Railway | Student societies

Autumn Rail University: innovating to decarbonise transport

9 November 2022

Once again this year, Guided Ways, ESTACA’s railway association, organised its traditional autumn university from 13 to 15 October: a three-day cycle of conferences on the theme of innovation in freight and everyday trains.

« For the third edition, the Guided Ways Rail University highlighted innovations in rail that will play a major role in removing carbon from transport. »
Arnaud Potel
President of Guided Ways

Students, alumni and teachers attended numerous technical and non-technical lectures given by renowned railway engineers.

“Some prestigious companies were present: Siemens Mobility, Wascosa, Railenium, the International Union of Railways and the SNCF group, which also came to present its light train solutions for rural services, whose vehicles were on display in the school hall”, adds Arnaud Potel.

The programme for the three days:

  • Presentations of innovative SNCF vehicles: innovative light train, very light train, road-rail vehicle, etc.
  • Technical conferences on the “Challenges and Methods of Preventive Maintenance”, “Driverless Trains,    Analysis of a major project”, “What innovations in freight?” and “The Challenges of Automation”.
  •  A round table on “Innovations in the railway sector and their future impacts”

This event was an opportunity for students to learn more about the fast-moving railway sector where there are jobs a plenty!

“The students were enthusiastic and interested, as these conferences are an excellent addition to their training but above all they offer great opportunities for their future careers,” concludes Arnaud Potel.

Programme details

Thursday 13 October: presentations of innovative SNCF vehicles

  • 2pm: Inauguration of the Université de Rentrée by Vincent Delcourt, Director of Performance, Strategy and Tech Intelligence at the SNCF, and Arnaud Potel, President of Guided Ways.
  • 2.45pm Presentation of the Innovative Light Train, by Jacques Berling, project head at SNCF.
  • 4.15pm: Presentation of Flexy, the road-rail vehicle, by Nathalie Peignet, project manager at SNCF.
  • 5pm: Presentation of Draisy, the very light rail, by François Dégardin, project manager at SNCF.

Friday 14 October: technical conferences

  • 9am: Challenges and Methods of Predictive Maintenance, by Cyril Verdun, Director of the Maintenance Engineering Department at SNCF.
  • 10.45am: Driverless Trains, Analysis of a major project, by Bertrand Minary, Director of Railenium and the I-Trans competitiveness cluster, and Samuel Boucher, Head of the Driverless Freight Train project at SNCF.
  • 2pm: What innovations for freight? by Luc Le Formal, Director France of Wascosa AG, Pierre Mallick, Technical and Sales Director of Ateliers de Joigny and Jean-Claude Lé, Equipment Director at Transalp Renouvellement.
  • 4.15pm: The Challenges of Automation by Edouard Dumas, engineer at Siemens Mobility.

Saturday 15 October: debate and closing ceremony

Round table on innovations in the rail sector and their future impact, with Christian Chavanel, Technical Director of the International Union of Railways, and Abdelkrim Talaalout, Innovation Director of Railenium.

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