Efficiency and cooperation of infrastructure managers
Infrastructure managers operating efficiently and responding to the needs of rail companies can make rail transport more attractive for new operators and customers. In addition, for the smooth functioning of the Single European Railway area, difficulties in managing cross-border operations and infrastructure interoperability barriers need to be overcome. Therefore an effective governance of railway infrastructure and cooperation of infrastructure managers at EU level is vital for the development of the Rail Freight Corridors and coordinated implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System ERTMS. It is also crucial to monitor the performance of infrastructure managers in order to improve the quality and efficiency of their services.
PRIME (Platform of Rail Infrastructure Managers in Europe) was established between DG MOVE and Infrastructure Managers at the end of 2013 with the objective to improve the cooperation of rail infrastructure managers across borders, support implementation of European rail policy and develop performance benchmarking for the exchange of best practices.
It is an informal forum, but is a forerunner of the formal network of the rail infrastructure managers as proposed in the 4th Railway Package . PRIME has nevertheless grown significantly both in terms of membership and scope of activities since its creation.
For further information please visit PRIME website .
Fully-fledged and independent infrastructure manager
Another challenge in improving the efficiency of infrastructure management is to warrant that operation, maintenance and development of infrastructure are managed in a consistent manner by a single entry. At the same time it is important to ensure that ensure that all operators would have non-discriminatory access. Therefore the 4th Railway Package has proposed to bring together all the function of infrastructure managers and as well as to foresee appropriate safeguards to ensure independence of infrastructure management from the interests of dominant railway operators.
All these challenges and steps taken so far are explained in the brochure ‘The Performing Rail Infrastructure Manager