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Regulation - Articles and news items

After 10 years, IRIS enters a new phase

Issue 2 2017 / 19 March 2017 /

Ten years since the IRIS Certification™ was established, it is now a well-known business management system in the rail sector that enables any railway component supplier to meet globally recognised levels of quality for its railway products. IRIS Senior Manager, Angela de Heymer , outlines the latest developments of the standard that has issued more than 1,500 certificates across five continents.

Deal insight: overcoming competition hurdles in rail franchise awards

Issue 1 2017 / 31 January 2017 /

The UK’s Railways Act contains an obscure passage with deal-critical implications. If you enter a rail franchise agreement, you may need to first overcome competition law hurdles, the most immediate being: do you need clearance under merger control rules before you can proceed? This question stems from section 66(3) of the Railways Act 1993: by entering into a rail franchise agreement, a franchisee acquires control of a business, which could amount to a “relevant merger situation” in UK law, or a “concentration” in EU law. Which rules you follow (at least for as long as the UK remains in the EU) depends on the turnover of the bidder and the target franchise. If you are bidding for a rail franchise, how do you address this issue when responding to an Invitation To Tender (ITT)? Jeremy Robinson (Partner) and Vineet Budhiraja (Associate) at international law firm Watson Farley &Williams explore.

Mind the Gender Gap: upcoming regulations promise to shed light on inequality in the rail sector

Railway Extra, Z Homepage promo / 30 June 2016 /

A new report by Osborne Clarke discusses future rules on Gender Pay Gap Reporting in the UK and advises the rail sector on appropriate action.

The 4th FIVE – Fires in Vehicles conference that will take place October 5 – 6, 2016 in Baltimore, USA

Rail industry news / 9 March 2016 /

FIVE will bring together scientists, regulators, test engineers, industry, suppliers, insurance companies and other organizations from the diverse field of transportation to discuss important fire issues….

ORR and ARAF agree new approach to regulating Channel Tunnel access

Rail industry news / 16 March 2015 /

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and French rail regulator ARAF have today signed an agreement regulating Channel Tunnel access.

The vital need for the rail industry to get it right

Issue 6 2011 / 6 December 2011 /

A recently published figure by the Association of Train Operating Companies provides, I think, one of the best and most revealing snapshots of the railways today. Between 26 June and 17 September 2011, 314.3 million passenger journeys took place on Great Britain’s railways – up 5.3% from the same period in 2010. It is a huge number which highlights not only the importance, and necessity, of train travel to millions of people, but also emphasises how vital it is for the rail industry to get it right, and to meet all of the challenges ahead to ensure future success.

Since joining the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) as Chief Executive in May 2011, I have frequently spoken about the many challenges, yet great opportunities, ahead for the rail sector. As the rail industry is a long-term business, the decisions taken now, and the aims and objectives set, will affect the capacity and structures of the railways for decades to come. With the demand for train travel rising in a sustained way for the first time in generations, the whole rail industry, together, must make crucial decisions which will inform the direction of travel for the railways now and in the future.

It is vital that the industry demonstrates that it is capable of meeting the challenges ahead to ensure that our railways remain one of the top performing in the world.

Rhine-Rhône HSL: sustainable development in a rail sector environment

Issue 6 2011 / 6 December 2011 /

On 8 September 2011, Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) inaugurated the first part of the eastern branch of the Rhine-Rhône high-speed line. Included in the design and construction of this line, with its major socio-economic challenges, was a series of innovative environmental measures to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Rhine-Rhône HSL: the project
A European dimension

The Rhine-Rhône HSL will further strengthen France’s position in a Europe that is gradually expanding towards the East. Financial support from Switzerland and EU ‘priority link’ status, under the Trans-European Transport Network programme, both underline its recognised importance at community level.

Looking at the map of the present and future European network of high-speed lines, the strategic position of the Rhine-Rhône line is immediately apparent, as a major feeder at the core of mainland Europe and as a link between the different European territories.

What does the McNulty Rail Value for Money Study mean for Europe’s railways?

Issue 5 2011 / 22 September 2011 /

The Rail Value for Money Study commissioned in 2010 by Britain’s then Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, and the Office of Rail Regulation, and continued by the Coalition government, Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, was published in its final form in May 2011. It is to be followed by a government White Paper in late-2011, but in the meantime, accompanied by industry and media discussion of the Study’s recommendations – groundwork for implementation continues.

The primary conclusion, based on a top-down exercise and comparative benchmarking with railways in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, is that Britain’s railway should cost up to 40% less than it does and that cost savings of 30% should be achievable by 2018/2019. This would mean industry costs in that year of £8.5 billion (€9.77 billion) rather than the current £12 billion (€13.788 billion).

Ready for the challenges

Issue 3 2010 / 31 May 2010 /

Steering the global recession to an upswing assumes new ideas and solutions from all economic sectors, and a well-functioning transportation system is one of the most important success factors in this process – we can accelerate growth of the economy only with efficient logistics.

Office of Rail Regulation to monitor transparency of rolling stock information

Rail industry news / 23 February 2010 /

The regulator will monitor new rules to ensure rolling stock leasing companies provide train operating companies with transparent information.

Foreword: Belgium plans future growth

Issue 1 2010, Past issues / 28 January 2010 /

This year, Belgium will commemorate the 175th anniversary of the inauguration of the country’s first main line between Brussels and Malines.

2009: a new stage for the French Railway Industry Association

Issue 6 2009, Past issues / 12 December 2009 /

The environment of the French Railway Industry Association (FIF) members today has become much more complex than it was in the 80s and 90s, because France, like every European country, is currently in a long-term transition phase of its railway system. The end of the 90s marked the transition towards a new era, a transition of about 20 years and which admittedly, concerns not only France, but also, and to a similar extent, Europe.

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