BEIJING — The World Congress on High Speed Rail in China announced that the next high-speed rail congress will be held in America for the first time. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, director general of UIC, The International Union
of Railways, said this important high-speed rail congress will be held in Washington, D.C., in September 2012 with more than 3,000 attendees expected.

"The ambitious plan publicized by President Obama in the framework of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announces a fascinating time for railway development in America" Loubinoux said. "A competitive, high-performance railway system — including a large network of high-speed links — will constitute one of the pillars of U.S. policies for transportation and sustainable development." Loubinoux serves on the advisory board of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association (USHSR), and is an authority on high-speed rail. He gave a keynote address at the Washington, D.C., conference last year. Prior to taking the top post at UIC, he was chief executive of SNCF International in Paris, where he led numerous high-speed rail start-up projects in numerous countries around the world.

USHSR’s Thomas Hart participated in the conference and said: "It is appropriate and well-timed that the UIC has decided to host its next World Congress on HSR in Washington, D.C. — the capital city for decision making and federal funding for major projects like high-speed rail. Also, 2012 is the year of one of the most historic elections in the past 50 years. We congratulate Jean-Pierre and his fine team at UIC!"

USHSR’s President Andy Kunz said: "This is a major event, and is a great bookend to our upcoming HSR Summit being held this coming Feb. 8-10 in Washington, D.C., as the new congress gets under way. Washington, D.C., is the center of the action when it comes to ramping up this great national project for America. We are proud to have played a role in bringing UIC to America!"

New York Senate President Malcolm Smith also participated in the conference and said: "This was a great event, and I compliment Jean-Pierre Loubinoux on his leadership. High-speed rail is so important to America’s future as well as the rest of the world for solving our problems and advancing our economy while creating more than a million new jobs across multiple sectors. I’m happy to have been part of this event." Smith was instrumental in bringing the recent high-speed rail conference to New York City, and serves on the advisory board of USHSR.