The Company has been granted “Observer” status in the Organisation for Cooperation of Railways (OSZD). This status allows the Company to act as a moderator on some professional issues, participate in all work agency meetings and to hold meetings of the governing bodies (Conference of OSZD Railway General Directors (authorised representatives) and OSZD Minister Meeting) at JSC FPC. Moreover, the new status allows JSC FPC to have a permanent representative in the OSZD Committee in Warsaw.
By an initiative of JSC FPC and under the aegis of the UIC, an international seminar on The Organisation of Travel Document Sales in Terms of Developing New Technology" was held in Kazan. In light falling traffic volumes, the main objective of the seminar was the development of sales networks and the increase demand for passenger rail transport and international traffic. As a result of the event, a decision was made to hold it annually under the aegis of the UIC (the next seminar will take place in May 2014 in Sochi).
In October of 2013, the UIC organised the first meeting in which the reasons for the stagnation of East-West traffic were discussed as well as possible future steps to stabilize the situation and passenger rail service’s path of development. In order to prevent further declines in international rail transport, JSC FPC acted as a leading executor in the preparation of a range of initiatives:
JSC FPC has received the status of Associate Member in the European Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC). For reference: In 2012, the Company was awarded the status of Associate Member in the Asian-Pacific Assembly of the UIC.
In 2013, the larger part of the contract for the supplying of 200 RIC-class train cars by the joint production of Tverskoy Carriage Works (JSC TVZ) and Siemens was completed, and the Patentes Talgo company began production of trains for continuous use on the Moscow-Kiev and Moscow-Berlin lines, which are scheduled to begin service at the ends of 2014 and 2015, respectively.
In cooperation with the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), the implementation of a customer-oriented policy at JSC FPC resulted in the development of a compensation mechanism for damages caused to passengers as a result of poor train car conditions, an issue which is currently a stumbling block for the expansion of the distribution of the Company’s travel documents in the European Union. The Company has prepared the relevant amendments to the Agreement which regulates the relationships of transport enterprises for international rail service (AIV). They are now under consideration by the CIT. This work will be continued in 2014.
In 2013, JSC FPC participated in two conferences on passenger train safety during international service. Representatives from railway administrations in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Belorussia and Ukraine are perennial participants at these events. One of the most significant results of the measures was the reduction of the number of stated faults in the JSC FPC’s rolling stock more than tenfold during its service in European countries as well as the Deutsche Bahn AG company’s awarding the Moscow-Berlin- Paris train the title of Trustworthy Train. In addition, thanks to the work carried out on these communication platforms, in 2013 JSC FPC joined an Agreement on the Volume and Usage of Passenger Cars in International Service (RIC).
As part of the expansion of our range of services, the improvement of “Train Car Garage” services on the Moscow — Helsinki line was continued. Cooperation agreements were agreed to as a result of negotiations with the Finnish rail and ferry lines Finnlines and Tallink; these agreements will allow for the geographic expansion of tourist routes in Europe. Having received an exclusive rate for automobile transport from the above companies, JSC FPC proposes the creation of combined “Train-Train” and “Train-Ferry” auto packages in its ticket booths. Now, passengers can purchase auto packages for either Moscow- Helsinki-Kolari (JSC FPC and VR Group rail transport) or Moscow — Helsinki -Travemünde (JSC FPC rail- and ferry transport) routes. Since February of 2013, passengers have been able to reserve seats on automobile transport to Finland via the JSC FPC website.
In 2013, work continued on the implementation of the Memorandum of Intent, signed in September 2012 in Petrozavodsk, on the development of passenger rail routes across the Russian- Finnish border. The result of this work was the organisation of single train runs from Petrozavodsk to Kupio and Joensuu on December 27, 2013 and January 5, 2014, respectively.
As part of the UIC, JSC FPC signed an agreement in which the Company gains the ability to share information about international and domestic (in Russia) rail service in MERITS and PRIFIS, both widely used in professional, tourist and operator communities in Europe. Parallel to this, JSC FPC has continued to enter into direct business agreements with partner railways and participate in seminars and conferences as part of the International Union of Railways on the development of tourist traffic.