FP5: Thematic Network on Rail Freight Services (RAILSERVE)
Head of the Project from TSI:
Igor Kabashkin, Dr. hab.sc.ing., Prof.
The project has been developed within of the Competitive and Sustainable Growth, one of the four thematic programmes of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme (1998-2002), conceived to tackle the key challenges facing European industry – sustainable transport, efficient and quality-based production, materials for the 21st century, measurement for quality control and more. In particular, RAILSERV focuses itself on the exchange of knowledge on European research and innovative services in the rail freight sector.
The main goal of RAILSERV is to assist in the revitalisation of rail transport. It reflects the importance of an effective and efficient freight transport system within the European unification process. Railways have the potential to contribute much to sustainable development although it is far from being realised yet. As a means to assist in achieving this, it is necessary to identify areas where research can lead to measures that enhance rail’s competitiveness in providing freight transport services.
The specific objectives are:
- collect and disseminate results and recommendations from research projects and demonstration activities to further the process of revitalising rail freight business
- recommend activities, including new proposals, for implementation
- dissemination activities and co-ordination with relevant international organisations.
The need for a common lobby platform for rail freight customers was one of the main conclusions of a large rail freight customer hearing held in Brussels on the 29th March 2001, in close co-operation with the European Commission. The hearing concluded a mismatch between the needs of the customers and the performance of the railway companies. This has led to a declining share of rail. Requirements to change this were also defined, for instance: implementation of rail liberalisation, improved reliability and information services of European rail freight services and a transparent pricing policy of the railway companies. The hearing concluded that a platform of rail freight customers is needed to ensure that the right actions are taken… (From Railserv Press Release)
Support to DG TREN activities (6th FP rail freight projects, participation to the World Congress of Intelligent Mobility in Turin) and Telematic Application for Freight group