The UIC Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Experts Network successfully held “The role of Infrastructure Managers (IMs) in Traction Energy Transition” workshop on 11 February 2019 in Rotterdam

Following the previous Workshop on Energy Efficient Infrastructure (, this workshop focused on the projects developed by IMs to improve energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the traction energy and to accompany railway undertakings to reduce the use of diesel traction.

Thus, this workshop also focused on the energy storage innovations and their best combination with the railway network.

Finally, actors from the energy market were also invited to talk about their point of view in the frame of optimising the electricity network with railways for renewable energy.

Attended by more than 50 participants from across the Railway and Energy sectors, the workshop was opened and moderated by Gerald Olde Monnikhof from ProRail, who kindly hosted the event.

The workshop consisted of four themed sessions with opportunities for questions and answers, where participants discussed their experience using the relevant technology.

The first session, which featured presentations by ProRail, Infrabel, Bane NOR and Nexans with SNCF, focused on ways to improve the traction system.
The speakers outlined the technical advance and work to improve power transmission, thus reducing transmission losses and improving energy recovery from braking. The speakers showed the results of switching to a higher voltage in electrified railways and how, for example, it allowed better power management.
The possibility to extend the usage of super-conductive cables to greatly reduce transmission losses was also shown by Nexans.

The second session focused on energy storage, where Eaton, Super-B, SNCF and Infrabel talked about the state of the art in battery technologies and super-capacitors, their applications for substations, and resulting experiences.
Super-B introduced their latest lithium-ion battery for traction application and their container-sized storage solution.

The use of a hybrid supercapacitor and lithium batteries storage was mentioned by Eaton and SNCF as a way to allow high power throughput for optimised responsiveness of the storage system.
Infrabel showed the experience in reversible substations and how to integrate solar panels with it alongside the tracks.

For the third topic, SNCF, SBB and Advanced Energy Technologies talked about the challenges in replacing diesel traction, how to evaluate the worth of electrifying and the feasibility to convert to hydrogen traction.

The final topic of the afternoon was the point of view of Alliander (Dutch DSO) about the integration of renewables in collaboration with railways. An example was given on the installation of wind farms through the railway grid. The speakers highlighted the importance for railways to help grid managers towards an efficient smart grid.

The meeting was concluded by Gerald, who thanked the participants for their interesting discussions.

The topics were interesting enough for discussions to start during the presentations. The room was full, and the audience attentive.

Inviting the Dutch energy grid manager helped remind the audience how important it is, in this context, for collaborative work to be conducted with railways to achieve the smartest energy management.

This workshop was an excellent opportunity to have updated exchange about the possibilities to reduce the carbon footprint of railway infrastructure and integrate renewable energy as efficiently as possible.


Thank you for attending this workshop and exchanging interesting information.
Huge thanks to all the speakers (mentioned in the timeline) for their contribution and to:

  • Gerald Olde Monnikhof (first for hosting and managing logistics at ProRail)
  • ChloĆ© Lima-Vanzeler
  • Bart Van der Spiegel

both for their great insight about the suggested topics and preparing the central thread of the workshop.


You will find the published documents at: (some are still pending approval)

For any further information, please contact UIC Energy Advisor Philippe Stefanos:

stefanos at

View online :