25th Regional Assembly for Middle East (RAME) was held on June 24, 2020 in the form of a video conference for the first time.
TEHRAN, UIC RAME: The 25th UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle East was held in the form of a video conference on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, with the virtual presence of the member railways of the said assembly in the form of a video conference. The meeting was attended by UIC Director General and UIC Directors of different departments, CEOs of Railways of Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and the Director of the UIC Middle East Regional Office.
In the first part, the Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Turkish State Railways ( RAME Chairman) , the President of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( RAME 1st Vice Chairman(, and UIC Director General, inaugurated the meeting with their opening remarks.
Mr. Saeed Rasouli, President of Iranian Railways, while appreciating the regional cooperation between the members, pointed to the outbreak of Corona virus and its impact on individual and social relations and the rail transportation industry, and explained extensive measures of RAI to address this pandemic and reduce its effects. At the same time with the broadcast of the film "Sanitizing of Trains in Disinfecting Tunnels at Iran's Borders", he announced that the installation of disinfecting tunnels in all borders of the Iranian railways is a practical and efficient step to reopen borders to transportation and fortunately opening of rail borders have been witnessed consequently. This measure was appreciated by the participants.
Then, there was a report by the Director of the UIC Passenger Department and Head of UIC COVID-19 Task Force on the impact of the virus on the railways and ways to deal with it and the measures taken in this regard. There was also a presentation by the Director of Fundamental Values of UIC on “Ecoscoring project progress” and amended disclaimer to the Sustainability Declaration- the Pledge 2019 and the need for signatures by members to achieve the goals in 2020. Also, the Director of the UIC Middle East Regional Office presented a report on the activities of the Middle East Regional Office in the first half of 2020, focusing on the preparation of the latest research documents and Roadmap of UIC M.E. activities.
The International Union of Railways has several projects and programs for holding various workshops and conferences according to the needs of members, such as harmonization, standardization and interoperability; international corridors; signaling and telecommunications; safety and security; safety working group; promotion of safety at level crossings; freight and freight wagon technology.
RAI’s president, explained about Iran's Railway's Long Step towards Professional and Expert Training. Due to the special role and importance of training and members' emphasis on this issue, the President of the Iranian Railways extensively described the various and important activities, programs and projects that lay in the railway agenda and was being seriously pursued. The Middle East Railways were informed about annual training program for operational jobs and holding training courses for locomotive drivers and employees in operational positions, designing a system to improve the educational sector and controlling training, safety, and health ID cards and ensuring readiness in operational environments, extensive cooperation with the country's universities and cooperation with the scientific department of Iran President’s Office to establish a railway innovation center, holding training courses through the applications after the outbreak of corona virus (online). Mr. Rasouli also informed the audience about creating rail software with presence of 7,000 simultaneous users and also RAI’s investment on educational issues and identifying people and selecting them and managing talents.
Railways of Turkey, Syria and Iraq also presented their country reports and explained their latest railways achievements as well as their projects and plans.
Director General of TCDD also gave comprehensive explanation about MERTCe that is one of the International Training Centres of UIC and it was established within TCDD and under UIC body in Ankara, in 2012. It aims at meeting training needs of especially RAME members. More explanation was made about Rail Transport Technologies Institute (RUTE) which was founded recently with the support of our Enterprise and RAYSİMAŞ (Railway Engineering and Consulting Company), an affiliated company of TCDD, offer trainings in technological infrastructure, know-how, research and development under MERTCe. These trainings are also accessible from the internet.
Director General of Iraqi Railway while elaborating on the current and future status of IRR, focused on construction of new lines and extending the IRR Rail network to 10,000 km and removing the missing links between Iraq-Syria, Iraq-Saudi Arabia, Iraq- Kuwait and Iraq- Iran and …
Director General of SHR while explaining about the Iraqi railway lines, stations and latest projects pointed that the Hejaz railway in Syria was severely damaged during the violent terrorist war that swept Syria Nearly ten years; but despite that, they have been able to rehabilitate many of the axes of railways and moving and mobile tools.
Mention shall be made that all presentations of the 25th RAME Meeting will be distributed in the electronic form to all the RAME members.