The 51st Meeting of the International Council on Railway Transport met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 27-28 October. The delegation from Russian Railways was headed by the company’s president, Vladimir Yakunin.
At the meeting of the Council on Railway Transport of the CIS, members of the International Council also took part – the heads of railway administrations from the CIS countries, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland. This year representatives of the executive committees of the CIS and EvrAzEs also took part, and additionally, for the first time, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General. An opening speech was given by the deputy prime-minister of Uzbekistan, Batir Khodzhayev.
The parties discussed a whole range of issues related to rail links in 2010-2011. In particular, the number of international passenger train connections was agreed upon, as well as the timetable, rules for use and tariff policies for international trains.
“The state structures of the ‘1520 countries’ and all the railway administrations show an understanding that cooperation in the rail sector is one of the key factors promoting the economic integration of our countries”, said Vladimir Yakunin at the closing of the meeting.
Additionally, the total figures of passenger and cargo traffic on the railways in the CIS and Baltic States for the first nine months of 2009 were given.
Vladimir Yakunin noted that the reduction in economic activity on world markets also had its effects on economic processes in the CIS and the Baltic States, which led to a reduction in the amount of cargo transfers. For the first nine months of this year, the railway system as a whole carried 1,35 billion tonnes of cargo, an 18 percent decrease on last year.
A positive trend since the beginning of 2009, however, is the month-on-month growth visible in the majority of railways. In January, the volume was 71 percent of the previous year’s total; in June this had risen to 82 percent; and by September the figure was 90 percent.
Vladimir Yakunin paid particular attention to the development of information technology solutions in the 1 520 area as an important factor in controlling railway systems and as a stimulant to make the region competitive for international links.
“Over the past years, railway administrations have created the necessary technical, methodical, legal and organisational foundations to ensure there is adequate informational support to the transport systems”, said Yakunin.
Russian Railways has already signed contracts with Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan on the creation of a system that meets international standards to exchange electronic information about international cargo transfers. A similar agreement has been prepared with Uzbekistan.
The implementation of this project is effectively complete for cargo transfers between Russia and Finland. There is constant electronic exchange of data about Russo-Finnish waybills, as well as data on the location of cargos and the carriages returning to Russia empty.