Over 40 leaders of European passenger rail met in Rome 19 June at the annual CER-UIC High Level Passenger Meeting hosted by FS. The meeting was opened by Mauro Moretti, CEO of Italian Railways FS, Chairman of CER and Vice-Chairman of UIC, by Yoshio Ishida, Vice-Chairman of JR East and Chairman of UIC, by Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of CER, and by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, GDS of UIC.
The morning session focused on the effects of the financial crisis on passenger rail. Mireille Faugère, CEO of SNCF Passenger Services, Ulrich Homburg, CEO of DB Passenger Services, Krzystof Celinski, CEO of PKP Intercity, explained the situation of their respective companies and discussed their counter activities in the presence of Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Transport.
HLPM participants signed a declaration in which they request political decision makers to use the opportunity to build a sustainable backbone of passenger transport in Europe around passenger railways. Therefore the current preferential support of other less environmentally friendly transport modes should be changed in favour of rail. The least governments should assure would be proper financing of public services according to the PSO regulation coming into force at the end of 2009.
Vincenzo Soprano, CEO of Trenitalia, gave a round-up of the latest developments of the Italian rail market. Ulrich Homburg made the case for an accelerated opening not only for international traffic – as foreseen in the 3rd Railway Package for 2010 – but also for national traffic. For more information on the political aspects of the HLPM see also the CER Monitor Issue 22.
Athar Khan, Managing Director Association of European Airlines (AEA), presented and explained AEA’s comprehensive market reporting based on data provided by airline. (http://www.aea.be/research/traffic/index.html). Reporting includes traffic volumes, operating results as well as service quality (e.g. punctuality, baggage performance). The reports are being used for political lobbying, benchmarking and decision support. Participants of the HLPM agreed to jointly collect data required for fulfilling European regulations in the future.
Libor Lochman, Deputy Executive Director of CER, gave an update on the drafting of the Telematic Applications for Passenger (TAP) TSI which will be published still in 2009. Until then the sector-wide implementation plan will be structured in the second half of 2010. This Strategic European Deployment Plan (SEDP) will then be written in 2010.
Oliver Sellnick, Director Passenger and Freight of UIC, informed participants about the progress of the “Train to Copenhagen” project targeting decision makers at the COP15 United Nations climate conference 7-18 December in Copenhagen with the message “the climate is right for rail”. While transportation is responsible for ¼ of all CO2 emissions worldwide, rail provides the opportunity to reduce emissions. When worldwide officials debate and decide the emission commitments until 2016 they should understand and demand modal shift to rail (www.traintocopenhagen.org). Participants expressed their support for and interest in participating in this initiative.