The officers responsible for the Control-Command, Signalling and operating strategy (CCS & OPE) of European railway undertakings and infrastructure managers gathered for the first time on 14 October in Brussels.
Jointly organised by CER, EIM and UIC, the High Level Meeting gave a privileged chance to map the role of the European bodies involved in the CCS & OPE activities on a European scale.
The evening before, Mr. Karel Vinck, European coordinator for ERTMS, joined a dinner debate stressing the importance of an harmonization of the operating rules, the introduction of the ERTMS signaling system and a gradual optimization of the infrastructure which together would guarantee full interoperability between member states, remove bottlenecks from the lines, increase the capacity of the network, and improve travel speeds and safety levels.
During the High Level Meeting, the participants had the possibility to discuss the business objectives of the signalling and traffic management system along with the vision of their future development.
Priority tasks for individual subjects and their challenges have been debated, too. Moreover, further ideas to achieve better coordination of European processes, both regulatory as well as business oriented, were put forward.
Libor Lochman, CER Deputy Executive Director, highlighted that “the first high-level CCS & OPE meeting provided a unique opportunity to review the current regulatory and voluntary activities in the field of European signalling. It set a basis for better coordination both on a European level as well as between European bodies and railway and infrastructure companies”.
“It is of vital importance for the rail operators to develop the many interfaces (existing and new) in the rail system in a joined-up way so that when the various technical systems come together in the operation of the disaggregated railway, the services offered to the customer are as safe and efficient as possible. Collectively we need to recognise the issues and work closely together in a collaborative and mutually appreciative way to ensure that the overall system coordination both technical and commercial is assured and that cohesiveness is the end result”. Furthermore Jean-Pierre Loubinoux UIC Director General confirms that “UIC with its broad membership and global perspective can certainly contribute to this and indeed is more than willing to do so.”