Already into its fourth incarnation the autumn IRIC conference has entered (International Rail Infrastructure Conference), which has taken place on 5th – 6th November 2012, similarly to the last year in the NH Gate One Hotel, in Bratislava. This year the count of participants has reached the number 162, representing yet 15 mostly European countries. The speakers coming from 12 different countries have filled the two-day technical programme with 50 presentations. As a new feature the session of the European R&D projects has been introduced, publishing their results by the representatives of the newly founded Green European Transport Association (GETA).

Similarly to the previous year the conference course was divided into four sessions (the fifth one being the GETA projects session), however with a slightly different structure. The bearing topic of the event was declared the “Efficient infrastructure management – a key prerequisite for the railway undertakings (RUs) to operate on the market,” and therefore also the technical contributions focused on the technologies, concepts and systems, which lead to lowering costs or losses, and improving the efficiency of the operation on the European railway infrastructure.

The first session was bearing the title “Efficient development of the European railway network,” and after the opening speech of Mr Ján Juriga from the Slovak IM of ŽSR, who had taken the patronage of the event, and that of Mr Libor Lochman, the executive director of the partner Centre of European Railways (CER), it saw general key presentations concerning the development of the railway network, from the European and nation-wide lines, to independent railways and regional lines. The second session has brought the topic of the ICT – or more precisely “Information and communication technology as a tool to boost efficiency of a railway organisation” – and besides the information tools of the infrastructure managers (IM) or railway undertakings (RU), and efficient control of the regional lines, the international standards of TAF and TAP TSI were discussed. The third focus area was the energy, namely in the session “Traction energy – a significant source of cost and savings for the railway transport,” where various national and supranational solutions for measuring and settlement of the electric traction energy were introduced. The fourth and final session, “Intelligent railways – innovative solutions for the future of the rail infrastructure,” presented the research projects as well as the wayside monitoring devices, which are a significant contribution to raising the safety and efficiency of the railway transport.

Together with the European association of CER also other national and international bodies were represented, as RNE (RailNetEurope), ERA (European Railway Agency), Eress (the European association for the energy consumption settlement), or ACRI (Association of the Czech Railway Industry), the Central-European infrastructure managers of SŽDC, ŽSR, ÖBB, DB Netz, GySEV, and many leading vendors of ICT and technical solutions for the railway transport.

The conference participants appreciated not only the high technical level of the presentations and perfect organising efforts, but also the opportunity for personal contacts and the networking programme in a stylish environment of the Transport Museum in Bratislava. Within its four runs the event has gained really a high technical credit; as the subjects of developing the railway infrastructure continue to be pressing and very up-to-date, the organisers of the OLTIS Group may already start the preparation efforts for the next, fifth year.

More information about the event can be find on the