Romanian Competition Council to publish rail market report in 2017

“The Railway Supervision National Council” (CNSDF) will take action to ensure a normal competitive climate by analysing and adopting solutions for the situations that can occur in the rail transport market, such as unfair, discriminatory or unrighteous treatment, especially because of the practices and decisions of the infrastructure manager, or of the rail transport operator. This year, we will launch a report on the railway transport activity and hopefully, it will be useful to all factors that are active in this system”, declared Dragos Popescu, Competition Inspector – Railway Supervision Department, Competition Council, during the Railway PRO Technology and Services Forum, organised by Railway PRO and Club Feroviar, with the support of the Romanian Railway Industry Association (AIF) in Arad, on 5-6 April.
Currently, there are 14 transport operators active on the Romanian rail freight transport market, “making this economic sector highly competitive compared to the demand for transport services that stands at around 50 million tonnes of goods amounting to around EUR 500 million, according to market estimates”, Popescu explained.
According to CNSDF, according to the reported turnover, in 2016, the main rail freight transport operators in Romania where CFR Marfa (around 26%), Grup Feroviar Roman (29%), Transferoviar (8%), DB Schencher Rail (7%) and Vest Trans Rail (3%).
CNSDF presented a series of recommendations such as:
Identifying solutions to enable the development of the rolling stock fleet – replacement and modernisation of the existing rolling stock or the market access of potential operators is closely connected to the high costs of rolling stock investments;
The application of a system to improve the performance of the infrastructure manager/managers;
The implementation of a new track access charge calculation methodology in conformity with the provisions of Law no. 202/2016 and of the EU Regulation 2015/909 (implementation of the new track access charge calculation methodology should be dealt with by the end of June 2017, at the latest);
Improvement of public procurement legislation, as „the current condition of the Romanian railway system is also influenced by gaps in the application of the public procurement legislation, as well as lack of correlation of projects with management problems, all these being absolutely necessary in the process of accessing funds for increasing the efficiency and absorption level of European funds”.
The amendment of the legislative framework in conformity with the current market evolution and with the European Commission’s vision in order to clearly eliminate the rights and obligations of the national infrastructure manager and private managers, regarding the way of establishing the track access charge, as well as other services for connected services, it is necessary to amend the Government decision no. 643/2011 on the approval of the Leasing Conditions by the National Railway Company, CFR SA, of segments of the non-interoperable railway infrastructure, as well as their management, with subsequent amendments and additions;
The active implication of the Ministry of Transport – it is essential that the Ministry of Transport exert their role in the organisation of the national transport activity, of the railway transport network and in the elaboration of the correlated transport policy (railway-road-maritime), as well as in supporting and applying the multiannual budget concept.
The introduction of the rolling stock equipped with the regenerative braking technology by railway operators contributes to reducing energy consumption, the infrastructure of the European Transport Network Corridors being already upgraded to enable such braking. The absence of a legislative framework creates problems for the operators that own such locomotives, as they face the impossibility of compensating for the recovered energy and increasing costs.
To that end, the legal framework must be amended in a way that would enable the compensation of the regenerative braking energy saved by rail transport operators.

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