THE International Union of Railways (UIC) elected Polish State Railways (PKP) CEO, Mr Krzysztof Mamiński, as its next chairman for a two-and-a-half-year mandate during its 98th General Assembly on July 8.
Mamiński has served as president of the board of PKP since 2017 and is co-responsible for developing railway strategy in Poland. He also serves on the management committee of the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the UIC European Regional Committee, representing East-Central Europe, and as a member of the conference of general directors of the Organisation for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD), where he advocates improving cooperation between European railways and the rest of the world.
During a 40-year railway career, Mamiński has served in various roles at PKP, including as a board member responsible for restructuring and privatisation between 1998 and 2000, and for employee affairs between 2000 and 2002. He was also the co-author of and actively involved in the implementation of railway reforms in response to the liberalisation of the European market. Mamiński also serves on the board of PKP Cargo.
Mamiński’s term will run until December 31 2023. He succeeds Mr Gianluigi Castelli, chairman of the board of Italian State Railways (FS).
“It is not only a great honour to be elected as the new chairman of UIC, but primarily an enormous responsibility and recognition for current activities - mine, as a manager with decades of experience, but mostly thousands of railwaymen and other people strongly involved in supporting the expansion of railway on daily basis,” Mamiński says.
“PKP was a founding member of UIC in 1922. It gives me a sense of satisfaction that today, when for the first time in the history of European Union we are celebrating the European Year of Railway, our voice has a chance to be heard even stronger on the international arena.”
UIC has also elected Mr Mohamed Khlie, CEO of Moroccan National Railways (ONCF), as vice-chairman. Khlie succeeds Mr Ali Uygun, president and CEO of Turkish State Railways (TCDD).
Khlie joined ONCF in 1987 and was appointed director general in 2004. He initiated structural changes that revolutionised the Moroccan railway sector, including putting ONCF on a stable financial footing and the implementation of Africa’s first high-speed line, the Casablanca - Tangiers railway, which opened in November 2018. Khlie has served as chair of the UIC Africa Region since 2010.
Mr François Davenne, UIC director general, says both candidates received unanimous support during the general assembly. He hopes Mamiński’s presidency will accelerate the development of an interregional vision centred around digitalisation, digital platforms for freight and passengers, multimodality, and international corridors.
“For the association after the Covid-19 pandemic it is important to have a strong team,” Davenne says. “The railway mode has demonstrated its ability during the crisis to ensure essential travel and supply to our citizens, but companies have been severely impacted.
“All studies show that we have 10 years to drastically reduce our transport-related emissions: a massive modal shift to rail is necessary. For this to happen, we need to change mindsets and associate rail with new words like flexibility, comfort and freedom. To achieve this, we need to work on a compelling narrative for the future of mobility with rail as the backbone. All UIC regions are united towards this objective.”