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ERFA - European Rail Freight Association

ERFA represents new entrants, i.e. all those operators who want open access and fair market conditions, and sustains their role of pushing forward the development of the railway market.

The members of ERFA  represent the entire value chain of rail transportation: rail freight operators, wagon keepers, service providers, forwarders, passenger operators and national rail freight associations.

ERFA works towards a competitive and innovative single European railway market by promoting attractive, fair and transparent market conditions for all railway companies.


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NEWSLETTERS11-04-17

ERFA Newsletter n°8

 

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PRESS03-04-17

ARAFER decision: better value for money for taxpayers' investment in rail

ERFA strongly welcomes the French Regulatory Body (ARAFER)’s negative opinion on the new investment and performance contract between the French Government and the Infrastructure manager (SNCF Réseau).

The decision of the French Regulatory Body (ARAFER) is a strong signal in favour of better value for money for taxpayers’ investment in rail and an important step in improving the quality of rail services.

EU rules provide an excellent framework for Member States to ensure strategic rail investments and a more customer-orientated infrastructure manager. Rail Regulatory Bodies have a key role in implementing this framework.

 

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NEWS / EVENTS31-03-17

1st RU-PRIME Dialogue Meeting

The joint dialogue between the Railway Undertakings (RU), the Infrastructure Managers (PRIME) fora took place on the 28th March in Brussels. Chaired by the European Commission, the objective was to discuss several issues in order to find a common understanding and common solutions to addressed them.

ERFA and ERFA members actively participated to the discussions.

 

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NEWS / EVENTS12-03-17

ERFA Annual Event 2017

ERFA held its Annual event on the 7th March in Brussels, with Gert-Jan Koopman, EU Commission’s Deputy Director General for State Aid at DG Competition. The event was dedicated to the actions needed to deliver further market opening in Europe. Rail newcomers are often frustrated in their efforts to set up new routes and offer new types of services.

 

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NEWS / EVENTS12-03-17

ERFA General Assembly Meeting

The ERFA General Assembly Meeting took place on the 7th March in Brussels. This event was an opportunity to discuss political and technical issues with ERFA members and to collect their inputs and concerns.

As a market orientated driver, ERFA relies on the contribution of its members to define its strategy and priorities.

On the same day, Lindsay Durham (Freightliner Group) has been elected ERFA President. Markus Vaerst (Cargo Rail Europe) has been appointed as ERFA Vice-President.

 

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31-03-17

1st RU-PRIME Dialogue Meeting

The joint dialogue between the Railway Undertakings (RU), the Infrastructure Managers (PRIME) fora took place on the 28th March in Brussels. Chaired by the European Commission, the objective was to discuss several issues in order to find a common understanding and common solutions to addressed them.

ERFA and ERFA members actively participated to the discussions.

 

READ MORE

 

12-03-17

ERFA Annual Event 2017

ERFA held its Annual event on the 7th March in Brussels, with Gert-Jan Koopman, EU Commission’s Deputy Director General for State Aid at DG Competition. The event was dedicated to the actions needed to deliver further market opening in Europe. Rail newcomers are often frustrated in their efforts to set up new routes and offer new types of services.

 

READ MORE

 

12-03-17

ERFA General Assembly Meeting

The ERFA General Assembly Meeting took place on the 7th March in Brussels. This event was an opportunity to discuss political and technical issues with ERFA members and to collect their inputs and concerns.

As a market orientated driver, ERFA relies on the contribution of its members to define its strategy and priorities.

On the same day, Lindsay Durham (Freightliner Group) has been elected ERFA President. Markus Vaerst (Cargo Rail Europe) has been appointed as ERFA Vice-President.

 

READ MORE

 

14-12-16

Workshop on 'Rail Freight Digitalisation' Business Case : Road-Rail Combined Transport

On December 14th 2016 ERFA together with UIRR (Combined Transport Association) welcomed nearly 40 participants to the Workshop on “Rail Freight Digitalization”. 8 speakers provided valuable “food for thought” regarding different digital solutions, covering all aspects of rail freight transportation including interfaces to infrastructure managers, terminals and the customers.

 

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04-11-16

Paying the freight: Europe's transportation challenges

Markus Vaerst, on the behalf of ERFA, participates to the 2016 European Paper Recycling Conference in Rotterdam. He gave a presentation on the state of play of rail freight in Europe and how to improve its attractiveness for customers.

 

 

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ALL NEWS / EVENTS

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03-04-17

ARAFER decision: better value for money for taxpayers' investment in rail

ERFA strongly welcomes the French Regulatory Body (ARAFER)’s negative opinion on the new investment and performance contract between the French Government and the Infrastructure manager (SNCF Réseau).

The decision of the French Regulatory Body (ARAFER) is a strong signal in favour of better value for money for taxpayers’ investment in rail and an important step in improving the quality of rail services.

EU rules provide an excellent framework for Member States to ensure strategic rail investments and a more customer-orientated infrastructure manager. Rail Regulatory Bodies have a key role in implementing this framework.

 

READ MORE

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10-03-17

Strong unity of rail new entrants for an open and competitive European rail market!

ERFA’s Annual event, held on March 7th was a great success with over 100 delegates and was supported by representatives from both DG Move and DG Competition at the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Transport Committee. The event was dedicated to the actions needed to deliver further liberalisation following the finalisation of the the 4th Rail Package in December 2016.

 

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14-12-16

4th Railway Package - a missed opportunity to create a competitive level playing field between rail and other modes of transport.

ERFA, representing new entrants in the rail market, regrets that the adoption of the political pillar of the 4th Railway Package postpones the urgent and much-needed reforms of the rail sector, endangering the attractiveness of rail for passengers and customers. 

Although the technical pillar of the 4th Railway Package is an important and overall positive step forward for the rail sector, the political pillar has been dominated by national and monopoly player egoisms, reinforcing the state-run rail companies’ position to the detriment of passengers and customers.

ERFA will actively work on the proper, full and timely enforcement of EU rules in order to best ensure that the basic conditions for an open rail market are met. We will also continue to strongly raise our voice against unlawful state aid and abuse of dominant position in the rail sector, bridging the existing gaps in the legislation in order to improve rail’s performance. 

 

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10-11-16

ERFA welcomes the European Commission’s decision to investigate anti-competitive practises of Czech Railway incumbent, Ceské dráhy, in passenger transport.

ERFA, representing new entrants from the freight and passenger sector, very much welcomes the Commission’s decision to crackdown anti-competitive practises and abuse of dominant position in the Czech rail market. It sends a strong signal that the rail sector should urgently stop thinking as a monopoly service provider!

Incumbent operators both passenger and freight, are doing their best in shutting out competition, but not in improving the quality, the efficiency of rail services. In addition to maintain the rail sector in unsustainable economic conditions, price dumping prevent competitors to access to the market to the detriment of passengers and customers.

 

 

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20-10-16

30 transport associations call on the European Parliament and the Council to approve the Commission proposal for the review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework

ERFA and 29 European transport associations, representing infrastructure managers, operators, local authorities, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, call on the European Parliament and the Council to approve the Commission proposal for the review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. The proposal foresees an increase of EUR 1.4 billion for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget. Nonetheless, the transport sector warns that this cannot be considered sufficient to complete the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T)
 

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ALL PRESS

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05-01-17

List of Applicable Legislation

Recently ERFA, together with other associations entered into a joint agreement with TÜV Süd, where the latter will provide the associations with an updated list of all applicable legislation for railway manufacturing, maintenance and refurbishment, also known as "Listing of directives relating to RFU-PLG Ol3"

 

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23-12-16

RINF use and evolution

The primary objective of RINF is to support the process of assessing the route compatibility between the vehicle and the route. In order to support a sound assessment the register of infrastructure must be comprehensive. RINF has to be populated with the relevant information by each National Registry Entity (NRE). As a mid-to-long-term goal, it is important to avoid any redundancy with the TSIs and to optimise the infrastructure managers’ efforts in providing information to railway undertakings.

 

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21-12-16

Vehicle authorisation in European countries with broad gauge

ERFA and CER highlight in a common position paper the differences of the broad-gauge systems and showcases their specific needs for vehicle authorisation in light of the 4th Railway Package’s Technical Pillar.

 

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19-12-16

A Single Language for the Single European Railway Area

ERFA believes that a single operational language, English, for international traffic is a necessary step towards an integrated Single European Railway Area, and should be part of the revision of the train drivers’ directive (Directive 2007/59/EC).

ERFA is convinced that a single operational language for international traffic is a simple but important step forward bringing supranational-orientation and competition in the European rail network as well as guaranteeing high safety standards.

 

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12-12-16

Ensuring a non-discriminatory, transparent and fair access to facilities, a prime condition for rail's competitiveness

ERFA, representing new entrants in the rail market, very much welcomes the draft implementing act on access to service facilities and rail related services.

The European Commission’s draft published in October responds to the concerns raised by many small railway undertakings from both passenger and freight sectors in Europe. Ensuring a non-discriminatory, transparent and fair access to facilities is one of the prime conditions needed for developing an open rail market and to improve rail’s competitiveness. 

 

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ALL POSITIONS / PUBLICATIONS



Rail competition barometer

  • Spanish competition authority comdemns DB and RENFE for anti-competitive practises

    DB and Renfe were found guilty of anti-competitive practises, aiming at closing competition in the rail freight market in Spain. They have been fined €75.6 million euros by the Spanish competition authority.

    Read more

  • French Regulator rejects SNCF's accounting rules

    ARAFER said that SNCF Mobilité's accounting rules do not comply with European and National legislation, creating significant risks of cross-subsidization, discrimination and distortion of competition.

    Read more

  • Does SNCF Fret use price dumping to close competition?

    The French Court of Cassation reversed a previous Court's decision concerning anti-competitive practises: It means that there are strong evidences that SNCF Fret uses price dumping to close competition.

    Read more

  • Locomore, an open access operator in Germany

    ERFA welcomes the entry of Locomore, an open access operator, in the German rail passenger market! Locomore is the first rail operator to have used crowdfunding to launch activities, showing a great interest to have competition in the rail sector!

    Read more

  • Commission investigates practices of Czech railway incumbent Ceské dráhy in passenger transport

    The European Commission opens investigations against CZ incumbent for price dumping aiming at shutting out competition in passenger rail transport services. It breachs EU antitrust rules!

    Read more

  • The Commission refers Greece, Romania and Luxembourg to Court!

    22.7.2016 - The European Commission refers Greece, Luxembourg and Romania to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to transpose the Directive on a single European railway area, which guarantees a fair access to the rail market for all RUs.

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  • Unannounced inspections in rail passenger sector for anti-competitive agreements

    The European Commission confirms inspections in several rail passenger companies for anti-competitive agreements aiming to shut out competing rail passenger transport operators from the market.

    Read more

  • SNCF has the monopoly of expertise!

    The French rail reform in 2014 has reinforced the monopoly of SNCF in terms of expertise. There is no independent investigations concerning the accidents in Brétigny or in Alsace!

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  • Illegal State aid in Portuguese railways?

    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigations against the Portuguese State-owned railway maintenance company for illegal state aid. This would create an anti-competitive rail supply industry.

    Read more

  • "Competition will wait"

    Le Monde has published an article explaining that Member States, in particular France and Germany, have protected their monopolies at the detriment of the rail market. After 3 years of negotiations, the Commission is disappointed.

    Read more

  • Dawn raid in Czech National Railways

    A new case of anti-competitive practises on the line Ostrava-Prague affects the Czech National Railways. Dawn raid has been conducted in the incumbent's office in order to establish the necessary transparency.

    Read more

  • Shippers call for a "greater market focus in Rail Freight Corridors"

    The European Shippers' Council calls for a market-oriented approach on Rail Freight Corridors (RFC). In order to attract shippers to a competitive rail, RFC should meet market expectations.

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  • ARAFER rejects the nomination of Mr Farandou as the Head of SNCF Réseaux

    The French Regulator (ARAFER) has serious doubts concerning the independence of Mr Farandou vis-à-vis SNCF Mobilité. The rail sector in France needs an independent SNCF Réseaux to guarantee an open and non-discriminatory market.

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  • Czech national railways involve in a corruption case

    Czech anti-corruption police detained six people suspected to manipulate the tenders for major railways investments. Czech Transport ministry and the state railway operator would be involved in this corruption case.

    Read more

  • DB Sales' practises are anti-competitive

    After a procedure of 2 years, the German Cartel Office would confirm that Deutsche Bahn Sales' practises would not respect competition law and would discriminate new entrants.

    Read more

  • The markets expect public transport to be open by 2019

    10/03/2016 LEO Express, a Czech private transport company which entered the passenger transport market in 2012, urges EU institutions on opening the rail market for passengers as soon as possible.

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  • Fair competition is essential for rail growth

    3/11/15 The German freight association NEE and passenger association Mofair highlight the benefits of competition for the development of the rail system, and the stagnation in the long distance passenger market, where there is effectively no competition.

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  • Finland - Failure of rail leads to business opportunity for road transport

    04/09/2015 Chair of the Finnish Rail Passenger Association regrets that the passenger market in Finland remains closed to competition, to the benefit of business opportunities for road transport companies

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  • France and Germany killing off competition in their home markets

    27/07/2015 Tony Berkeley, RFG Chair, criticses France and Germany for closing up their rail markets, while ignoring the advice of 2 new competition reports, one from the UK and one from Germany, that advocate the benefits of more competition above rail.

    France and Germany killing off competition in their home markets

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  • German Monopolies Commission calls for separation between track and train ownership

    22/07/2015 The Monopolies Commission is convinced that the only way to establish undistorted competition in the German railway sector is to completely separate the infrsatructure and transport units of the integrated company Deutsche Bahn AG

    German Monopolies Commission calls for separation between track and train ownership

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  • 4th Railway Package - keep it together and stand firm on monopoly demands

    07/07/2015 In a message to the Luxembourg Presidency, Tony Berkeley, RFG Chair, highlights concerns over practices on the French and German rail market and the end of alliancing in the UK. Protecting national monopolies is not the way forward for rail.

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  • Where is the Single European rail market?

    14/04/2015 In his reference to siamese twin monopolies, Tony Berkeley, RFG Chair, criticises DB and SNCF for creating "smoke-screen"competition within their own holding companies, while obstructing any real competition in their home countries

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  • Wasted airmiles as Transport Ministers block growth in eco-friendly rail

    13/03/2015 Westbahn criticises the EU Transport Ministers who continue to block progress on the railway market and urges a much-needed European,rather than national approach, to rail.

    Read more

  • The truth about jobs in the European rail industry

    07/03/2015 In reference to a study commissioned by UTP, SNCF and ARAF, Tony Berkeley warns against following the SNCF employment model which makes rail uncompetitive compared with road and aviation.

    Read more

  • Antimonopoly Authority announces closer look into rail sector

    03/02/2015 The antimonopoly commission in Slovakia has announced that it will focus on identifying market barriers in the rail passenger market and recommend measures for their elimination.

    Read more

  • French Competition Authority also expresses concern on rail reform

    Not enough importance given by the rail reform to neutral and transparent access to the rail infrastructure, concludes the French Competition Authority.

    French Competition Authority also expresses concern on rail reform

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  • Turning national monopolies into a pan-European market is hard!

    10/01/2015 According to The Economist " Lack of competition among rail operators is another reason why high speed rail is failing to win passengers... The EU is finding it hard to transform national rail monopolies into a pan-European market...."

    Turning national monopolies into a pan-European market is hard!

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  • La fin du train? asks Le Monde

    06/01/15 La fin du train – "Trop cher et grevé de dettes, le système ferroviaire français est à bout de souffle."

    La fin du train? asks Le Monde

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  • Major passenger transport associations oppose splitting the 4th Railway Package

    08/01/15 UITP, EPTO and EMTA defend a package approach whereby both pillars are taken forward jointly

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  • Worrying developments on the French rail reform - towards even more monopolisation?

    19/12/14 As quoted by the French newspaper Le Monde, the new developments are a crude manipulation and distort the spirit of the law voted this summer. "La manipulation est grossière et dénature l'esprit meme de la loi votée cet été"

    Worrying developments on the French rail reform - towards even more monopolisation?

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  • Interesting findings from new rail freight study

    12/12/14 "One way or another the stakeholders in the railway sector will have to let go of the natural monopoly, because only through the arrival of new competitors will the impasse of old habits gradually be broken"

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  • ARAF concerns on French reform

    8/12/14 French Regulator raises concerns over cross-subsidisation, lack of financial transparency, risk of exchange of sensitive and strategic information under the new SNCF EPIC structure

    ARAF concerns on French reform

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  • Industry support for keeping 4th Railway Package together

    02/12/14 The European Freight and Logistics Forum, whose membership includes Mars, Procter & Gamble, Cargill, Volvo as well as ports, logistics service providers and more, voice their support for a level playing field in the rail sector.

    Industry support for keeping 4th Railway Package together

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  • New Entrants win prestigious Swiss rail award

    2/12/14 ERFA points to the success of BLS cargo, in partnership with ERFA member ERS Railways, in delivering innovation and efficiency in cross border rail services

    New Entrants win prestigious Swiss rail award

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  • Nobel Prize Winner - a strong critic of French Rail refom and lack of real competition on the French rail market

    Jean Tirole, who has received the Noble prize for Economic Sciences, explains on Swedish TV that problems linked to poor conditions and maintennce on French rail network cannot be attributed to deregulation, as France has not yet deregulated.

    Nobel Prize Winner - a strong critic of French Rail refom and lack of real competition on the French rail market

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