The shift from road to rail will benefit passengers and help to reduce carbon emissions, while incorporation of best practices, as pioneered in Germany, will help with the regional integration and management of African railways, says UN-Habitat Urban Transport section head Dr Christian Schlosser. To provide an international perspective on African railway policy at the second Annual African Railway Summit, he was asked to present a case study on passenger railways. .
The second Annual African Railway Summit provided a complete package of knowledge required to build a well-inter- connected railway system in Africa, highlighting top rail projects on the African continent, including South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Rwanda.
Organised by conference and training organiser Fleming Gulf Conferences, the summit was held at the Radisson Blu Gau-|train Hotel, in Sandton, Johan-nesburg, on November 5 and 6.
During a presummit interview Schlosser highlighted three best practices that are followed in passenger rail in Germany.
“Good practices in passenger rail in Germany can be observed in relation to establishing public transport institutions, integrated ticketing and coordination between national and regional train services. Firstly, the establishment of metropolitan transit associations/authorities is pivotal for providing integrated public transport services at the regional and the local level,” he says.
Passenger rail serves as the backbone of most systems and is closely coordinated with bus and light rail schedules. Simultaneously, metropolitan transit associations are char- acterised by a coordinated approach to planning, investment, marketing and information, even if there are different individual operators.
“Secondly, there is a comprehensive network of scheduled national train services and coordination with regional and local passenger rail services. The so-called ‘inter-city’ trains link most German cities with coordinated routes and interchange stations at least every two hours, and later on every hour,” says Schlosser.
“Lastly, integrated ticketing across all forms of transit is a cornerstone of successful metropolitan transit systems in Germany,” he notes.
A range of ticket options and time-bound passes are available in Germany to enable travel on a single ticket across various modes of public transport in urban areas. Further, there are individual ticket options that link local travel with the national rail system, mostly operated by publicly owned German rail company Deutsche Bahn.
Considering that more than 80% of the transport in Africa currently takes place on road, rail development needs strategic investment and planning.
The second Annual African Railway Summit was supported for the first time by heavy-haul specialist freight rail company Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), the largest division of State-owned Transnet.
TFR CE Siyabonga Gama was asked to join the summit’s CEO panel, which discussed the holistic development of railways across South Africa. CEOs from rapid rail and bus service group Gautrain, rail parastatal of Namibia TransNamib, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa long-distance passenger rail service Shosholoza Meyl and business development company Walvis Bay Corridor Group were invited to lead the discussion.
Seventy per cent of attendees were from Africa, 10% from Europe, 10% from Asia, and the remaining 10% was made up by attendees from other parts of the world.
About Fleming Gulf
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