The UIC, the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) have launched a new framework within which to work together more closely on a range of issues related to safety and interoperability in Europe.
With the main aim of providing a more coordinated and cost-effective approach by the European rail operating community to the support given to the European Railway Agency, a team of experts from the three associations met in Brussels on 19th October to kick off the concept of the ‘Coordination Technical Group’ (CTG).
The role of the CTG will be to coordinate and maximise the resources made available by the rail operators to the ERA for their working parties, avoid duplication of effort wherever this is possible through converging the support/mirror groups and to wherever possible, develop common positions between European railway operators and infrastructure managers on technical issues.
The 5 people making up the core of the CTG will be working very closely together over the coming weeks in order to set down the structure that is expected to deliver a number of key benefits to the rail operators who are members of the three associations.
The European Railway Agency (ERA) is the EU body which supports the European Commission in developing secondary legislation and recommendations designed to contribute to the enactment of the contents of the European directives on interoperability and safety.
The ERA’s work programme is very detailed and covers a great many sub-systems that go to make up the overall rail system. With subjects ranging from rolling stock, through to infrastructure, system operation and certification processes, the CTG team will break this down into sensible clusters that will help to develop synergies, ensure that the system interfaces are identified and being managed and increase the efficiency of the existing consultation process.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC underlined: “As the technical research and standardisation body for the rail operating community, UIC is pleased to be involved in the GTC. The creation of CTG is a significant step towards ensuring that collectively we are working in a ‘joined-up’ manner in such a way that all the interfaces essential to moving the rail sector towards greater system interoperability are being addressed in a coordinated and cohesive manner.”
The CER and the EIM have both identified 2 experts to be fully involved in the running of CTG. The UIC’s Regional Coordinator, Europe, Simon Fletcher will, in addition to his tasks associated with the work of the regional assembly, the interface with European members and the relationships with the European-based bodies such as CEN, CENELEC, UNIFE, ERFA, UITP… also be the UIC’s interface with the CTG. It is in this capacity that he will assure the conduit between the CTG and the technical working groups at the UIC to whom CTG will be turning in the future for help and input on specific technical topics.
The way in which this develops will be reported in E-News over the coming months