Forum Strategic Partnership 1520: “We have to overcome the barriers”

Vienna, 22nd February 2018 - On the second day of the Forum “Strategic Partnership 1520: Central Europe”, which took place from the 20.-22. February in Vienna, questions of interoperability between the 1435 and 1520 gauge systems as well as the harmonization of technical, administrative and legal standards were discussed. Particular attention has been paid to the technological and economic change that the railway industry is subject to, as well as the possibility of compatibility of the various European and Eurasian track-width systems.

During the discussion, Mantas Bartushka, General Director of Lithuanian Railways, noted: "Chinese subsidies are contributing to the growth of the transport sector, while e-commerce and new IT technologies are changing the industry. The railways need to adapt to this trend and provide transport services faster and more efficiently, also we need to further digitize our operations. The capacities are available, we just have to use them accordingly."

Sergey Sharapov, deputy scientific director at the Moscow “Institute for Economy and Transport Development”, also emphasized the importance of interoperability for national railway companies to increase transport volumes and efficient freight transport: “Interoperability can significantly increase the competitiveness of railways in EU countries, as well as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, by overcoming barriers. Non-compatibility concerns first of all the track gauge, the dimensions of rolling stocks, the parameters of railway lines, management and control systems, and legislation."

Other participants in the discussion included Gennady Bessonov, Secretary-General for the Coordination of Trans-Siberian Transport, Viktor Golomolzin, Chairman of the Kaliningrad Railway, Attila Kiss, Secretary of the Organization for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD) and Hans-Joachim Schramm, Lecturer at the Institute for Transport and Logistics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

“Strategic Partnership 1520” is an international Business Forum established with the aim of pooling and coordinating the efforts of the players in the Eurasian transport market to create a holistic infrastructure in international transport corridors and to contribute to the development of efficient transport solutions for the carriage of passengers and freight. It is organized by the company Business Dialogue in main partnership with ÖBB-Holding AG and Russian Railways (RŽD).

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