EFRTC General Meeting Milan, 6th October 2017

At the kind invitation of the A.N.I.A.F. – the Italian rail contractors association the EFRTC (European Federation of Railways Trackworks Contractors) held its General Meeting in Milan on 6th October 2017. It gathered senior managers of leading railways contractors from most of European countries – representing France, Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland and host country Italy.

The Delegates were welcomed by ANIAF President Sen. Prof. Dott. Salvatore Margiotta during the Gala dinner at the eve of the General Meeting and Working session was opened by the EFRTC President, Jean Pierre Bertrand. In his speech he briefly summarized what was performed under his Presidency. He also touched upon the changes in market environment and its impact on the contractors.

A record of his address can be downloaded here.

The EFRTC President reported on the outcome of the Policy & Research Committee and all Board meetings held since the last GM. He also provided information on the events he attended with an emphasis to kick off EC DG GROW Kick of meeting on Competitiveness of the railway industry hold at EC in March 2017.

Secretary General informed on the issues relevant to contractors from various meetings he attended, in particular

  • RFE (Rail Forum Europe) event on MEAT principles
  • EC C4R project workshop organized by EFRTC jointly with UIC
  • UNIFE General Assembly
  • UNIRAILINFRA Committee meetings
  • UNIFE Digitalisation platform meetings and others

Download the presentation here 

The Delegates have been further informed on progress of the works made by three Specialists Interests Group namely Safety, Procurement and Digitalisation.

Safety Group led by Miquel Llevat, EFRTC Board member (COMSA Spain), gathered information on safety indicators as applied in various countries and overview of the follow up of the EN safety standards. He commented on benchmarking of best safety practices at work and confidential analysis of the most important accident / incidents and lessons learnt.

Download the presentation here 

The SIG Safety Chairman’s report was amended by the presentation of Mr. Stuart Spriggs, Volker Rail who provided valuable information in responding to SIG Safety questionnaire but also presented a UK approach to rail safety covering issues such as risk management, safety culture, quality, health and wellbeing, learning process, and sustainability. In particular the approach to psychological behavior for rail safety attracted the interest of participants.

Download the presentation here 

Procurement Group chaired by EFRTC President, Mr. Jean-Pierre Bertrand (SETVF France and UK Coals Rail), continued to follow up transposition of EC Directives in national law/practices, digitalisation of procurement procedures, monitoring of the implementation of MEAT principles (Most Economically Advantages Tenders) and review of criteria commonly used in clients – contractors’ practices.

The SIG Chairman presented the outcome of the SIG Procurement meeting held in London in May which was also attended by Mr. Martin Platzer, Chairman of the UNIFE Unirailinfra Committee and key note speaker at RFE on MEAT principles. At this meeting the group agreed to joint its effort with UNIFE with the aim to lobbying European institutions to increase the exposure on public authorities including Infrastructure managers for implementing these principles.

Download the presentation here 

The Digitalisation Group under the Chairmanship of the EFRTC Vice President, Garry Thuer (VSBTU Switzerland and RSRG Austria), decided to focus its work on BIM (Building Information Modelling) for railway infrastructure with main concern of contractors to track renewal and maintenance. Several EFRTC companies agreed to work jointly with the aim at establishing common database, interfaces and finally standards to be applied by all partners involved in supply chain. To these objectives the group will seek cooperation with Infrastructure Managers and competent software house.

Due to lack of time it was impossible to proceed with workshop as suggested by the presentation, however, the SIG Chairman will organize a meeting and invite parties concerned still before the end of the year.

Download the presentation here 

At the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Federation, General Secretary reviewed last decade achievements with references to some most important such as e.g. simplification and cross acceptance of On Track Machine through the European legislation (TSI Loc & Pas and CEN standards) and set of EN standards on safety protection of staff working on the track now being transposed into national norms. A particular mention was be made to the Market strategies report delivered jointly with our clients - European associations of Infrastructure Managers (CER & EIM) to European Parliament with presence of EC, industry and all railway stakeholders which contributed to an increased visibility of EFRTC at European landscape and its recognition as an important rail contractors association.

Download the presentation here 

On behalf of UNIFE (European Railways Industry Association) who is one of the most important EFRTC partner, Nicolas Furio presented European policy issues and developments relevant to contractors such as Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy delivered recently to EC, follow-up of the Resolution on the Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry, Public Procurement, Preparation of the next (post-2020) MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) and implementation of 4th Railway Package.

Download the presentation here 

The Delegates also acknowledged that market environment has significantly changed as it was documented in very interesting presentation of the EFRTC Honorary President Jo Urlings. They have hence also discussed how to adapt in order to respond the future challenges in its internal session. It was recognized that current format of Federation is not any more sustainable because of contractors are now more and more global player at European level and even in world market enhancing the portfolio of services far behind just of track as integrated infrastructure provider. The future business models shall be studied and implemented for the successor of the current Federation under the new denomination - ERC as European Rail Contractors. In the afternoon the EFRTC Delegates have a pleasure to listen to Italian guests’ presentations, namely

  • Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A. Presentation: “RFI in Italy and abroad”, Eng. Umberto Lebruto – Direction Production Download the presentation here 
  • Università Politecnico di Milano Presentation: “A model for supporting maintenance strategies for the railroad infrastructure”, Profs. Engs. Federico Perotti and Caludio di Prisco – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Eng. Andrea Collina – Department of Mechanics Download the presentation here 
  • Italfer S.p.A. Presentation: “Railway Engineering in the experience of Italferr”, Eng. Andrea Nardinocchi – Technical Direction Download the presentation here 

They were impressed by performance and wide range services of RFI - Italian Railways, capabilities of Italian academia to provide scientific support and in particular the innovative approaches of Italfer to improve railway infrastructure.

The presentation of first BIM applications for design of Napoli – Barri attracted interests of contractors who sees it as an great opportunity to enter into cooperation with infrastructure managers and engineering companies for achieving also objectives of our BIM Group for setting up interphase and common standards for wide implementation of BIM for design, construction, renewal and maintenance of railway infrastructure.