Summary of WCRR'97 in Florence

Hiroshi TANAKA
International Affairs , Planning Div., RTRI

WCRR'97 (World Congress on Railway Research) was held in Florence, Italy from November 17 to 19, 1997.
WCRR is a congress originated from a small railway research seminar conducted by RTRI in Tokyo,1992, inviting representatives of research fields from major railways and research centers in U.S.A., Europe and Japan. Unlike in conventional congresses, the seminar stimulated interests and demands of railway people who had been looking for an opportunity of extending worldwide cooperation of railway researchers.
After the seminar in 1992, the congress was named WCRR and the contents of the congress were set up from the viewpoint of R&D. The first congress was held in Paris in 1994 followed by WCRR'96 in Colorado Springs, U.S.A., and WCRR'97 in Florence.
WCRR'97 was conducted under a main theme "Future railways need to halve costs, double productivity and remain environmentally friendly," with 1562 participants from 37 countries. The total number of presented papers was 448(172 for oral presentation, 276 for poster presentation) in five sessions classified by the research field.
As WCRR had been becoming familiar among Japanese railway engineers through previous congresses, 138 people (39 from RTRI) participated from Japan.
After the presentation of papers, three Japanese papers won the best paper awards which were given to 10 papers. RTRI was one of award presenters.
In the closing ceremony, the president of RTRI, Mr.SOEJIMA, had the honor to announce that the next WCRR'99 will be conducted in Tokyo, Japan, with warm words of welcome to all the participants of WCRR'97.

Main conference building for WCRR'97.
Opening Ceremony.
Poster session.
President Soejima of RTRI conveying one of the Best Paper Awards.
RTRI's researchers explaining their technologies at the exhibition stand.
President Soejima of RTRI giving a speech at the closing session.