Under the chairmanship of Ferdinand Schmidt, the members of the Freight Forum met in Paris on 12 June. Delegates from Europe and Asia had the opportunity to discuss a range of strategic and technical issues.
After a debrief by Mr Loubinoux on the outcome of the latest Statutory meetings, a free-ranging discussion took place on how to further improve the Forum’s output so as to better respond to members’ needs and to further help them face the challenges of rail freight.
High on the agenda featured the discussion on corridor structures led by Messrs Maier (BLS) and Hartkopf (DBSR). Regulation 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight defines rules for the selection, organisation, management and the indicative investment planning for rail freight corridors. The regulation also defines a list of nine “initial corridors” to be worked on, with some of them to be established already by November 2013. With the implementation of the legislation in the coming years, and bearing in mind that in the structure as it is currently defined the RUs only enjoy a consultative role, RUs want to define a process to coordinate their message towards IMs. Mr Dörsch from DBSR presented the status of the Europe Train project which aims to speed up and improve, through testing, the development of LL brake blocks as a means for cost-effective noise reduction. Mr Dörsch informed the audience about the outcome of the project’s second interim report which takes into account 93,000 km. He also strongly stressed the importance of having support from Austria and Hungary to start the next loop.
Mr Cau, Senior Advisor in the Rail System team, informed the members of the work currently being undertaken by UIC on standardisation: reviewing the standards already in place, ensuring they are fit for purpose, identifying areas for improvement (IRS, ISO...). He also stressed the importance for all working bodies to continue to review the UIC leaflets for which they are responsible.
The Freight Forum had the pleasure to welcome Mr Brand, newly appointed General-Secretary of CIT and to hear about the status of CIT’s activities in the freight domain such as: CIM electronic consignment note, CIM/SMGS traffic, multimodality, relationships between carriers and substitute carriers, revision of COTIF 1999.
Finally the Freight Forum members were given the latest information about the upcoming Global Rail Freight Conference which is taking place in Tangier from 17 – 19 October 2012 and were invited to consult the dedicated website http://grfc.uic.org, which contains all the necessary information for planning conference participation.