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ERA and the Digitalisation of Railways. Creating a lean and efficient regulatory framework for customer-friendly digital railways

On May 3rd 2016 the Florence School of Regulation organized an executive seminar in collaboration with the European Railway Agency (ERA) to discuss the digitalisation of railways and the evolving role of ERA. Different railway stakeholders and experts expressed their point of view on the regulatory context of the digitalisation of railways. Indeed, digitalisation bears a lot of promise to make railways more customer-friendly, comfortable, affordable, and competitive. Digitalisation should, above all, be an opportunity to correct the current inefficiencies of the railway sector, such as the cost of production per person/t kilometre and the customer dissatisfaction. In addition, the achievement of a truly “data enabled railways” should be part of a wider strategic agenda for the railway system developed in line with the political priorities of the European Commission.

The discussions revolved around three thematic panels: Telematic applications for freight and passengers; Removing barriers for a digital Single European Railway Area (SERA); Automated Train Operations (ATO).

In the conclusions of this event, which are now openly available, you can find:

  • A comment by Prof Matthias Finger on the Digital Transformation of Railways and the Role of Regulation;
  • A summary of the most important arguments of this executive seminar.

Furthermore, together with the conclusions, powerpoint presentations are available on the webpage of the event.