The Council for Rail Transport of the Commonwealth Member States and its executive body - the Council Directorate - were created by Agreement of the CIS Member States Heads of Government signed on 14 February 1992 in order to ensure stable economic ties among the CIS member states.
The Council's main tasks are to:
- coordinate railway transport at the inter-governmental level and develop agreed principles for its activities;
- organize the joint operation of freight wagons and containers.
The Council’s considers and solves operational issues concerning the railways, the joint use and technical maintenance of freight cars and containers, the conditions for the carriage of passengers and goods, the train safety of international services, the development of a system of accounting and mutual settlements for work and services performed, and scientific and technical cooperation and various , among other things.
The Council for Railway Transport pays particular attention to ensuring the technological unity of the railways.
Every year, the train timetable and the plan for trains on international routes are developed. Great attention is paid to the technical condition of freight cars.
The decision has been taken to preserve and develop the common information space. An Information and Computing Centre for Railway Administrations has been established and is running successfully. The Centre's main purpose is to provide information support for joint use and ensure the technical maintenance of freight cars and containers.
The Council of Heads of CIS Governments approved the Strategic Development Concept for Rail Transportation of the Commonwealth Member States until 2020 at its meeting in St. Petersburg on October 18, 2011. The implementation of the Strategic Concept will make it possible to develop railway transport in the Commonwealth member states in a coordinated, systematic and consistent manner and will promote the seamless integration of railways into the Eurasian transport system.
The Council is made up of the heads of the railway administrations in the CIS member states. The heads of railway administrations in Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Estonia also take part in the Council’s work.
The Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the International Confederation of Trade Unions of Railwaymen and Transport Builders have observer status on the Council.
The Council currently consists of 23 permanent bodies which consider how to implement Council decisions.
The Council’s executive body is the Council Directorate, which is headed by the Chairperson.
More than 250 documents have been developed as part of the Council’s and now serve to ensure the functioning of railways that use the 1520mm gauge standard and contribute to solving the economic and social problems of states whose railway administrations participate in the Council’s work.
The official website of the Council can be found at: www.sovetgt.org