Every year, UNECTO holds a general convention attended by the majority of its members. This convention provides members with the opportunity to interact with each other, and also to listen to and debate with representatives of various institutions. In between conventions, working groups meet regularly depending on the topic dealt with.
The existence of such a network is highly valued by the members, who benefit this way from an important expertise thanks to the exchange of information. In this field, a large part of the federation’s activities is connected to technical regulations applied to tourist railways. In force for about 10 years already, the public authorities wished to further regulate our activities. For its part, UNECTO is aiming to improve its members’ level of professionalism in a world where security and traceability are imperative and cannot be overlooked.
- UNECTO largely contributed to the recasting of the regulation regarding tourist railways outside the national rail network. It assisted the networks with its implementation, particularly on the innovation brought about on the subject of security and the regulation on the operations’ security.
- The federation equally actively participated to the rewriting of the framework to be applied to networks regularly circulating on the RFN (national rail network)
- With regards to special trails on the national rail network, various construction sites, together with SNCF, are in progress aiming to improve the way the system functions, to adapt it to evolutions in the French rail, and merge some of the needs of our network adherents (for example, training).
Besides the technical aspects related to the operation of tourist railways or to the practical application of the regulation on security, UNECTO helps make the field she represents grow by means of hosting its adherents, by its surveillance network, and by assisting the networks with the design and implementation of tourist and leisure offers.
- Professionalism in the industry
- Institutional recognition
- Durable conditions with regards to heritage and tourist train circulations on the national rail network.
- Input and contribution of tourist rail companies to policies on the growth of tourism
- An interesting place for tourist railways in an otherwise economically difficult context as soon as the economic potential is highlighted
- The protection and showcasing of fragile natural areas (less usage of space, delay or avoid road traffic, energy consumption)
- Collaboration and economies to scale for rural areas (trade and non trade actors)
- Social aspect (social integration, training, employment opportunities)
- Heritage aspect (protection, restoration and showcasing of classed and registered items)
At the European level
More and more regulations affecting our activities are being decided upon at the European level. This is particularly true for circulations on tracks belonging to the national rail network, but all types of circulations are in a way or another affected by the measures taken at the European level. In light of these observations and the necessity to come up with lobbying strategies, promotion and showcasing of tourist railways, FEDECRAIL (the European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways) was founded. FEDECRAIL is constituted under Belgian law. Its members are the national umbrella organizations from 26 countries. UNECTO is a founding member and presently the second most important federation of FEDECRAIL after the British HRA.
More information about our activities is available in our news section.