Transport online.

The 1st thematic session, was followed by an open expert discussion. Speakers included Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of ER JU, Lukáš Svoboda, Member of the Board of Directors of ČD, and Francois Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Minister of Transport.

The second section covered rail interoperability and standardization, and, last but not least, the DAC topic was addressed. ČD Cargo boss Tomáš Tóth pointed out its shortcomings.

The third session of IRFC focused on EU research and innovation in a globalised world. Presentations were made by Miroslav Haltuf, Vice-Chairman of the ER JU SRG, Petr Mervart, MIT Commissioner for Hydrogen Technologies, and Michal Pavel, Senior Researcher at AŽD.

The 4th session of the IRFC 2022 conference focused on HSR and was presented by Martin Švehlík, Director of the VRT Preparation Department, Johann Pluy, Member of the Board of OBB Infrastruktur, and Misho Hirato, Deputy Director of the EJRC Paris Office.

In the fifth and last session, we learned more about TEN-T, a reliable and resilient transcontinental network. Presentations were given by Radek Čech, Director of the International Cooperation and EU Department, Alojz Filipek, Technical Director of BTS, and Boris Leštinský, Head of the Military Transport Development and HNS Department, MoD.