European Railway Agency, 2006 ERA

GROUP: Specialized Agencies

  • Topic A: Enhancing Inter EU connectivity through Railways
  • Topic B: Standardizing Private Operations on Railways

TOPIC A Enhancing Inter EU connectivity through Railways

TOPIC B Standardizing Private Operations on Railways



  • Hugh Barringer (he/him)
  • Juan Leal-Mendoza (he/him)
Email Committee Chair

The European Railway Agency was created in 2004 as a part of the European Union’s second railway act with a mission of growing rail transport to strengthen connections between her member states. By 2006, these tasks were by no means complete. European railways are dealing with falling passenger and cargo numbers due to the rise of low-cost airlines and rising car ownership. Furthermore, Europe’s railways are far from unified, as a wide array of signaling systems, electrification voltages, and other crucial systems dot the continent, making cross-border rail transport even more difficult. This isn’t even mentioning the former Eastern Bloc countries with lagging infrastructure that recently joined the European Union, leading to the challenges in unifying European railways. The member states of the European Union have entrusted this committee to guide Europe’s railways into a brighter new millennium.

Topic A: Enhancing Inter EU connectivity through railways

As we enter into the new, interconnected millennium, we must ensure that our railways can keep up as well. This committee will focus on how to break down transnational barriers that present challenges for existing and potential customers throughout the continent—barriers which include material disparities, different standards in maintenance, and perceptions of railways and public transportation. Through this topic delegates should formulate ways in which EU member states can harmonize their domestic railway policies towards one competitive continental standard to prepare Europe in a  rapidly growing and interconnected world.

Topic B: Standardizing Private Operations on Railways

The introduction of new policies have opened the rail infrastructure to a variety of routes that older state-owned railways like SNCF (France), DB (Germany), and NS (Netherlands) would never think of operating. However, the introduction of new services brings a host of new issues to be discussed by the ERA. Should private operators be allowed to compete with state-owned railways on their most profitable routes? How should infrastructure owners divide up capacity on busy lines? How can recent additions to the European community overcome differences in infrastructure quality and standards to fully partake in the European railway network? In finding a solution to these problems, delegates should address technical and regulatory issues surrounding the privatization of European railways, ensuring fairness and openness in the ongoing network expansion.