The fifth Railway Conference initiated by HUNGRAIL was attended, among others, by Miklos Kopp, Freight Department Director of UIC, Clemens Först, Head of Strategy and Business Development of ÖBB-Holding AG, the State Secretaries of the Ministry of National Development, the President of the National Transport Authority, as well as the National Directorate General for Disaster Management and top management of Hungarian State Railways. Representatives of Rail Cargo Hungaria, Siemens, AWT Rail Hu, VPE and Bombardier Transportation were also present at the event. HUNGRAIL represents 98% of rail freight companies and 99% of public rail transportation companies active in Hungary. Henceforth, the non-governmental organisation, shall contribute to increasing Hungarian Railways’ international competitiveness, making better use of potential synergies within the member companies. Laszlo Mosoczi stated that the association will focus its activities on conciliation, formation of platforms, mediation, and distribution of professional information. Through its memberships in international rail organisations, such as UIC and CER, HUNGRAIL shall enhance its activities and the representation of Hungarian rail companies.
As a change from previous practices the association will adopt a highly service-oriented work approach in order to act as a bridge between rail companies and rail service consumers, the governing and regulating bodies as well as organisations of the European Union. The association’s new format will allow for a more dynamic, faster and more flexible reaction for all the questions regarding the infrastructure, regulations and negotiations of railways. The conference has given high-level government representatives and rail company experts the opportunity to state their views. Janos Fónagy, Government Commissioner responsible for the conversion of public transport, State Secretary of the Ministry of National Development, stated that Hungarian Railways should be operated in a manner that, together with public roads, will provide a comprehensive and competitive service for travellers. The Hungarian government is determined that the core of public transport in long-distance and suburban traffic will be fixed-track, mainly rail based; the newly instituted fares alongside the unaffected rates are already serving that purpose.
Zoltán Schváb, State Secretary of the Ministry of National Development mentioned that modern transport politics, energy savings and protection of the environment all have enhanced importance, and environmentally sound railways have a key role in that. The disadvantages of railways against public roads will be reduced by the introduction of the electronic toll system in Hungary, on 1 July 2013. Ilona David, president-CEO of MAV, spoke about the importance of rationalisation, the coordination of needs and competencies during the restructure of the national railways in order to increase the number of passengers. MAV plans on purchasing electric multiple units trough public procurement with GYSEV. According to the plan they will be able to procure 42 multiple units for MAV and 6 for GYSEV. 85% of financial resources would be provided by the European Union. During the conference the HUNGRAIL Hungarian Rail Association’s professional distinction was presented to Csaba Siklos, the first Transport Minister after the regime change in 1990 and current president of Rail Cargo Hungaria’s Supervising Committee.