Webinar: ECM in practice
Bettina Bernhard

Event Review: "ECM in Practice"

Post from 30. May 2023

On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the latest RailVoice webinar took place and was a great success. Despite the specific topic, there were over 150 registrations, making it the most successful RailVoice event so far.
In addition to the captivating topic of ECM (Entity in Charge of Maintenance) and its practical application, the high-caliber panelists also attracted the interest of the audience. Babette Müller-Reichenwallner from Railnova SA, Marius Trinkl from TÜV Rheinland InterTraffic GmbH, Robert Hummel from Instandhaltung Management Service GmbH and Helmut Hohenbichler, representing Boom Software AG, engaged in an open exchange.

More safety and interoperability in rail transport

The opening speech was given by Michael Luczensky. In his keynote, he pointed out the importance of the 4th railroad package, with a major focus on the ECM Regulation.
In order to ensure the full competitiveness of the rail mode and to shift more transports from road to rail, further adjustments in the railroad system are necessary, not least to ensure the interoperability of the transportation mode.
The aim must be to harmonize at European level the regulations and technical standards that still exist in the individual member states.“, says Mag. Michael Luczensky, Head of Directorate IV/Railways, BMK.

Companies and ECM: Between Clear Responsibility and Room for Interpretation

The ECM regulation indirectly aims to promote transparency, assignment of responsibilities and traceability. Within the ECM Regulation, specific target states are described that should be strived for.
Almost one year after the end of the transitional period for the new ECM Regulation, those responsible for ECM are still faced with ambiguities and scope for interpretation when implementing the regulations to be complied with in practice.

The goal of our webinar on the ECM Regulation was to eliminate existing ambiguities and narrow the scope for interpretation. A central discussion among the panelists revolved around the use of digitalization and the question of the extent to which this is necessary for the implementation of the ECM Regulation.
There was agreement among the panelists that digitalization can play an important role in the efficient implementation of the ECM Regulation. The ability to capture, store and manage documents and information electronically offers numerous advantages in terms of transparency, accessibility and efficiency.
Although the ECM Regulation does not contain an explicit requirement for digitalization, it is important to note that companies pursuing a growth strategy can hardly avoid digitalization if they want to operate effectively and successfully.

One challenge that every operator faces is getting rolling stock properly back into service, and usually outside of operating hours. This was also made clear during the webinar by numerous reactions and questions from the audience. Thus, the question arises as to what course of action is appropriate.

There is no such thing as a provisional recommissioning. Anyone who drives a vehicle without official recommissioning is driving without a valid registration. If I don’t have anyone to issue a recommissioning certificate within 2 hours, then the vehicle either remains stationary for 2 hours or I make myself liable to prosecution.“, explains Marius Trinkl from TÜV Rheinland InterTraffic GmbH.

The role of the ECM determines which persons are authorized to issue recommissioning certificates. These persons must have the necessary qualifications to perform recommissioning. Therefore, it is necessary and advisable to find a person who will also be on site at the appropriate time.

If you are interested in listening to the full discussion on this topic, we can send you the recording upon request. To do so, simply send us a message at railvoice@boomsoftware.com.

And what about ECM and public transport?

It must be said in advance that there are already some companies in light rail that are proactively implementing this regulation. The market is definitely interested in learning from its colleagues from heavy rail. After all, if the regulation ever comes into force for local public transport, they are already largely compliant.
However, it may be difficult to regulate this issue at the EU level, as mainline rail is interoperable and operates across national borders, while mass transit operators are exclusively regional. There will probably be no EU regulation for local public transport, but there will be efforts to adopt the idea of transparency. This could be done, for example, through national legislation.
Indeed, many things that a public transport operator does anyway are in accordance with the ECM regulation. But these may not be documented in this form and to this extent.

We say thank you to all those interested in the webinar and hope to have provided you with valuable information on the ECM Regulation. If you have any further questions about the implementing regulation, please feel free to contact us – we will do our best to answer them. You are welcome to direct your inquiries to railvoice@boomsoftware.com.

Missed the chance to attend the webinar? Don’t worry, we’ll be happy to send you the entire recording of the webinar so you can view the content afterwards. If you’re interested, send us an informal email at railvoice@boomsoftware.com.

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