European Rail Congress  

Welcome to the newsletter of the European Rail Congress, an industry Summit and annual Rail Awards ceremony. Our monthly newsletters will keep you informed with everything you need to know about the Event. They will also include insightful commentary and analysis on topical issues from key players across the European rail market.


Mobility lies at the heart of the European Single Market. It allows citizens to enjoy the freedom to travel and it permits commerce, growth and the creation of jobs. The competitiveness of European companies is significantly determined by the efficiency of freight transport and logistics. Due to increasing specialization, but also due to changes in consumer behaviour the volume of freight traffic in the European Union has increased in past years. The international division of labour has generated growth and prosperity, but also caused congestion, noise and emissions of greenhouse gases. It is therefore our aim to steer the growth of freight transport towards sustainable and efficient tracks.

Completing the internal market by access to market for all rail operators
Currently only about 10% of European cargo and 6% of passengers are carried by rail. If we want to get more passengers and freight on Europe's railways, customers need to have an attractive choice.

The 4th railway package aims at completing the internal market in rail transport by allowing access to the market to all operators in order to improve service quality and efficiency. The independence of infrastructure managers needs to be strengthened so that they can ensure fair access for all European operators to the railway. The European Railway Agency should become a "one stop shop" issuing EU wide vehicle authorisations for placing on the market as well as EU wide safety certificates for operators. A more competitive and more widely used railway system will contribute to the competitiveness of our manufacturing industry and benefit users and public budgets alike.

Much progress has been made. The European Parliament completed its first reading on the whole package at the end of February, supporting the Commission's ambitions on the technical pillar. At the same time the European Parliament did not follow the Commission's ambition on the key role of infrastructure managers in the rail system and on the issue of tendering for public service contracts. The Council is about to complete its examination of the technical pillar (interoperability, safety and the reinforcement of the European Rail Agency) and should have reviewed the market pillar (domestic passenger services market opening and governance issues) before the end of the 2014.




European Rail Congress Awards 2014
The European Rail Congress is calling for companies throughout the European rail sector to submit examples of industry success and showcase best practice at the 2nd annual European Rail Congress awards ceremony being held in central London on 11 November 2014.

European Rail Congress Brochure

The Awards will celebrate and reward railway excellence across 18 different areas ranging from passenger and freight operator of the year to excellence in technology. Entries are accepted from both EU and non-EU European countries. To enter the awards, companies are invited to submit their applications online at by the 30 April 2014. Winners will be announced at the ceremony and dinner in November.

The Awards judging panel is chaired by the European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee Chair Brian Simpson MEP, and includes Matthias Ruete, Director General, European Commission - DG Move; Monika Heiming, Executive Director, European Infrastructure Managers (EIM); François Coart, President, European Rail Freight Association (ERFA); Marcel Verslype, Executive Director, European Railway Agency (ERA); Alain Flausch, Secretary General, UITP; and Willy Smeulders, Board Member, European Passenger Federation (EPF).

Chair of the Awards judging panel, Brian Simpson MEP, who is also Chair of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, said: "Following last year's successful inaugural awards, we are looking forward to seeing further evidence of excellence and innovation across a wide spectrum of railway professionalism on the European rail network. Winners of these prestigious awards will truly be representing best practice in the European rail sector, especially given it will be the views and opinions of highly regarded peers that determine the award winners."

The European Rail Congress combines a prestigious award ceremony and summit designed to celebrate achievements of the European rail industry in providing efficient, high quality and safe connectivity across Europe; reducing Europe's emission of greenhouse gases; boosting jobs and economic growth; and facilitating European competitiveness. It also provides the chance for key rail industry figures from right across the European continent to come together and discuss and debate key challenges and opportunities for the European rail sector.

Entrants can make their submissions online to the 18 different award categories.

Deadline for entries:
30 April 2014

Entries are welcome from both EU and non-EU European countries.

Award winners will be announced at the 2014 Awards ceremony in London on 11 November 2014.

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