It was encouraging to see your articles on railway interoperability (NCE last week), which you say will have a far reaching impact on the railway industry.
The industry summit referred to in your article was one of a number of significant crossindustry events which began with a seminar organised by the Railway Industry Association (RIA). It was here that Patrizio Grillo of the European Commission commended the positive approach taken by the UK.
Subsequently, a further crossindustry event relating to Notified Bodies took place at the RIA, clarifying the difficult subjects of professional competence and commercial independence to which you refer.
Behind all these events lies an enormous amount of detailed effort, with the leading stakeholders - Railtrack, train operators, government, railway safety and the RIA - working to achieve the best possible implementation strategy.
Finally, as you suggest, the conventional interoperability directive has a far broader impact than the high speed one.
We would urge everyone involved in the UK railway industry to become involved in the ongoing discussions. For those in the supply side of the industry, RIA may be contacted at ria@riagb. org. uk.
Richard Gostling, technical director, Railway Industry Association, 22 Headfort Place, London SW1X 7RY