The Romanians of GRUP FEROVIAR ROMAN (GFR) are just a few steps away from turning on the engines to “run” on the Greek railway. As announced by the Railway Regulatory Authority (RAS), the individual approvals for the activity of the new company in the Greek railway market of freight transport are being completed forthwith.
The Romanian company, which is under the umbrella of the Grampet Group, has submitted two applications for vehicle approval in order to start its transport project in the Greek railway infrastructure. It is noted that Grampet Group is one of the largest railway companies in Southeastern Europe, consisting of 18 individual companies, operating in Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Austria, Serbia, Ukraine, Montenegro, and Germany. The members of the Group transport about 20% of the goods that move within Europe. GFR has 16,500 wagons and 380 locomotives and employs 2,700 people.
Vehicle approvals by the end of the month
The two vehicle approval applications submitted by the company relate to an electric and diesel engine of GRUP FEROVIAR ROMAN (GFR) SA, already in circulation in Romania. RAS in its announcement underlines that the final version of the approval decisions of the two vehicles is expected to be completed within the current month. Also, the stage of checking the completeness of the application files and, secondly, the stage of detailed evaluation have already been completed.
Furthermore, since the possession of a single safety certificate is a prerequisite for a railway undertaking to be granted access to the railway infrastructure, the five-year single safety certificate has already been issued by the ERA, at the request of the railway company.
The countries provided for services are Romania and Greece. This fact, in combination with the completion by RAS within the month of July 2021 of the approval for the disposal of the two vehicles, marks the beginning of the transport project of the company in the Greek railway infrastructure.
Participation of RAS in the tripartite committee for updating the security certificate
At the same time, experts from the Railway Regulatory Authority participate in the tri-national assessment team consisting of the National Safety Authorities of Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, who together with ERA assessors, examine an application for updating the current uniform safety certificate of the same company. This request concerns the extension of the GFR service point in Bulgaria, in order to ensure access and use of the cross-border infrastructure to the Kulata and Svilegrad stations.
The stage of the initial control has already been completed and the detailed evaluation of the application is in progress. It is estimated that the decision to issue the updated single safety certificate by the ERA will also be taken within July 2021.
Regarding the new company that is expected to enter the Greek Railway Market, the president of RAS, Mrs. Ioanna Tsiaparikou stated: “This fact confirms the strong interest that exists for the railway freight project in Greece. The Railway Regulatory Authority is here to assist through its own framework of responsibilities in the competitiveness of the railway transport project, the transparency in the railway market and the equal treatment of its actors, without discrimination. At the present time, the equal provision of network access to all operating railway companies becomes even more necessary, creating the conditions for a productive railway and, subsequently, making our country a strategically important transit hub.”