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Rail Technology Conferences support the UN Conference on climate change

Delegates from all over the world will travel to Paris in November to visit a serie of events in the build-up to COP21 United Nations Conference on climate change. Among these high-level events are the Rail Technology Conferences (RTC) that will take place on 17, 18 and 19 November in the UIC headquarters. Senior Advisor of Energy and CO2 UIC’s Sustainability Unit, Gabriel Castañares Hernández will give a presentation on EcoPassenger tool’s new feature on 19 November. EcoPassenger is a key tool to provide sustainability information of the major transport modes for passenger trips.

In the frame of the United Nations Conference UIC is preparing the Train to Paris initiative, which will bring delegates from across Europe and Asia to Paris, by train, to participate in the UN Conference. And UIC is organising a high level event for 28 November in Paris, to show the international stakeholders the rail advantages in terms of sustainability facing the next COP21. Previously to COP21 and close to the Train To Paris event the Rail Technology Conferences (RTC) will take place.


EcoPassenger is a user-friendly internet tool which calculates the energy consumption,CO2- and exhaust atmospheric emissions for planes, cars, and trains for passenger transport in Europe. “The EcoPassenger is a web tool that has been developed by UIC. You introduce your place of departure and destination in. The tool then gives the output of energy consumption, CO2 emmissions and local air pollutants”, says Castañares Hernández.

“A new feature to this tool is that you can compare common electricity with green electricity. One company which already uses the EcoPassenger tool is train operator NS in the Netherlands which uses green electricity for its trains.” On 19th November, Castañares Hernández will give a presentation on the EcoPassenger tool at the 19th of November at the Rail Technology Conferences.

Train to Paris

He will also highlight the UIC Train to Paris initiative, a synchronized network of trains that will arrive in Paris from different countries for the United Nations Conference. Through this campaign UIC wants to highlight to the general public that railway is one of the cornerstones to fight climate change both in the frame of passengers and goods transports.

The trains participating in Train to Paris are connected to different train operators all over the world. There will be synchronized trains coming from across Europe, Rusia and Asia with departures from Rotterdam, Bonn, Brussels, Moscow, Berlin, London and Beijing. The train departing from Beijing will leave on the 18th of November and follow the Trans-Siberian path through Ulan Bator but also Irkutsk lake. The delegations are invited to participate on the 28th November to the UIC Headquarters event: a high-level and media event with key note speeches and a round table.


“At these events, we will show delegates that the rail sector commits to the reduction of CO2 emissions and energy consumption. This can be done by the modal shift from road to rail. But also inside the railway sector, too, we have developed strategies and actions to further improve these goals. Measures to realize these are, for example, re-using the energy when the train brakes, efficient eco driving, use of renewable energies and alternative fuels as natural gas, new types of rolling stock and efficient infrastructure planning.”

“In fact, we have reports showing that investment in rail is the most efficient compared to other modes of transport in terms of carbon per unit. The lowest carbon infrastructure is the rail one, according to the Railway Handbook 2014, Energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the International Energy Agency and UIC.”

Rail Technology Conferences

“The events involving the United Nations Conference on climate change are our chance to show the engagement of railways to achieve the main global sustainability goals, as we are in progress to reach in Europe for 2020 and at worldwide level for 2030 and 2050.”

Gabriel Castañares Hernández will give a presentation about this topic on 19th November at the Rail Technology Conferences at the UIC headquarters in Paris. The Rail Technology Conferences will run from 17 to 19 November and will address the following themes: Wheel/Rail Interface and Switches, Noise and Vibration and Railways and environment.

Marieke van Gompel

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Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor-in-chief of, and, online magazines for railway professionals.

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