Strategy and technical innovation – the two directions for achieving progress in the European railway sector

European_Railway_Award_2014__124_This year the European Railway Award was granted to the former Commissioner for Transport, Jacques Barrot, for a series of achievements in the field of transport, especially for the railway transport, and to another personality, Giorgio Diana, Researcher and Professor within Politecnico di Milano, for technical achievements. The European Railway Award is granted each year, ever since 2007, for important achievements in directing a strategy, as well as for technical activities. The event is organized by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Rail Industry Association (UNIFE).

During his mandate in 2004 – 2008, the former European Commissioner for Transport Jacques Barrot had a major influence in the development of the European railway transport system. In his activity, Jacques Barrot shed a favourable light on the public railway transport service, the passenger transport service in the railway and road system, and equally contributed to consolidating the passengers’ rights by setting up Regulation no. 1371/2007. The Commissioner Barrot has also supported the liberalisation of the railway transport sector and the development of a sustainable mobility through a series of actions in this regard. In addition, the Directive for the liberalisation of rail freight transport services was implemented during his mandate.

The laureate of the award for the technical part, Giorgio Diana, is a well-known specialist at world level in the field of dyna-mics of railway vehicles. In the past 30 years, the Italian researcher has contributed to the improvement of knowledge on the dyna-mics of running railway vehicles and their interaction with the infrastructure. His research has been successfully implemented in many railway vehicles of new generation including the new high speed trains in Italy, Frecciarossa 1000. His research activity has been an essential source for innovation in various fields of railway engineering, as well as the study on high-speed train aerodynamics, railway vehicle dynamic control, vehicle – track and pantograph – contact line interaction.

The current European Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, has focused his speech on the two most important actions at European level in the field of transport, 4th Railway Package – in the field of strategy and SHIFT2RAIL – on the technical side. “If we want the European railway transport system to become more competitive and attractive, it must progress in two major directions: strategy and technical innovation. Therefore, the 4th Railway Package and SHIFT2RAIL Initiative work great together”.
“The fast approval of the Technical Pillar (of the Fourth Railway Package) will be crucial for higher efficiency in future rail system operations. Technical harmonisation together with high quality infrastructure will pose major cornerstones for further improvements in rail products and services for our customers”, mentioned CER Chairman and CEO of OBB, Christian Kern.

“UNIFE encourages the quick adoption of both SHIFT2RAIL and the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package, as the innovations and process improvements brought by both these initiatives are necessary to make the sector more efficient, competitive, and attractive”, declared UNIFE Chairman Henri Poupart-Lafarge.

[ by Elena Ilie ]
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