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Government under pressure to open up rail passenger services

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Railway infrastructure: Commission urges GREECE and IRELAND to enact EU law on rail market opening and governance

Today, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Greece and Ireland urging them to communicate the national measures taken to transpose EU rules on the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail and the governance of the railway infrastructure (Directive (EU) 2016/2370) which are parts of the 4thRailway Package. In December 2016, Member States agreed to transpose the Directive into national law by 25 December 2018. In January 2019, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice requesting Greece and Ireland to comply with the Directive. To date, however, Greece and Ireland have still not communicated to the Commission which measures have been taken to that end.  They now have two months to comply with their obligations; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the EU.

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technically there are 3 operators in ireland doing passenger services already irish rail and translink for public trains and the rpsi for their own non timetabled public specails . in  reality how much room is there for new operators working on current routes

 

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Operating a full-size public railway as a commercial entity anywhere on the island of Ireland is not going to be anywhere near economically viable. It’ll have to be subsidised. 

Therefore it is (a) cheaper to provide it through the nationalised service (no “fat cats” and shareholders to pay), and (b) of no interest to a commercial company - unless subsidies are paid to it - i.e. back to square one.

Greece is almost certainly in the same boat.

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Without getting political, the EU seems to have trouble seeing reason on occasions.

Stephen

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3 hours ago, Wexford70 said:

Railway infrastructure: Commission urges GREECE and IRELAND to enact EU law on rail market opening and governance

Today, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Greece and Ireland urging them to communicate the national measures taken to transpose EU rules on the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail and the governance of the railway infrastructure (Directive (EU) 2016/2370) which are parts of the 4thRailway Package. In December 2016, Member States agreed to transpose the Directive into national law by 25 December 2018. In January 2019, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice requesting Greece and Ireland to comply with the Directive. To date, however, Greece and Ireland have still not communicated to the Commission which measures have been taken to that end.  They now have two months to comply with their obligations; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Hi!

Do you have a link to the original article please?

Cheers!

Fran

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34 minutes ago, mphoey said:

technically there are 3 operators in ireland doing passenger services already irish rail and translink for public trains and the rpsi for their own non timetabled public specails . in  reality how much room is there for new operators working on current routes

 

Four, you have Belmond and then on the PW side of things you have Rhomberg Sersa as an Infrastructure Operator.

 

 

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forgot Belmond but not really  a public train per say but yes has an operators licence so theres the governments answer Ireland has been opened up

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23 minutes ago, mphoey said:

forgot Belmond but not really  a public train per say but yes has an operators licence so theres the governments answer Ireland has been opened up

Not pre say. Irish Rail is still both operator and owner of Infrastructure. It hasn't officially spilt into two seprate companies. The revelant standards and such for operations have not be fully written, although are at an advanced stage.

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The Directive basically forces the Government to open up domestic rail passenger services within the Republic to competitive tendering.  https://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-services/public-service-obligation-contracts/

The Government have been preparing to open up rail services to competitive tendering for several years, with IE operating as a "shadow franchise" operating passenger services under a PSO contract for the NTA as regulator. The next logical step would be to transfer the railways to NTA ownership (in a similar manner to LUAS) and split IE into separate operating and infrastructure companies.

Interestingly both Greece and Ireland have been more than happy to accept EU money to upgrade their railway systems, but are reluctant to play by the rules in implementing EU rail directives.

While I see little point in squeezing rail workers wages and conditions in order to export profits overseas, DB, Transdev or even an IE management buy-out would probably result in an improved level of service and value for money in terms of public subsidy that the current set up

 

"4th Rail Package

The market pillar will complete the process of gradual market opening started with the 1st railway package. It establishes the general right for railway undertakings established in one Member State to operate all types of passenger services everywhere in the EU, lays down rules aimed at improving impartiality in the governance of railway infrastructure and preventing discrimination and introduces the principle of mandatory tendering for public service contracts in rail. Competition in rail passenger service markets will encourage railway operators to become more responsive to customer needs, improve the quality of their services and their cost-effectiveness.   The competitive tendering of public service contracts will enable savings of public money.  The market pillar is expected to deliver more choice and better quality of rail services for European citizens, these being the overriding objectives.

The technical pillar is designed to boost  the competitiveness of the railway sector by significantly reducing costs and administrative burden for railway undertakings wishing to operate across Europe. In particular, it will

  • save firms from having to file costly multiple applications in the case of operations beyond one single Member State. ERA will issue vehicle authorizations for placing on the market and safety certificates for railway undertakings, valid throughout the EU. So far, railway undertakings and manufacturers needed to be certified separately by each relevant national safety authority.
  • create a "One stop shop" which will act as a single entry point for all such applications, using easy, transparent and consistent procedures.
  • ensure that European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) equipment is interoperable.
  • reduce the large number of remaining national rules, which create a risk of insufficient transparency and disguised discrimination of new operators."

 

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I believe in the principle ‘you never quite get what you pay for”, and this applies especially to the modern way of delivering railway passenger services If you take the UK as an example, and a very bad example in many people’s eyes, the tendering process is done with government, not the public, and everything is for the government’s benefit, not the public’s. Rail passenger travel may have doubled in the past 20 years but have things really got any better? Investment is still driven by government, because they are by far the biggest payer.

On all main routes there is no competition, the operator having agreed to pay the government the largest fee, or conversely require the smallest subsidy. The only competition is by way of open access, and that is severely restricted in what it can provide on the main operator’s route. Surely Ireland, even considering the two parts together, is too small for the EU directive to be effectively delivered. Good regulation will get the best out of the system.

Stephen

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The EU should also take a look at Translink who along with the DFI block any proposal to re-open railways in NI for the last 2o years at least in favour of buses/roads. Indeed NI is the only region in Britain/Ireland not to have any completely closed railways re-opened for passengers in this century.

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Ireland HAS opened up.

In order for the RPSI to function it has become (HAD to become) a bona fife registered railway operating company.

Having said that, IE don’t publicise their theoretical “openness”.

The elephant in the room is this - there isn’t the remotest hope, even in the eye of the Borissite-Thatcher Head, of any commercial company making a solitary red cent out of railway operation in this country.

The directors of the GNR learned this in 1953, in my fathers time.

What sort of crass idiocy might suggest otherwise sixty years later?

Addendum: I accept the reality of the EU, and I support it1000%. However, I thoroughly support any spanner that might be thrown by IE and / or NIR into a pond which houses fish who advocate Thatcherite policies within our railways.

Good night! Over’n’out.

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Posted (edited)

You vill do as you are told, that seems to be the way it is in Ireland these days.

'How do you want me', respond various gimps.

Edited by NIR
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People seem to misunderstanding what the requirement for openess that EU requires.

 

Irish Rail Infrastructure must not display any favoritism towards any operator. If DB wanted to set up shop, it must meet the same requirements as Irish Rail Ops, RPSI, Rosenburgh & Translink Ops do. What the EU require is that Irish Rail Infrastructure cannot set up requirements that only Irish Rail Ops can achieve.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NIR said:

You vill do as you are told, that seems to be the way it is in Ireland these days.

'How do you want me', respond various gimps.

Not really 

Its more " well you were part of the group that initiated this , were part of the consultancy group that spent probably the best part of a decade formulating it - your ministers signed off on it , your meps voted and amended it and your own parliament discussed and voted for it ......what are the chances you might put it into action along with everybody else"

The EU commission is like quality control or a standards body - they are there to enforce and check that u are doing what you said you were going to do - they issue directives to enforce the minimum standard that all 28 member states signed up to and without which a single market with open borders simply cannot function.

Unfortunately there has been a tendency to nationalise success and stuff we like that the eu does and europeanise failure or anything we dont like or that might construed as tough politically.....all member states politicians and media do it to a degree - tho nothing as extreme as the lads across the irish sea - which is deeply ironic as the single market and all that has flowed from is very much a British conservative construction - go figure as the yanks say.......

This railway directive is just a box ticking exercise that our poor overworked civil service havent got around to doing yet😁......it wont effect anything on the ground as Ireland is barely railway country anymore......The Greeks probably had more pressing issues in the last decade - tho they are building new railway - the old narrow guage Pelloponessian railway that i used everyday when i lived in Greece many moons ago is no more and gradually being replaced by a standard guage "modern " railway and all that entails......

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32 minutes ago, DoctorPan said:

People seem to misunderstanding what the requirement for openess that EU requires.

 

Irish Rail Infrastructure must not display any favoritism towards any operator. If DB wanted to set up shop, it must meet the same requirements as Irish Rail Ops, RPSI, Rosenburgh & Translink Ops do. What the EU require is that Irish Rail Infrastructure cannot set up requirements that only Irish Rail Ops can achieve.

 

 

Exactly, it's to promote fair competition and provide better results for citizens. Very simple, nothing more. 

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27 minutes ago, Warbonnet said:

Exactly, it's to promote fair competition and provide better results for citizens. Very simple, nothing more. 

Exactly. It also allows IE Infrastructure as they are becoming, to piggyback off research and standards that other European railways have adapted and tweak them to suit their requirements. And as a member of the commitee and someone who writes specs and standards, it's vastly easier to tweak existing standards than draft standards from scratch. 

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