Wednesday 17 April 2024

UIC-KORAIL Workshop on “Best Practices in High-Speed Line Operations, Maintenance, and IT Technologies in Asia-Pacific” held in Seoul

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On 1 April 2024, a workshop on best practices in various aspects of high-speed line operations was jointly organised by the UIC Asia-Pacific Region and the Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of high-speed lines in Korea. KORAIL, which operates KTX, the world’s fifth high-speed rail service, played a significant role in hosting the event.

83 representatives from all four corners of the world took part and shared their expertise during this event. The speakers hailed from various UIC member and partner transport companies, including Australia, China, France, Japan, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and Spain who introduced different topics on global high-speed line (HSL) development.

The welcome and opening speeches were delivered by Eungdae Lee, Deputy Director of the KORAIL International Cooperation Department, who provided a brief history of high-speed rail in Korea, with Minary Bertrand, UIC Passenger Director and Coordinator of the Middle East & Latin America Regions, also taking the floor.

In his keynote speech, Baoshi Huo, Chair of the UIC Intercity and High-Speed Committee (ICHSC), and Director of the Science Technical and IT Application Department at Chinese Railways (CR), introduced the global trends and levels of HSL development. To date, 21 countries in the world have HSL, generally with extensions or new projects in the pipeline, as well as more than 10 other countries having plans to construct HSL.

The workshop was organised into five sessions, presenting strategical and technical outlooks, such as:

1. National strategies for high-speed line development in the Asia-Pacific Region

This was presented by speakers from different south-east Asian countries. Sangnam Kim, Senior Manager at the KORAIL Passenger Transportation Planning Department gave a presentation on the strategies and development of high-speed rail in Korea. An overview on China’s high-speed railways was given by Bo Li, Deputy Director of CR’s Science Technical and IT Application Department. Asako Togari, Deputy Director of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) Paris Office, discussed “Shinkansen in JR-EAST - HSR for regional connectivity and as its catalyst for growth”, and finally Indonesia’s high-speed rail development was presented by Hatoguan Marudut Wilman, General Manager of the Indonesian Project Management and Network Expansion Office. Debates focused on fares, the customer experience, operations and efficiency, and the challenges faced for extending line and increasing speeds.

2. Lessons learnt in Europe

Here the speakers focused on the developmental and operational aspects. Eduardo Romo, ICHSC Vice Chair and FCH2RAIL President, gave an overview of Spain’s high-speed railway success stories. “High-speed rail competition in Europe: business cases and economic regulation” was presented by Andrea Giuricin, CEO of the Italian company TRA Consulting. Finally, a presentation on low-cost options for high-speed lines vs traditional operations in France was given by Gaëlle Vantalon, Director of SNCF’s European Public Affairs for Long Distance & High-Speed Trains. The discussions centred around opening up the European markets and the trends towards a modal shift and decarbonisation.

3. Operations under extreme conditions

Key features of this session included “The impact of temperatures and snow on high-speed and conventional lines – a study on high-speed under extreme natural conditions” given by Romo, and “HSR track maintenance under extreme weather conditions in Korea” presented by Kwangmo Kim, Executive Director of the KORAIL High-Speed Rail Civil Engineering Management Division. The detailed talks showed different experiences when keeping services operational and the preventive solutions to avoid issues.

4. Modern maintenance solutions for HSL

Digital predictive maintenance solutions were discussed in “Towards predictive maintenance using cumulated data in Korea” by Yeongtae Choi, Principal Track Researcher, Korean Research Railway Institute, and “Holistic system maintenance and management to improve the safety and efficiency of high-speed railway operations” presented by Ravitharan Ravi, Director of the Monash University Institute of Railway Technology.

Modern IT solutions were showcased via “Cases of IT development for high-speed rail in Korea” from Joonsun Kim, Deputy Director of the KORAIL Digital Convergence HQ, and “The research and development of intelligent high-speed railway in China” by Xiaoning Ma, Senior Researcher at the CARS Institute of Computing Science. Different innovations towards more intelligent systems for HSL were presented in detail, showing the necessity of a “system” approach.

The sessions showed that the regional development of high-speed lines is linked to societal demands, by exploring key policies to boost modern technology, safety, and culture.

The workshop was moderated by Minary, and Irina Petrunina, UIC Representative for CIS Countries.

The concluding questions and answers sessions showed the interest in the topics of the presentations given.

For further information, please contact Irina Petrunina, UIC representative for CIS countries at

or Philippe Lorand, UIC Director of Institutional Relations at

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