Image: EIM

Rail partners’ declaration on Digitalisation of Railways

A group of Europe’s most influential rail stakeholders and associations have collaborated to issue a declaration on the development of digital-based railways, calling on the European Commission to ‘uphold digitalisation’ as a key priority and ensure its importance is reflected in future funding.

The six organisations have produced a document, Joint Rail Sector Declaration on Digitalisation of Railways, which says it reaffirms each organisation’s commitment to providing products and services using digital technologies for the benefit of the people.

‘Backbone of transport in Europe’

It has been signed by Libor Lochman, Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Managers (CER); Monika Heiming, Executive Director of the Association of European Railway Infrastructure Managers; Julia Lamb, Secretary General of the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA); Gilles Peterhans, Secretary General of the International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP); Thomas Avanzata, Director of the European Department of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP – Union Internationale des Transports Publics; and Philippe Citroën, Director General of the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE).

“Digitalisation is ever more present in all aspects of life, and offers enormous opportunities and challenges”, says the document. “The rail sector, as the backbone of transport in Europe, is not new to the digital age, and is today intensifying its use of digital technologies in order to match the pace and scope of digitalisation in the wider transport chain and to adapt to customer expectations on safety, security, punctuality, capacity, transparency, and information availability. Intense and constructive cooperation of the rail sector with the European Commission is key to accelerate this process.

‘Continuously adapting’

“The shared objective of all rail stakeholders is to offer highly efficient and attractive transport options to their customers, and digitalisation is a key tool to achieve this in a fast-moving technology environment. To foster the rail sector’s attractiveness and competitiveness, we are continuously adapting to the changing needs of end-users, for whom commuting mobile apps and real-time information has become part of everyday life.

The sector therefore welcomes numerous initiatives on open data and expects that any new legislative initiative on data policy will take into consideration the already existing sectorial legislation. This will allow to better promote transport data opening while taking into account specificities of railways for the benefit of customers.”

Download the document here.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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