image: SNCF / Jean-Jacques D'Angelo

New management for RailNetEurope

Paul Mazataud of SNCF Réseau follows Harald Hotz as president of RailNetEurope (RNE), an association of infrastructure managers to promote international train traffic. In its meeting on 19 May 2021, the RailNetEurope General Assembly elected the new RNE Managing Board.

Leaving RNE president Harald Hotz (ÖBB Infra) and vice-president Ann Billiau (Infrabel) were thanked for all the great work carried out over the years. The aim of RailNetEurope is to provide support to rail operators in their international activities (both for freight and passengers) and increase the efficiency of the infrastructure managers’ processes. In his inauguration speech, new president Paul Mazataud focused on three cornerstones he holds in high esteem for his two-year mandate: unity, acceleration, and visibility.

Opening of the passenger market

“All of RailNetEurope’s 38 full members and 11 associate members must strive to stay united in the idea that harmonisation and interoperability will bring benefits for their own business, but also for their clients and the environment. However, the acceleration of innovation is needed in a world where technology changes rapidly as well as other modes of transport”, said Mazataud.

Moreover, Paul Mazataud remarked that “with the full opening of the passenger market in Europe, many of us welcome a lot of new clients” and “we all need to cope with this changing environment. We must have state of the art and harmonised procedures and tools.” Finally, visibility for RNE and its work will be needed not least internally among the members. The newly elected president suggested to cultivate a frequent exchange between RNE’s Managing Board and the senior management of the members to both, promote the good work RNE is doing and to listen what the members expect from the organisation.

The new board

Next to RNE president Paul Mazataud (SNCF Réseau), the new board consists of the following vice presidents, including their areas of expertise:

  • Stefano Castro (RFI): Traffic Management and Train Performance Management
  • Michel Geubelle (Infrabel): RNE IT
  • Mirosław Kanclerz (PKP PLK): Network Statement & Corridor Information Document
  • Guus de Mol (ProRail): TTR General and Processes
  • Robert Prinz (ÖBB Infra): TCR
  • Péter Rónai (MÁV): Legal Matters
  • Stephan Schenk (SBB Infra): TTR IT
  • Oliver Sellnick (DB Netz): Corridor Management, CER Ambassador
  • Linda Thulin (Trafikverket): Sales (including TTR Commercial Conditions), Language Pro-
    gramme, EIM Ambassador

Strengthening international rail

RailNetEurope was set up in 2004 to help meet the challenges faced by the international rail sector.  RNE facilitates the operational international business of its members. RNE’s role is also to provide support as regards compliance with the European legal framework. This entails developing harmonised international business processes, templates, handbooks, and guidelines.

The outgoing president Harald Hotz, who was elected as RNE Vice-President in 2006 and served as RNE President for four consecutive terms since 2013, concluded his farewell address to the representatives of the RNE General Assembly with a strong claim for strengthening international rail traffic: “I have only one wish to you: The mission of RailNetEurope is to facilitate international rail traffic. Please regard yourselves as the first fighters in your companies at home in the struggle for overcoming national barriers.”

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Author: Esther Geerts


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