The Office of Rail Transport (UTK) was established on 1 June 2003 by way of the transformation of the Chief Railway Inspectorate.
UTK upholds the cohesion of the rail system by supervising the technical solutions that influence rail traffic and rail system safety.
The Management of the Office of Rail Transport:
Ignacy Góra – President of the Office of Rail Transport (UTK) Radosław Pacewicz – General Director of the Office of Rail Transport (UTK)
The President of the Office of Rail Transport is a regulator with jurisdiction over cases of:
- regulating the rail transport market,
- licensing rail transport,
- technical supervision over the operation and maintenance of railway lines and railway vehicles,
- rail traffic safety,
- supervising the observance of passenger rights in rail transport,
- train driving licences and certificates.
The Office of Rail Transport also performs its tasks in the field of monitoring rail market development, improving rail transport safety standards and cooperating with European institutions responsible for the functioning and development of the common rail services market.
The tasks of the President of UTK
◄ in the field of technical supervision over the operation of railway lines and rail traffic safety:
- issuing, extending, amending and revoking safety authorisations, certificates and attestations, and also keeping registers of these documents:
- controlling the conformity of activities performed by infrastructure managers and railway undertakings with Community and national laws in the field of safety,
- authorising the placing in service of new or heavily modified rolling stock,
- issuing type approvals for structures and equipment intended for rail traffic management and type approvals for railway vehicles, and keeping a register of these approvals,
- controlling the performance of obligations by managers, railway undertakings and side-track users in respect of rail transport safety, and especially the observance of rules of rail traffic management and signalling, and technical conditions for railway vehicle operation,
- supervising the observance of safety rules in rail transport and the correct maintenance and operation of railway lines and side tracks,
- monitoring, promoting, implementing and expanding the scope of safety regulations, including the national safety rule system,
- maintaining the National Vehicle Register,
- supervising centres that provide training for advisers in the transport of dangerous goods by rail,
- appointing examination boards and granting powers to advisers on the transport of dangerous goods by rail (the President of UTK, as the National Safety Authority, supervises the safety of transport of dangerous goods by rail, conducts examination and grants powers to advisers in the safety of such transport),
- supervising the implementation of post-accident recommendations issued by the National Railway Accident Investigation Committee,
- preparing annual assessments of rail traffic safety to be submitted to the Minister of Infrastructure and the European Railway Agency.
The President of the Office of Rail Transport, under his/her supervision, by way of a decision, can:
- suspend or limit the rail traffic on a railway line or its section in the event of identifying any risk to rail traffic safety,
- withdraw a railway vehicle from operation or limit its operation, if it ceases to meet technical requirements.
◄ in the field of rail transport regulation:
- authorising and coordinating charges for the use of allocated paths as part of the rail infrastructure, in respect of their conformity with the rules of setting these charges,
- supervising the provision of non-discriminatory access to the railway infrastructure for railway undertakings, including undertakings with their registered offices in Member States,
- supervising the equal treatment of all railway undertakings by infrastructure managers, especially in respect of examining applications for the provision of paths and calculation of charges,
- supervising the correctness of the calculation of basic charges for using the railway infrastructure and additional charges for providing supplementary services,
- examining complaints by railway undertakings in respect of the rules and regulations, allocating paths and imposing charges for using the railway infrastructure,
- collecting and analysing information on the rail transport market,
- assessing draft transport plans in terms of passenger transport by rail,
- assessing draft public service agreements,
- supervising the conclusion of agreements on the provision of railway infrastructure,
- cooperating with the relevant bodies in respect of preventing railway managers and railway undertakings from using monopolistic practices, and in respect of coordinating the operation of the rail transport market and respecting passengers’ rights,
- imposing fines in line with the Act,
- making decisions on open access,
- examining the cases of occasional passenger transport.
The purpose of the liberalisation of the rail market is to:
- build a competitive rail transport market and make it possible for undertakings to enter this market,
- create equal operational conditions for all railway undertakings on national markets and within the whole Community,
- standardise technical solutions,
- separate railway infrastructure management from railway operation,
- remedy the financial structure of railway undertakings,
- provide international groups of railway enterprises with access to the railway network of Member States.