Legislative Developments in Rail Transport in 2011

Most amendments of the Polish rail transport law in 2011 concerned the organisation of rail transport including: improvements in timetable changing procedures; mechanisms to ensure the observance and early publication of timetables; interoperability of the rail system and; certification of train drivers. Introduced were also some changes meant to restructure the incumbent state rail operator (in Polish: Polskie Koleje Państwowe; hereafter PKP). The short, but important, amendment of the Act on Commercialization, Restructuring and Privatization of state enterprise ‘PKP’ seeks to guarantee the independence from railway operators of the personnel of the infrastructure manager (in Polish: PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe; hereafter PKP PKL). The rail infrastructure manager’s lack of autonomy was one of the Commission’s allegations against Poland in the case C-512/10 which is yet to be decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Polish case is analogues to other cases filed by the Commission concerning the incompatibility of Member States’ laws with the first EU railway package (C-473/10 Commission v. Hungary, C-483/10 Commission v. Spain, C-555/10 Commission v. Austria, C-556/10 Commission v. Germany, C-545/10 Commission v. Czech Republic, C-627/10 Commission v. Slovenia, C-625/10 Commission v. France).
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