71st meeting of Council on Rail Transport opens in Minsk
The 71st meeting of the Council on Rail Transport of the Commonwealth Member States opened in the Belarusian capital Minsk on 15 October 2019.
Taking part in the meeting are Council members: the heads of railway administrations in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and the Council’s associate members: the heads of railway administrations in Georgia, Latvia and Finland, as well as the heads of railways in Estonia, Lithuania, Iran, Mongolia and Turkey.
Also present at the meeting’s opening were Dmitry Mezentsev, the Russian Ambassador to Belarus, Vladimir Kuharev, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, and Alexei Avramenko, the Minister of Transport and Communications of Belarus.
Oleg Belozerov, Chairman of the Council and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, noted the key role played in operating the single 1520 Space by Belarusian Railways, which is hosting the Council’s 71st meeting.
"Today, Belarusian Railways is a well-developed transport system. It is located at the crossroads of the main transport routes connecting Western Europe, Russia, Central Asia and China and the Black and Baltic Sea regions. The rail system is at the interface between two transport systems, the 1435 mm narrow gauge track used in Europe, and the 1520 mm broad gauge system used in the Former Soviet Union and the railway transport law of the CIM/SMGS Common Consignment Note," said Oleg Belozerov.
[The CIM, the Convention Internationale concernant le transport des Marchandises par chemin de fer, has been in force since 1965. The Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail is known by its Russian acronym SMGS].
Scheduled for discussion during the Council on Rail Transport meeting is a wide range of issues, including the results of operational work and freight and passenger traffic on the combined railway network.
At the 71st meeting, the Council members will therefore discuss the rail companies’ tariff policies, the development of train timetables, plans for the formation of international trains for 2019-2020 and a joint research and development plan.
In addition, a number of regulations will be finalised and adopted.