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31. May 2023.
IRG-RAIL PLENARY ASSEMBLY HELD IN BONN ON 23 AND 24 MAY 2023
IRG-Rail’s Plenary Assembly met for its spring session in Bonn, chaired by Dr. Annegret Groebel and Prof. Dr. Karsten Otte from Bundesnetzagentur, Germany’s Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway. The President Klaus Müller gave a welcome speech addressing the representatives of 22 Regulatory Bodies on site and 8 connected remotely..
In addition to reports from the Working Groups on the delivery of the work programme 2023 and the next planned activities, the IRG-Rail members addressed current developments in the railway sector and within IRG-Rail.
The Plenary adopted the following documents:
• IRG Rail’s Views on the European Commission initiative to better manage and coordinate European rail capacity and traffic management;
• Guidelines Service Facilities Description;
• Update of the table on time limits set for answering capacity requests according to Art. 9 (1) of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2177 on the access to service facilities and rail related service facilities.
• The 11th Annual Market Monitoring Report that was adopted by an electronic voting procedure ahead of the Plenary Assembly.
All four reports are published on this website (https://www.irg-rail.eu/).
The Plenary also elected Dragica Flam of the Croatian regulator HAKOM as new Co-Chair for the Access to Service Facilities Group.
The next IRG-Rail Plenary Assembly will be held in Berlin in November 2023.
5. May 2023.
IPA ERA ERTMS TRAINING
The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) and the Transport Community, within the ERA IPA project financed by the European Commission, organized from 18 to 20 April 2023 in the premises of the CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) company, a training on the challenges in the implementation of the ERTMS system (European Rail Traffic Management System).
The aim of the training was to inform the participants about the history, development and functioning of ERTMS, the advantages of ERTMS compared to national systems (class B), as well as about the legal framework related to the implementation of the ERTMS system.
ERTMS is a single European signaling and speed control system that ensures interoperability of the national railway systems, reducing the purchasing and maintenance costs of the signaling systems as well as increasing the speed of trains, the capacity of infrastructure and the level of safety in rail transport.
During the three-day training, lectures of experts from the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) focused on some of the most important topics related to ERTMS. These topics included: legal framework and content of the TSI CCS and the specifications in Annex A; architecture of the ERTMS system, the principle of operation and the method of data transmission (communications) between the on-board and trackside part; evolution and development of ERTMS foreseen by the proposal of the new TSI CCS to be adopted in 2023, etc.
The training emphasized that ERTMS, in addition to interoperability, has numerous advantages compared to national systems (class B):
- better safety - continuous monitoring of train speed implies a higher level of safety compared to most national train protection systems,
- capacity increase - ERTMS enables the reduction of the minimum distance or time between trains, thus increasing train capacity,
- potential reduction of maintenance costs, etc.
In addition to theory, the participants also had practical training, which included a demonstration of the hardware and principles of the decentralized ETCS system level L1 in the testing centre of the CAF company. The participants also took a train ride on the Luxembourg-Ettelbruck line, where the practical part of the training was conducted in the driver's cab.
28. April 2023.
IPA TRAINING ON EUROPEAN VEHICLE REGISTER (EVR)
The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) organized a training on the implementation of the European Vehicle Register (EVR), which was held on 25 April in the premises of the Transport Community in Belgrade. The Agency realized this event within the ERA IPA Project funded by the European Commission.
In accordance with the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1614, the EU member states are gradually moving to the newly formed, centralized model of the European Vehicle Register. The new register will include the entire database of all EU railway vehicles and it will be under the exclusive competence of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). In 2022, ERA made a decision to provide free access to the EVR for the EU candidate and potential candidate countries.
The new register has an almost identical structure to the National Vehicle Register (NVR), which the participants of the training had the opportunity to see through practical exercises. The biggest novelty compared to the current register is that the entire process of registering a vehicle in the register is done electronically via a special link located on the ERA website. Vehicle registration is performed exclusively by the owner of the railway vehicle by filling in the data in an electronic form, after which the National Safety Authority, i.e. the Directorate for Railways in Serbia, controls the accuracy of the data and approves the registration.
The training concluded that the transfer of data from the National Vehicle Register (NVR) to the European Vehicle Register (EVR) and the use of the new register require a thorough preparation in cooperation with the European Union Agency for Railways.
26. April 2023.
Mokra Gora – Meeting on Border Railway Traffic between Serbia and Montenegro
Representatives of the railway sector of Serbia and Montenegro met on April 20 at Mokra Gora on the occasion of the near completion of construction works on the railway station in Bijelo Polje, the future joint border station of Serbia and Montenegro. In front of the delegation of the railway sector from Serbia, Lazar Mosurović, acting director of the Directorate for Railways, greeted the participants. In his opening speech, he emphasized the importance of this meeting, especially considering that it is being held at the time of the completion of the works and the planned opening of the reconstructed railway station in Bijelo Polje, a project of exceptional importance for Serbia and Montenegro.
Miroslav Brajović, the president of the Board of Directors of "Montekargo", a Montenegrin freight railway undertaking, emphasized the great importance of this railway station in the border traffic between Serbia and Montenegro, especially when it comes to freight traffic. The meeting also presented the plans related to better and more efficient operation in border traffic, including the implementation of telematics applications for the transport of passengers and freight in accordance with the technical specifications of interoperability of the European Union (TSI TAF/TAP). In addition, "Infrastructure of Serbian Railways" JSC announced the beginning of works on the completion of the narrow-gauge heritage railway from Šargan Vitasi station to Kremna, which will further increase the importance of the entire Kremna region. Representatives of the Railway Infrastructure of Montenegro and the company "Montekargo" briefly presented their companies, as well as their plans for the next period, with special reference to the upcoming tourist season and the announcement of an increase in the volume of freight transport on the Bar railway. The meeting ended with the presentation of the tourist offer of the heritage railway "Šarganska Osmica" (Šargan Eight), as well as the history and traffic of the heritage train named "Nostalgia", after which the members of the delegation had the opportunity to take a ride on the famous railway "Šarganska Osmica".
Representatives of the Montenegrin and Serbian railway sectors plan to continue their cooperation at the beginning of June in Podgorica, where they will meet with representatives of the railway sector of the Republic of Srpska.
25. April 2023.
Innsbruck - Seminar on Transportation by Ropeways
O.I.T.A.F. (International Organization For Transport By Rope), one of the most important international organizations for all types of ropeway transport, organized on 20 April 2023 in Innsbruck, Austria, an international scientific and professional seminar on the expansion of passenger transportation by cable cars. O.I.T.A.F. currently has 155 members from 35 countries, 6 technical commissions and 2 working groups that deal with all technical matters related to cable cars.
The meeting, which is held once a year, gathered a large number of experts in the field of cableways, representatives of cable car operators, representatives of national authorities in charge of transportation by ropeways, representatives of large companies in the field of production, distribution and installation of cableway systems and accompanying equipment, including a representative of the Directorate for railways.
In accordance with world trends, some of the main topics of lectures and discussions were the implementation of cableway systems in urban areas, sustainable development of these transportation systems, assessment of the impact of the implementation and maintenance of these systems on the environment, etc.
The lecture by Dr Konstantin Kühner from the company Jakob Rope Systems, on the subject of the expansion of the use of ropeway systems in urban areas, as well as the challenges faced by the components of these systems when operating in different conditions compared to mountainous areas, attracted special attention. His presentation concluded that the maintenance costs of cable cars in urban areas are much higher than the maintenance costs of ski lifts in mountainous regions, and that this should be taken into account when planning the implementation of these systems.
The seminar, as well as a series of lectures on the topic of cableway systems, was held as part of the fair INTERALPIN INSPIRATION DAYS 2023, which was held from 20 to 22 April 2023 in Innsbruck.
In addition to the presentation of a large number of systems and products of some of the most important manufacturers of cable cars and accompanying equipment, the fair also included the most modern innovations in the transportation of passengers by cable cars. On more than 40,000 square meters, more than 650 exhibitors from almost 117 countries presented the most modern installations for passenger transportation, equipment for generating artificial snow, ticket collection and passenger counting systems, security equipment, equipment for the preparation and maintenance of ski slopes and roads, control and monitoring equipment etc.
The greatest attention of the visitors was attracted by the presentation and demonstration of the snow cannons for artificial snowmaking, the latest Ghost system, which is characterized by a hidden casing buried in the ground, with the possibility of extension to up to 7 meters, which represents a new level in the safety of skiers on the ski trails.
23. december 2022.
INTEROPERABILITY TRAINING – NOVI SAD
European Union Agency for Railways - ERA, in cooperation with the Directorate for Railways, organized Interoperability Training held on 13-15 December 2022 in Novi Sad. This event brought together around 40 participants from the EU candidate countries, Denmark, Romania, representatives of the Transport Community and the EU Delegation in Serbia.
The most important topic of the training was the implementation of Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) in accordance with the Interoperability Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/797) and their relation with national rules. Namely, in order to eliminate obstacles to interoperability and as a consequence of extending the scope of the TSIs to the entire railway system of the Union, the volume of national technical rules should be progressively reduced. EU Railway Agency (ERA) has already organized several meetings on this topic with the representatives of the railway institutions of the Western Balkans and Turkey with the aim of providing them with technical assistance to reduce the scope of national rules in line with the EU member states. This process will continue at the regional level in cooperation with the Transport Community.
The training also covered the certification of train drivers, roles of National Safety Authorities and employers in accordance with the Train Driver Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/797), criteria for the recognition of training centres and interoperability registers kept by the EU Railway Agency (EVR, RINF, etc.). ERA also announced its IPA activities for 2023, which will include a workshop on training and licensing of train drivers, as well as several trainings related to the European Vehicle Register. Thanks to the extension of the contract between the EU Railway Agency and the European Commission - DG NEAR, ERA will continue to support the railway institutions of IPA beneficiaries in their efforts to approach European standards in cooperation with the Transport Community and in accordance with its Action Plan for rail transport.
At the end of the training, the participants were invited for a technical visit to the construction site of the high-speed railway on the Novi Sad - Subotica section, which was organized by the Serbian infrastructure manager "Infrastruktura železnice Srbije" a.d. and the contractor, a Chinese consortium of "China Railway International" and "China Communications Construction Company".