At the last High Level Freight Meeting on 22 May, the freight CEOS of BLS, DBSR, Hungrail, MRCE, RCA, SBB, SNCF, TIC, TX Logistics and VDV, with the support of UIC and CER grounded a task force dedicated to give high level support to issues of key importance to the competitiveness of rail freight. 17 issues were identified and broken down into projects (see opposite).
While some of these issues are already being addressed at expert level via dedicated UIC, CIT or CER initiatives, they need high level endorsement for adequate progress towards implementation.
In view of the amount of work that the above 17 issues represent, a high priority status was given to the following topics:
- Short distance cross border interoperability
Chaired by Mr Bamberger, Member of the Board of ÖBB RCG, the CEOs held their second web conference on 7 October during which they validated the orientations and proposed timescales for progressing all issues.
Whilst the technical work coordinated by UIC is well underway, the political and communication activities towards the EU Commission are being managed by CER. Key dates are already pencilled in: the RU Dialogue on 13 October, a possible CEO meeting with EU Transport Commissioner Violetta Bulc alongside COP21 or the Rail Freight Days on 4 December.
Before closing the web conference, Mr Bamberger thanked his peers for their involvement and congratulated all the experts for their dedication and the quality of the work carried out over a very short period of time. He reminded the meeting that the Task Force was organised in such a way as to capitalise on existing working structures (study groups, projects such as ECCO etc.) in order to avoid duplication.