Information published on 29 November 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 526.

Workshop on International Rail Passenger Traffic on the East-West route held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 22 November 2016 in Geneva

  • Passenger
  • Reporting

The workshop addressed the main challenges that international rail passenger traffic faces on the East-West route. Security, missing links, levels of service, cost of tickets, lack of cooperation among the railways in order to establish long-distance services (one ticket, one time schedule), visas and border crossing delays, interoperability, technological integration as well as several legal regimes are some of the challenges that railway passenger traffic faces today.

Moderated by Mr Kostantinos Alexopoulos from Transport Trends and Economics Secretariat Transport Division (UN ECE), the invited participants (representing OTIF, CIT, OSZD, EC, UIC and RZD, KTZ, JHR as well as the accredited state representatives) discussed the main challenges that international rail passenger traffic faces on the East-West route. Security, missing links, levels of service, cost of tickets, lack of cooperation among the railways in order to establish long-distance services (one ticket, one time schedule), visas and border-crossing delays, interoperability, technological integration as well as several legal regimes are some of the challenges that railway passenger traffic faces today.

Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Fundamental Values Department Director, representing Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, presented technological solutions and opportunities for cooperating railway companies along the East-West international corridors. The workshop participants appreciated input by working bodies of the UIC to propose several solutions to facilitate passenger international traffic through examples of ticketing activity developed by UIC.

The conclusions from the workshop focus on the following areas for improvement such as: legislation, operations and technology/techniques.

The different legal regimes for passengers traffic by rail among the railway undertakings on common services, tariffs and time schedules on the route East-West increase costs, further decrease rail passenger traffic, reduce competitiveness and impede the development of effective rail transport operations and efficient railway business.

The challenges posed by rail transport safety and security take into account the technical differences that should not become barriers to the development of East-West rail passenger transport – however this is a part of operations cost.

UN ECE invites railway undertakings along the East-West route to cooperate on a regular basis in order to envisage, design and establish rail passenger services by agreeing on common and competitive tariffs, time schedules and itineraries, encouraging railway undertakings and international organisations for railways to test these services, whenever possible, in practice, by performing pilot tests.

UN ECE recommends that interested parties save international routes to attract more actively governmental support.

For further information please contact Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the UIC Fundamental Values Department:

wisniewski@uic.org