The G4 Directors’ General meeting was held in Budapest on 29 September 2016 at the invitation of Ms. Ilona David, Chairwoman of Hungarian Rail Association HUNGRAIL.
G4 Group is a special regional group of the International Union of Railways (UIC), which was founded in 1992 by four Central European railways: Austrian Federal Railways, Slovenian Railways, Croatian Railways and Hungarian State Railways. Since 2008 the UIC regional group (G4) has been functioning as well as a group of the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER). Today, this group comprises 14 members: ÖBB, SŽ, HŽ Infrastruktura, HŽ Cargo, HŽ Putnički prijevoz, ŽSR, ZSSK, ZSSK Cargo, MÁV, GYSEV, MÁV-START, HUNGRAIL, RCH and ŽFBH. The aim of the G4 Group is to harmonize the development of railways in the area between the Danube and the Adriatic. The G4 Group serves as a platform for sharing experience, for taking stock of the instruments high on the political agenda and launching initiatives improving effectively the rail system in the G4 area.
This year’s meeting yet again brought together chairpersons and CEOs who discussed a number of topics like passenger traffic related issues such as the quality of operational train services and punctuality as well as ZERO-fare rail passenger transport in Slovakia and night trains. Attention was then focused on the upcoming opening of the freight terminal Vienna South. Participants exchanged also their experience in the field of the electrification of their networks. Furthermore, difficulties in the application of the “Train Drivers Directive” (59/2007) and its amendments were also discussed together with options and derogation procedures concerning the use of languages on cross border sections arising from the application of Annex VI. The G4 Group will have a coordinated approach on the question as all Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings composing the Group agreed to turn to their respective Ministries to ask for the speedy transposition and correct implementation of the aforementioned Directive.
Application guidance by the European Commission/European Union Agency for Railways for the implementation of the new provisions would be highly welcomed.
The Group also decided to invite Serbian railways to join the forum as observer in the context of accelerating the development of corridors on the Balkans.
The next G4 Directors’ General meeting will be hosted by ÖBB and held in Vienna in October 2017.
A UIC message is available here: http://uic.org/com/IMG/pdf/message_to_g4_ceos.pdf