UIC as the worldwide association of railways, is extremely happy to hold this 9th world congress on High-speed rail, UIC HIGHSPEED, in Tokyo. This congress which has become the worldwide reference for debating of all issues connected with high-speed rail development, is being coordinated with East Japan Railway Company in collaboration with all parties involved in high speed rail in Japan, and more generally with all UIC’s member railways.
Since the first launch in Japan in 1964, followed by its introduction in Europe in the early eighties and successive extensions to all parts of the world, High-speed rail has definitively become one of the most successful and promising types of transport. Actually high-speed trains offer to passenger fast transport and reduced journey times combined with an extremely high-level of safety and reliability, comfort and quality of service.
High-speed rail systems, often combined with other transport modes, have excellent records relating to environmental-friendliness and contribution to the economic and social development of all territories they deserve. They constitute therefore one of the main pillars of mobility and sustainable transport policies in an increasing number of countries in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa.
I am convinced that this 9th edition of UIC HIGHSPEED in Tokyo will review the world's high-speed rail on its latest developments, demonstrate its up-date achievements, look into its prospects and promote its research and development, leaving a significant impact on the future development of high-speed rail.
In the light of the last 50 years, this congress will be the opportunity to evoke the world development of high speed rail systems over the 50 next years. It will celebrate the past and design the future.
UIC Director General