CEO of Russian Railways proposes introducing uniform quality service standards on international trains in 1520 space
International passenger traffic between the member states of the Council on Rail Transport of the Commonwealth decreased by 5.5% in the first eight months to the end of August 2019 compared to the same period last year and amounted to 12.4 million people, according to Oleg Belozerov. Belozerov is the chairman of the Council and also the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways. He was speaking at the 71st meeting of the Council.
According to Belozerov, one of the reasons for the negative trend in passenger numbers was the decrease in the number of branded trains and branded groups of carriages, which in comparison with the 2018/2019 timetable had decreased by 6 units to just 7. At the same time, 10 years ago, 25 pairs of such trains and groups of carriages operated on international services between the member states.
“In addition to the cost of tickets and travel time, one of the important factors in falling competitiveness is the wear and tear of the fleet and the aging of passenger carriages. This means it is becoming impossible to obtain certification in accordance with the stricter requirements applying to trains in the “branded” category. As a result, passengers are deprived of comfortable travel conditions – which are among the main competitive advantages of passenger services,” said Oleg Belozerov.
In this regard, the Chairman of the Council instructed the Commercial Passenger Commission to consider requesting the railway administrations to introduce uniform requirements for service classes and the standardisation of services on international passenger trains across the 1520 Space.