The XV International Conference “Information Technologies for Rail Transport” took place from 26 to 29 October 2010 at the Holiday Inn Moskovskiye Vorota hotel in Saint Petersburg. The general partner for this event was JSCo Russian Railways (RZD). The organiser of the event was Business Dialogue, with support from CNews.

Over the years that it has been held the conference has become an important communications arena for Russian and foreign experts from the railway and related industries, but this year’s event was substantially different to previous ones. The organisers endeavoured to combine the theoretical aspects with the practical ones and with the latest developments in the industry, to strengthen the content of the programme. More than 600 delegates, representing 235 companies from 11 countries, took part in the event.

One interesting innovation was the use at the conference of the Omyconf business contacts system, which significantly expanded the opportunities to obtain information and became a new means of communication between delegates at the event.

The general IT partner for the conference was Technoserv, one of Russia’s biggest systems integration companies. The event’s strategic partner was Digital Design, one of Russia’s leading IT integrators.
Sponsors of the event who were present included leading players in the IT market, including Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, TransTeleCom, Microtest, Huawei Technologies, Nienschanz, Pulsar Telecom, ZTE Corporation, Nokia Siemens Networks, Trans information technology centre and VMware.

Vladimir Yakunin, President of JSCo Russian Railways, delivered a welcoming address: “First I would like to congratulate all the partners, participants, guests and organisers of the conference on this fifteenth annual event. I am sure that the staging of this conference will be a reliable and practical instrument for coordinating the efforts of all participants in the transport market in pursuit of the efficient development of the industry.”

In the plenary session the participants discussed the role of information technologies in modernising Russia, high-priority tasks in the application of IT to state management, the strategic objectives in developing Russian Railways’ information systems, and also legislative frameworks for applying IT in transport.

Speaking in the plenary session, Alexei Illarionov, Head of the IT Development and Corporate Governance Processes Department at Russian Railways, said: “We already have the technologies enabling us to transition from paper documents to electronic ones, but we do not yet have a sufficient legal and regulatory basis for further application of electronic document handling. At present we have already carried out the integration and consolidation of information management systems architecture, introduced ITIL-based IT service management processes, and undertaken a full range of work enabling us to monitor the costs of IT services.”

The first and second floors of the Holiday Inn Moskovskiye Vorota hosted the “Infotrans-2010” exhibition of industry achievements, featuring displays by Hitachi Data Systems, Cisco, APC, TWEMA, Bentley Systems, the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering (MIIT), Pulsar Telecom, Aerospace Technologies, Digital Design, Technoserv, TransTeleCom, SAS, the Industry Centre for Information Systems Development and Application (OTsRV), OLLY and JSCo RZD (Russian Railways).

Participants in the general session which was held as part of the second day of the “Infotrans-2010” conference discussed promising trends in IT development for rail transport and experience of innovative projects in other countries’ transport and also in related industries. The participants in the session included Sergei Dyachenko, CEO of Market-Visio/Gartner, Maxim Kazak, CNews Editor in Chief, Nazzareno Filippini, Italian national railways project manager, Peter Stor, corporate services department sales director for HP Central and Eastern Europe, Vladimir Gabriel, leader of the Microsoft expert group in Russia, and Yuri Karadzhov, business development director, IBM.

The principles of building IT strategies for transport companies, the advantages and risks of using IT outsourcing, applying innovative solutions to modernise communications service provision infrastructure, telecommunications in the technological processes of rail transport and in ensuring the interoperability of transportation systems, and wireless communications technologies in rail transport – all these topics were discussed by those taking part in the conference as part of the two days’ work in four parallel sections.

Valery Vishnyakov, Director of the Main Computer Centre, a branch of Russian Railways, said in an interview with RZD-TV that “Infotrans-2010” was of great significance for the development of information technologies in rail transport, and that the presence of V. I. Yakunin, President of RZD, was further confirmation of that. When the first event took place fifteen years ago, the participants only discussed the possibilities of building an information system. Now the discussion is about applying promising IT solutions in technological processes, such as a system for centralised processing of train drivers’ routes and calculating the pay of train crews, an integrated system for railway infrastructure content management, various mobile solutions for leaders of automated workstations, and also electronic technological document handling.

The next event will take place in October 2011. We invite everyone to take part in our events.

We wish you a successful dialogue!