CZ/SK verze

“It is one of the most important events in the railway sector in Central and Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic,” says IRFC coordinator Miroslav Haltuf

“It is one of the most important events in the railway sector in Central and Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic,” says IRFC coordinator Miroslav Haltuf
photo: Archive/“It is one of the most important events in the railway sector in Central and Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic,” says IRFC coordinator Miroslav Haltuf
29 / 07 / 2022

On 5-6 October, a major international conference IRFC will take place in the Czech Republic, making Prague the capital of the railway sector. The conference will be attended by top railway managers and high-ranking representatives of the railway industry, carriers, infrastructure managers, researchers and academia. According to Miroslav Haltuf, programme coordinator of the conference, the aim is to describe the development of the railway sector in recent years. "The main motto of the conference is: 'Let's create together a new generation railway'," Haltuf told RAILTARGET.

In October, in the Czech Republic, there will be a conference IRFC. And I would like to ask you if you could tell us something about the conference and its project.

Thank you for this question. It is a great event for the Czech Presidency to the EU council, and this is the 7th edition of the conference, which started in 2008. This edition of the conference is focused on the entire sector description. It means that at the sessions, all topics important for the railway sector will be discussed. The conference is held under the motto which is "Let's build the railway system of the new generation together." So it is about cooperation in the railway sector.
At this conference, there will be speakers from the European Union, as well as from the Czech Republic specifically. I would like to ask if you could briefly introduce some of the speakers.

I will try to be very short in that aspect. The main, key speaker will be Mrs Commissioner Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, joined together with people responsible for each segment at the European Commission. It means the interoperability, standardization, the high-speed rail system, then the TEN-T network development and, of course, the general political and strategical topics. So from the DG Move, the key speakers will be Christian Schmidt, Kier Fitch, and Matthias Ruete, the ERTMS Coordinator for Europe. And from DG Research, Rosalinde van der Vlies, Director of the Clean Planet department, and from the respective and relevant European Associations and institutions, there will be the executive director of the EU Agency for Railways, Mr Josef Doppelbauer, then representatives on a high level from CER, Mr Alberto Mazzola, from UIC, Mr François Davenne, from UNIFE, Mr Philippe Citroën, and from other associations. The list would be quite long, so I will not mention all the names, but they are all relevant to each topic. The key speaker will be the Minister of Transport, I hope, because he very strongly supports this conference. He will be able to participate. And from the other institutions of the Czech Republic, there will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Czech Railways, Mr Krapinec, the Director General of Czech infrastructure manager Správa Železnic Jiří Svoboda, and representatives of other associations in the Czech Rebuplic and relevant, significant companies.
Could you tell us more about the program for the individual days of the conference?

Of course. The program is very tough. On the first day, the 5th of October, there will be a welcome section which interviews and opens the conference. It will be done by the organizers of the OLTIS group, the CEO of OLTIS group, Mr Fukan. Then he interviews the key speakers from the EC and the Czech Railways sector. In the first session, we will deal with the contribution of the rail sector in Europe to the European GreenDeal. It is very significant. And also, the main, other topics will be reflected. As, for instance, the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and maybe many more. In the second session of the first day, which will be focused on interoperability and standardization, three main topics will be discussed. It is the TSIs revision cycle 2022, the ERTMC system for Europe, the potential new generation of ERTMC, and DAC, including all aspects that this new system is bringing to the rail sector. On the second day, we will have three sessions. The first session of the second day will be focused very close on the Cech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe. It's the high-speed rail system development in the Czech Republic and Eastern part of Europe, which will be moderated by the General Director of Správa Železnic, Jiří Svoboda, with the respective contribution of many important partners for Czech infra managers, the neighbouring countries, Poland and Austria. And we will have a special guest from outside Europe. It will be the representative of JR-EAST, a Japanese railway operator which will introduce the business model of the high-speed rail system in Japan. The latest part of the conference will be focused on research and innovation, which is also my responsibility in the European system. I am the representative of the Czech Republic to the European partnership on railways, Europe's Rail JU SRG, and its states representative group, and I work as vice-chairman for this member states group. This session will be moderated by Carlo Borghini. It will introduce the research in innovation actions and activities in the following years, which will contribute to building the modern and very flexible high-capacity and high-speed rail system in Europe. Last but not least, will be also the session dedicated to the Trans-European Network, which will be moderated by Herald Ruijters from DG MOVE and will be focused on multi-modal transport systems in Europe in connection to Ukraine. How to help them to be the entire part of the European rail system, and, of course, also focused on the multimodality in each part of the system, including, of course, the data exchange of the entire availability and accessibility. And, on the last day, we can invite all the guests, all the conference, all the participants, to a technical visit, the topic of which will be a small surprise.
From your point of view, what should be the main benefit for the railway sector based on this conference?

The main benefit is seeing the networking of top managers, politicians, and persons responsible for the rail system's development in Europe and not only, and we will compare if we are really on a good way to build the new railway system of the future together. So the message which we are now preparing is that we would like to address some message or messages to the railway sector in Europe and the Czech Republic. That is, how to contribute more significantly, faster and on the right way to the development of the rail system.