At the kind invitation of Renfe, the HLPM (High-Level Passenger Meeting) evening event of 7 March was held at the “Museo del Ferrocarril de Delicias” (Madrid Railway Museum) in Madrid. Juan Alfaro Grande, Renfe President, welcomed the participants followed by speeches from:
- Alberto Garcia Alvarez, Director General, Renfe, Chair of the HLPM, Chair of the Passenger Forum
- Julio Gomar-Pomar, State Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing
- Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General
- Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director
A tour ride and a dinner were organised on-board the historic “Al-Andalus Expreso” train, where guests had the opportunity to network in the train coaches.
The HLPM plenary session of 8 March was held at the Spanish Railway Foundation (FFE) in Madrid.
Introductions and opening remarks were given by Juan Alfaro Grande, Alberto Garcia Alvarez, Libor Lochman and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.
Mrs Heike Luiten, the NS passenger CEO, introduced the International Women’s day and highlighted the importance of the place of women within the transport industry. She then shared her experience as woman-CEO and her views about women in rail, especially in leading positions.
Marco Kampp (DB Fernverkehr) presented the distribution topics FSM, MERITS, TSGA and the UIC passenger activities.
- Jeannine Pilloud, SBB passenger CEO introduced the Full Service Model (FSM) initiative. FSM was launched by the Passenger CEOs in 2013 when in Spiez, it aims at technically enhancing data exchange among operators to improve the distribution of rail products. It was developed together with ticket vendors.
- Heike Luiten (NS): outlined the UIC “MERITS” European Timetable Database. The MERITS Timetable database is managed by UIC. UIC has developed a business model to make MERITS integrated data available to whoever wants to use it (railways, ticket vendors, other third parties).
- Jan Sigurdur Christenen (DSB) enlighted the “TAP TSI Service Governance Association” (TSGA). The aim of the TSGA is to allow us all to meet our duties and enjoy our rights under the TAP TSI regulations. The TSGA was created by DB, SNCF and Trenitalia in December 2016.
- Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, explained the current UIC passenger activities from timetable to accounting and clearing. Under the Passenger Services Group the Technical and commercial groups are very active in maintaining and updating standards used for e-ticketing, tariffs, and interfaces between distribution systems.
Regarding ERTMS, Renfe provided its own experiences in implementing ERTMS/ETCS on its high speed lines. In some cases, trains can only operate on certain lines in Spain, due to the incompatibility of ERTMS systems on different lines. Alberto Garcia Alvarez reminded the audience that this incompatibility within version and system can generate significant loss of revenue.
Keir Fitch, security and interoperability unit of the European Commission, involved in the implementation of the Fourth Railway Pillar, presented the current status of the harmonized implementation of ERTMS in Europe.
Renfe highlighted the Renfe situation to the EC officer, Eurostar, CFL and SNCB shared their own experience and complained about the complexity and the costs generated by the multiple ERTMS system versions that need a lot of tests and the authorisation to run new trains.
Carlo Borghini, Executive Director, Shift²Rail, presented the key challenges and the innovation capabilities of the Shift2Rail initiative. Shift2Rail is active in infrastructure, freight and passenger. The aim is to create an opensource framework. Shift2Rail is looking at what will happen in 2020, in terms of research and innovation.
Michel Jadot, CEO, SNCB Europe, introduced the security issues (terrorism, cybersecurity). Security is crucial subject for railways and the EC, but regulations are not foreseen in the near future. UIC reminded the meeting that there are currently active working groups dealing with security activities; SNCB added that it is important to share tools and solutions.
Marc Guigon thanked the audience and was very pleased about the good collaboration in place between CER and UIC. UIC will to take into account within its working groups all the subjects and issues highlighted during the HLPM.
He reminded the meeting of the forthcoming UIC events (High Speed Training Sessions, Passenger Forum, World High-Speed Congress in Ankara…) and invited the HLPM participants to attend. The meeting ended with a conclusion by Alberto Garcia Alvarez.
CER expressed thanks for the organisation of the HLPM meeting.