Among a series of top level meetings involving CEOs and officials from companies who are members of UIC, CER and EIM, the UIC European Management Committee (EMC) met in Berlin on 4th September at the kind invitation of Rudiger Grübe, CEO of DB.
The principle issue on the agenda was the conclusions of the joint CER, EIM and UIC Europe (“tripartite”) working group, established in spring 2009 as a result of a mandate set by Mr Mehdorn when he was Chairman of UIC–Europe. EMC Chairman Guillaume Pepy thanked all those involved in bringing the discussions to this point. He highlighted the importance of the improvements that the initiative of a Coordination Technical Group (CTG) would bring to the rail operating community especially in respect to the way in which we coordinate our activities in response to the needs of the European Railway Agency’s (ERA) work programme.
Members of EMC were in full agreement that the organisation of CTG (to operate in Brussels) and the involvement of the UIC as part of it alongside the CER and the EIM, would reinforce and strengthen the position of the rail operators and ensure that especially in relation to safety and interoperability issues, the developmental work is being undertaken from a system perspective. It is intended that the UIC team in Brussels and the usage of the office facilities be refocused so as to be better placed to support the responsibilities that the CTG will undertake.
The meeting also agreed that in the present search for more savings, the appointment of a Regional Director, Europe would not take place at this time. Still there is an important task of coordination to be done vis à vis this new CTG, our European members and the liaison with our technical departments to follow progress on projects (in particular those with DG research) by the Regional Coordinator for Europe.
The meeting also discussed the issue of the overall noise reduction programme and the important contribution to be made by the approval and use of “LL brake blocks”. There had been a very disappointedly low response to the call for funding for this project. It was highlighted that a technical solution is needed within the next 2 years in order to underpin the political debate over noise. A resolution on this issue with the proposal of a test train, was to be discussed at the CEOs’ meeting on Saturday 5th September.