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EU and USA exchange best practices on rail

4-8 November 2013

EU and USA exchange best practices on rail

A delegation of EU Commission officials and representatives of the European Railway Agency have joined the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE) on a recent visit to Washington DC. At a Round Table organised by the US House of Representatives Transport and Infrastructure Committee Staff on “Best Passenger Rail Practices from Around the Globe”, participants showed great interest in the EU's approach. A technical meeting between EU representatives and the US Federal Railroad Administration showed the many similarities in the challenges to railway safety and interoperability, and an interest in each other's research activities. It was agreed to exchange as much information as possible.

The signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNIFE and the American Public Transportation Association APTA was celebrated with a reception at the EU Delegation, opened by Ambassador João Vale de Almeidal. He said: "Rail transport is a perfect illustration of how Europeans and Americans secretly admire and wonder about each other. Americans traveling through Europe love the fast and comfortable Passenger High-Speed Rail Network - which after three decades is still far from being complete - that is bringing Europe closer together. Europeans stand in wonder when they hear that American freight trains carry more than 40% of intercity cargo and have invested almost half a trillion dollars of private money since their deregulation in 1980. We can learn a lot from each other, both on the technical and on the regulatory side."