Meetings of IRG-Rail working groups at UTK


Between 12 and 14 February 2020 meetings of IRG-Rail working groups took place at headquarters of the Office of Rail Transport (Pol. Urząd Transportu Kolejowego, UTK) in Warszawa, Poland. The main meeting topics were access to railway infrastructure and charges stemming from that. IRG-Rail is a group gathering independent railway market regulators from 31 European countries.

UTK hosted meetings of the following groups:

  • Charges Working Group;
  • Access Working Group;
  • Sub-Group Charges for Service Facilities.

During its meeting the first group has continued work concerning the new timetable revision options, discussed matters related to the new mandate regarding the temporary capacity restrictions, as well as the functioning of railway freight corridors.

The second of the aforementioned groups discussed future activities with regard to the updating of the review on access charges' systems, summed up the current state of work on the analysis of mark-ups in international passenger transfers, as well as the planned IRG-Rail report on market segmentation and application of mark-ups.

The last group worked on the IRG-Rail document related to the charges on access to freight terminals, as well as the way of establishing the "reasonable profit".

Charges and access groups also held a joint meeting where they discsussed charges related to the cancellation and modification of train routes, and also on how to improve the processes managing the railway network capacity.

What is IRG-Rail?

IRG-Rail gathers independent railway regulators from 31 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Northern Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain and Poland.

The main goal of IRG-Rail is to facilitate the creation of a single, competitive, effective and sustainable railway market in Europe. IRG-Rail acts as a cooperation platform, also enabling exchange of information and best practices among the national railway regulatory bodies in order to face the current and future regulation challenges with regard to railway systems. It also provides for promotion of coherent application of European regulatory framework. The group cooperates with the European Commission regarding the preparation of, as well as issues its opinions on EU legal acts and regulations.

UTK has been an active member of IRG-Rail forums. The confirmation of that was the election of a Polish representative from UTK to chair IRG-Rail in 2016 (this post is a tenured one). Currently the Belgian regulation office's representative holds the chair of IRG-Rail. The discussions on the international level allow for understanding of the specifics of each railway market, enable the exchange of experience by regulatory bodies, as well as formulation of the most suitable approach to the regulation of the railway market within the single European market, where EU regulations are in effect.

You can find more information on IRG-Rail at this address.

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