Creation date: May 13, 2009
|Mr Vinck at the TEN-T EA|
European Coordinator for ERTMS Karel Vinck visited the TEN-T EA on Thursday 7 May 2009 to be better acquainted with the Agency and its work and in order to explain his role as European Coordinator and answer questions from staff.
Executive Director Dirk Beckers welcomed Mr Vinck to the Agency and delivered a short introductory presentation before leaving the floor to Mr Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, who explained in detail the functioning of the TEN-T EA Unit dealing with ERTMS, focusing on the importance of the system for European rail transport and outlining the situation of the current open call.
Mr Vinck agreed, in his own presentation, with the absolute importance of creating a harmonised and unified rail signalling system throughout Europe, something achievable only via the swift installation of ERTMS in all EU Member States. This will guarantee, according to the European Coordinator, full interoperability between Member States, removing bottlenecks from the lines and increasing travel speeds and safety levels. Mr Vinck stressed that, for this to be possible, it would be necessary to reduce the costs, for private companies, of migrating towards the new technology, something which the European Commission, through the calls and funds managed by the TEN-T EA, is already doing.
ERTMS-focused projects hence play a key role in the deployment of the system and provide a solution as society increasingly turns towards rail transport, perceiving it to be greener and more efficient than its alternatives.
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session between TEN-T EA staff and Mr Vinck during which a series of issues pertaining to ERTMS were raised, from financing and implementation to deployment and standards.
Mr Beckers then concluded the open session, which was followed by a closed one between the Coordinator, TEN-T EA Unit T2, DG TREN and ERA.
Mr Vinck was the third European Coordinator to visit the TEN-T EA, being preceded in February 2009 by Karla Peijs, which acts as Coordinator for Inland Waterways and in March 2009 by Péter Balázs.