TopRail members came to Paris on 11 May from Italy, France, Spain, UK, Japan and Switzerland to meet their TopRail colleagues in person for the first time in two years. It also provided an opportunity to welcome new representatives, including the new Engineering Manager of Venice Simplon Orient Express and colleagues online from Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia.
After the welcome of Carles Casas, Chair of TopRail, there was some news from UIC including an updated important events calendar and a presentation by Vanessa Pérez, Senior Advisor at the UIC Passenger Department, on the Refugee Task Force activity: https://uic.org/refugees/
Clara Zamorano and Anna Berrocal from the Polytechnical University of Madrid, shared the status of the RailtoLand project. UIC is a member of the consortium of this Erasmus European project which is linked with TopRail as it aims to highlight the landscape and cultural value of rail trips, improving passengers’ experience on board the train. In this sense, the last TopRail Forum was organised jointly by both RaitoLand and TopRail.
CZ invited members to join the workshop to be held in Cagli in June with students from different European Universities and to the technical trip between Porto and Vigo to be organised before the end of the project.
The meeting was the opportunity for some TopRail members to exchange information on their balance of Eastern period and perspectives for summer 2022.
During the meeting, it was highlighted that leisure travel is driving the recovery in demand following the Covid-19 crisis, with a very positive forecast for summer 2022.
With events returning, recreational traffic is recovering more than commuter and business traffic, creating new opportunities for railways to adapt their services to leisure services.
Part of the meeting was devoted to summarising TopRail activity during the first semester of 2022, with two main events highlighted:
After the TopRail meeting, members had the opportunity to participate in a round table session in cooperation with the SMGG (Station Managers Group) Sector which consisted of speed meeting round tables and a specific table devoted to Rail Tourism and Stations.