TSI regulations fuel the need for closer cooperation across Europe
Utrecht/Brussels 18 September 2015 – Hit Rail B.V., one of Europe’s leading organisations spearheading the drive towards interoperability between railway operators across the continent, has recently opened a representative office in Brussels to enable it to work more closely and effectively with European institutions and other railway organisations.
Located in the Avenue des Arts 53, Hit Rail’s new office occupies the same building as several other railway interest groups, including the seat of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and representative offices of the International Union of Railways (UIC), the Polish State Railways (PKP), Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB) and other rail bodies. Hit Rail already works closely with all these bodies and the new office will help to promote this cooperation. The close proximity to other European Union institutions is also a major advantage.
Hit Rail is itself a representative body for the rail industry. It was established in 1990 by 12 of Europe’s leading railway companies with the initial aim of operating the Hermes data transmission network. The new office opens as the rail industry moves towards closer cooperation to implement the European Union’s TSI regulations - the Technical Specifications for Interoperability of Telematics Applications for Freight (TAF) and Passenger services (TAP).
The company retains its legal seat and headquarters in Utrecht in the Netherlands, but felt the need to be closer to the European institutions by opening a representative office in Brussels. This is in line with a strategic decision taken by Hit Rail some years ago, to accompany its traditional business of operating the Hermes network with the development of the Hermes Open Services HEROS – a portfolio of products and services aimed at supporting the European railway undertakings and infrastructure managers in complying with the TAF and TAP Regulations.
The opening of the Brussels office follows a meeting between Hit Rail and officers of the EU Directorate on Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) overseeing the TSI programme to discuss further developments in Hit Rail’s HEROS platform in order to fulfill the needs of the European rail community. Hit Rail representatives also took part in the first TAF/TAP regional workshop in Madrid in June, organized by ERA for support of the Spanish and Portuguese RUs and IMs. Earlier this year the company also signed a cooperation agreement with Raildata, a special group within the International Union of Railways which is active in the development and production of central information and data exchange systems for European freight rail transport.
Antonio Lopez, Managing Director of Hit Rail, said: “This is an important step for Hit Rail in taking our rightful place amongst the major actors in the European rail landscape. We are closely involved in the implementation of the TSI regulations and to do so we need to be able to work effectively with all the other major rail organisations and rail operating companies and react quickly to developments. It makes great strategic sense to have a physical presence in Brussels.”