On the fringe of the IURR’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the CGT and the Interunit (joint platform between the railways and the IURR operators), held their statutory meetings.
On 21 October, CGT Chairman Mr Peetermans was pleased to welcome the new Combined Transport Directors from RCA (Mr Dirnbauer), CD Cargo (Mr Sprachal) and SZ (Mr Vuga). Debates focused largely on improving the productivity of combined transport through various projects such as Import and e-Railfreight (electronic consignment note). On the question of e-Railfreight, the CGT members reviewed in further detail customs requirements which need to be implemented in 2011. Furthermore, DB, Trenitalia, RCA, SBB and SNCB, together with IFB, reiterated their support to launch a pilot project with Combined Transport Operators as soon as possible. CFL Multimodal also explained their involvement in the project while RENFE expressed a wish to develop a pilot project with SNCF.
On the following day, Interunit Chairman Dr Berenyi presided over his first Assembly since his election last year. He had invited Mr Deschamp from the European Railway Agency to give an insight into the steps taken by the European Authorities in the aftermath of the Viareggio accident – and more generally regarding the maintenance and certification of wagons – and Mr Sondermann, from KombiConsult, to inform the audience about AGORA – an EU project on the improvement of best practices in combined transport terminal management. The Assembly also served as an opportunity for UIC to present the first results of its “2010 Report on Combined Transport”. Mr Peetermans reported that at this stage results seem to indicate that the number of operators has increased since 2007 and that steady average annual growth rates of 7% can be resumed providing infrastructure, terminal and rolling stock capacities are available. The full report will be available by the end of November.