The first meeting in 2016 of the Commuter and Regional Train Services (CRTS) working group took place in Bilbao on 26 and 27 January, hosted by EUSKOTREN. Imanol Leza, Managing Director of the company, welcomed the attendees at their premises at Atxuri station.
Representatives of the companies discussed several topics, starting with the problems caused by luggage allowance on commuter and regional trains. This discussion led to a debate about the carriage of bicycles on these kinds of railway services given the increasing demand of this kind of multimodal combination in big cities in Europe, particularly in places where culturally or traditionally commuting by bicycle has not been so frequent, and where companies have to deal with problems that did not exist several years ago.
This discussion was followed by a presentation given by the Safety and Security department at UIC, about Safety and Security on Commuter and Regional Train Services, given the specific characteristics of these services and the current situation in Europe. It was agreed to go deeper into this topic within the works of the handbook the group is preparing.
Last but not least, it was agreed that the training session on Commuter and Regional Train Services which the group has been working on will take place in Rome, although a date has not yet been fixed. The first steps have been taken to develop a programme that will be ready in the following weeks.
During the second day, participants were kindly invited to Lebario, to the new depot and the new maintenance area of Euskotren, where they could learn more about the company and its rolling stock. This technical visit was followed by another one to the railway museum of Azpeitia.
The next meeting is scheduled to be held on 26 and 27 April in Poland.