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61. Evidence given to UK House of Lords on behalf of RETRACK
March 24th, 2009
Phil Mortimer of NewRail represented RETRACK in the House of Lords, giving evidence on the workings of the First Railway Package to the Select Committee on Transport.

Newrail was invited to present its views on the workings of the First Railway Package (FRP) which forms part of a series of measures promoted by the European commission to make the railways more competitive, cost effective, open to new market entrants and subject to an evolving regulatory regime. A note based on the field work developed for the Retrack project to operate a new privately sponsored and operated freight service between Rotterdam & Constanza formed the basis of the written evidence to the Select Committee on the internal market in Europe. This was submitted and acknowledged by the Committee in early March.

The Committee then invited Newrail to present their findings and to develop the case as outlined in the brief. This was scheduled for Monday March 16th 2009. The Committee had also forwarded a list of supplementary questions flowing from the original response but these were more focused on the UK position in relation to the FRP.

Phil Mortimer presented the findings from the original brief and responded on the supplementary questions to the members of the Committee which is chaired by Lord Freeman. Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group, was present (he is not a committee member) and was very supportive of the presentation that was made. The questioning on the supplementary issues occupied the greater part of the session but issues involving rail projects undertaken by Newrail and others were also raised. The Retrack experience proved to be a useful platform from which to make the observations about the FRP and the Committee Chairman was pleased that Newrail had been able to attend at short notice to make its detailed presentation on this matter. Some additional research work may flow from this to support the Committee’s investigations.

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