Amber RFC Advisory Groups (AGs)
On 12 December 2017, the MB of Amber RFC formally approved the establishing templates for the set-up of the Amber RFC Railway Undertaking Advisory Group (RAG) and the Managers and Owners of the Terminals Advisory Group (TAG). For the purpose of establishing the Amber RFC advisory groups the MB developed two consultations papers: the Letter of Intent for establishing the Advisory Groups and the Rules of Consultation which lay down the principles for organisation and communication between the Management Board and the Advisory Groups. The governance of the internal functioning of the Advisory Groups and the organisation of their further meetings are not the task of the Management Board, it shall be defined by the AGs.
The official establishment of these two groups was achieved on 23 May 2018 at the Terminal of Brzesko in Poland. With this activity, the MB fulfilled the requirements of article 8.7 and 8.8 of Regulation 913/2010.
Prior to the official establishment of the Advisory Groups, the Parties held National Information Days for their customers (RUs and Terminals) where they already had the chance to give opinion on the corrdior’s draft route proposal, and their comments were taken into account and incorporated to the documents of Amber RFC.
The voice of customers is taken into account via the Terminal Managers and the Railway Undertakings Advisory Groups. Participation in Advisory Groups is on a voluntary basis, the joining parties have the right to leave the groups at any time and there is always room to join for interested RUs/ Terminals/ Authorised Applicants. Advisory Groups members have a dedicated area in the Amber RFC website, where all the materials under consultation are available.
One representative for each Advisory Group should be nominated to coordinate the position of the group. These people are the so-called Spokespersons. The Advisory Groups or their common representative may issue opinions and proposals to the MB regarding their decisions, which has direct consequences for the MB. The Advisory Group may also issue its own-initiative opinion. The MB shall take into account any opinion and proposal of the Advisory Group members regarding the proposed documents and its activities.
If the MB is not able to adopt the opinion or proposal of the Advisory Group member it shall be reasoned in writing. Regardless the outcome, the MB shall continue the consultation process with the Advisory Group until the mutually acceptable solution is reached.
If the MB and the Advisory Group are not able to find a mutually acceptable solution the MB may refer the matter to the Executive Board of the Amber RFC. The Executive Board decides on the substance of the problem between interested parties and informs involved parties about its opinion. In each case the MB issues a final decision.
Railway Undertaking Advisory Group (RAG)
The RAG represents a platform for railway undertakings to facilitate the exchange of information, recommendations and mutual understanding about technical and operational issues of rail operators on the Amber RFC with the MB.
Managers and Owners of the Terminals Advisory Group (TAG)
The TAG represents a platform for managers and owners of terminals and port authorities to facilitate the exchange of information or recommendations about technical and operational issues, respectively strategic plans for improvements of Amber RFC with the MB. The TAG may issue an opinion on any proposal by the MB which has direct consequences for investment and the management of terminals.
Kick-off event on 23rd May 2018 at the Terminal of Brzesko in Poland
At the kick-off event of 23 May 2018, the RUs highlighted the most important priorities which shall be in the focus of the Management Board.
It was mentioned that many corridors offer PaPs which are not fitting to the market needs. It was advised to the MB to make consultation with the customers before offering any PaPs. Furthermore, the MB (and its IMs) was encouraged to lobby at their national governments for the implementation of the TEN-T minimum infrastructure requirements, such as electrification, line speed of 100 km/h, axle load of 225 kN, train length of 740 meters and ERTMS deployment till 2030.
There are always problems in Europe with each corridor concerning the harmonization of TCRs. It was also mentioned that lately announced and non-announced TCRs shall be avoided as much as possible in the future.
The RUs will be involved into the preparation process of the Bottlenck Study which will deal with the identification of infrastructural, operational, capacity and administrative bottlenecks, referred to in Chapters 2.5.2, 6.3.2 and 6.4.