Wednesday 2 March 2022

25th UIC Covid-19 Task Force web-conference held on 1 March 2022

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The 25th meeting of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force was attended remotely on 1 March 2022 by around 35 participants from across the globe.

Marc Guigon, Chair of the Task Force, welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the afternoon’s meeting, focusing in particular on functional requirements for HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems in the railways, Covid-19-related initiatives on air quality, how to attract new customers to commuter and regional trains, as well as UIC Security activities in the context of Covid-19, with presentations by speakers from the UIC Safety, Rail System and Security teams, APTA (American Public Transportation Association), and Trenitalia.

The key themes of the presentations included:

  • Functional requirements for HVAC Systems in the Railways, by Frédéric Henon, Head of Operations & Safety, UIC Safety Unit, and Alain Scherrer, Head of Rolling Stock and Energy, UIC Rail System Department.
    The presentation focused on the two-year UIC project which aims, among others, to increase environmental performance, develop more environmentally-friendly equipment, and assess the functional requirements and the performance parameter of the coaches fitted with HVAC to adapt HVAC systems in trains to the occupancy rate, reduce energy consumption and costs, meet customer needs and cope with the effects of climate change.
  • Air quality on board transit in the US and Canada, by Brian Alberts, Senior Director – Safety and Advisory Services, APTA (American Public Transportation Association).
    The presentation focused on APTA’s health and safety commitments programme to encourage the improvement of air quality, including current research, best practice and what operators can do to improve air quality in order to win back rider’s confidence and spread the message that we all need to work together to keep riders and employees safe.
  • Presentation to reflect on COP26 and the pandemic, by Pinar Yilmazer, Senior Advisor, UIC Sustainable Development Unit.
    The presentation focused on UIC’s contribution to the COP26 event in Glasgow, where rail was promoted as the backbone of sustainable mobility, discussions were held on hydrogen and battery trains and a joint statement was released by UIC and UITP on how rail and public transport are the fastest way to achieve decarbonisation.
  • How to attract new customers to Commuter and Regional Trains, by Federica Folles, UIC Commuter and Regional Train Services Chair, Trenitalia.
    The presentation focused on what Trenitalia has been doing to regain passenger trust, bring new customers to the railways, develop awareness and attractiveness, as well as actions already taken to introduce new services, door-to-door mobility, reward systems and information campaigns.
  • Update on the UIC security activities on Covid-19, by Laura Petersen, Senior Advisor, UIC Security Unit.
    The presentation focused on the findings from the various working groups on the increase in aggressions towards rail staff and potential counter measures that can be implemented to address these issues. Laura Petersen also mentioned some ongoing issues for the Security Platform members, including cross-border passenger traffic, how Covid-19 has increased awareness of biothreats and in the context of terrorism how Covid-19 has increased vulnerabilities which malicious actors will exploit.

In the next part of the meeting, participants were encouraged to take part in the Covid-19 Task Force Members survey if they hadn’t done so already:

As per usual, Members are encouraged to share their thoughts on recommendations for the new normal – either by writing to the UIC Task Force team or by posting in the UIC Extranet:

All guidance documents can be consulted on UIC’s dedicated Covid-19 webpage, which is regularly updated with the latest video, news articles, webinars and other audiovisual material:

As a reminder, the Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts:

The next Task Force web-conference is scheduled to take place on 21 June 2022. Members are asked to give details of their expectations for future meetings.

For any further questions or proposals for contributions to these Task Force meetings, please email:

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