A significant event of this autumn – International Rail Infrastructure Conference (IRIC) – was held on 14 – 16 November in the Slovak capital Bratislava. Last year, the conference has been awarded – under the original name „RainWorm 2010″ – „Event of the Year” within the Yearly Award ACRI 2010 (Association of the Czech Railway Industry).

Interest of the event has surpassed the expectations of the organisers from the companies OLTIS Group and OLTIS Slovakia, when the extensive three-day programme has attracted a total of 165 participants from 9 European countries, and 47 lectures have been presented by 42 speakers from 6 diverse countries.

The conference programme was divided into three sections and five programme blocks. The first one presented general thoughts concerning the up-to-date issues of the European railway transport, and introduction of the international and partner organisations. The second block, named “Interoperability”, brought the bearing topics of the international standards TAF TSI and TAP TSI, unified Network Statements, and information support of the international transport. The third block introduced above all the subjects of the wayside monitoring devices and calculating the railway access fees. The section “Information Technology” constituted the fourth block, devoted to the graphical and data information systems for the railway infrastructure, and the enterprise solutions for the large organisations, as CRM, Asset Management, or system integration. Within the closing fifth block the important subject of energetics was rendered, namely measuring, monitoring and optimising the consumption of the electric traction energy and the traction fuel, which mean large financial savings for any railway undertaking.

The partners of the conference involved the following organizations: RailNetEurope (European Infrastructure Managers Association, Vienna); UNIFE (the Association of the European Rail Industry, Brussels); OSJD (Organization for Cooperation of Railways, Warsaw); ŽSR (Slovak Railways, Bratislava); SŽDC (the Czech infrastructure manager, Prague) and ACRI (Association of the Czech Railway Industry, Prague).
The participants included the Central-European infrastructure managers and railway undertakings (SŽDC, ŽSR, PKP, ÖBB, GySEV, DB; ČD, ČD Cargo, ZSSK, ZSSK Cargo and others), international organisations (UNIFE, ERA, RNE), and significant national and supranational ICT vendors as Microsoft, IBM, Bentley, AutoCont, KVADOS, T-Systems, GX Corpfin or Logica, and vendors of the specialized solutions in the field of the communication and interlocking technologies as DCom, UniControls, and STARMON.

The lively discussions concerning the up-to-date topics continued also within the breaks and during the accompanying programme. That was represented by the festive Gala evening which took place in the conference venue within the first day and the second evening brought an opportunity to visit the Slovak village Limbach, where the Slovak evening with traditional Slovak dishes, folk music and wine tasting was held.
Although the third annual conference ended just a few days ago, the organizers have already initiated the preparation of the next, fourth one, which should take place in autumn 2012 in some of the European metropolis.

More information about the conference can be found at IRIC website