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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.


 

24-11-17

ERFA at the annual meeting of European rail regulators plenary

ERFA presents at the annual meeting of European rail regulators plenary on the needs of rail customers.

A competitive environment is key to fostering the right conditions to meet customer needs.

Healthy competition does not exist in most Member States. Dominant position of state incumbents undermines customer choice, quality, cost and innovation of services.

Infrastructure managers have limited incentives to create the right conditions to ensure competitive services, which in turn feeds bad quality and high prices.

Rail regulators should use their role in the market to foster a competitive environment, root out basic competition problems and support the end goal of modal shift.

      

 
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POSITIONS / PUBLICATIONS21-11-17

Press Statement: Learnings from Rastatt

Infrastructure Managers must strengthen their support for international services.

Rail freight companies set out their priorities following the Rastatt disaster:

- Infrastructure managers must take responsibility for developing one standard infrastructure if rail is to be competitive with road.

- Rail companies who have to adapt to different operational rules, signalling systems, language requirements, train parameters can never deliver a competitive offer.

- Full liability for the financial damages caused by Rastatt must also be settled by DB Netz in the short term. The lost customer confidence in rail as a reliable partner in the supply chain must be regained.

 

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NEWS / EVENTS17-11-17

ERFA Strategy Day 2017

On the occasion of the ERFA Strategy Day Workshop, an internal meeting of private rail freight companies in Europe, the unfriendly business environment for rail freight and the weak state of the industry were heavily discussed.

The presentation of Joakim Landholm, CEO of Hector Rail, highlighted concerns related to the dominance of incumbents, in terms of distorting prices and limiting the customer-orientation as well as the lack of crucial and complete data in the sector. Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas stressed the failure of rail to make any significant gains from modal shift until now and the importance of a shift towards rail freight as crucial and urgent for sustainable logistics in Europe.

During the day the key role of national governments and infrastructure managers in supporting rail’s competitiveness  was underlined. The German Master Plan should be developed as best practice in other European countries with a focus on international services.

The European Commission was also present at the meeting to outline on how they could support the reduction of the access charges in the rail sector and to present the Eurovignette directive as an instrument to level the playing field between rail and road. 

 

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POSITIONS / PUBLICATIONS14-11-17

Adoption of the new European Union rule to improve rail infrastructure works

The European Rail Freight Association strongly welcomes the adoption of new EU rules to improve the coordination of infrastructure works.

It is a positive step forward for rail’s competitiveness.

Improved rail performance is essential to make rail more customer-friendly and to encourage a shift of goods from road to rail.

ERFA urges infrastructure managers to ensure the success of the new framework for organising infrastructure works!

 

 

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NEWS / EVENTS27-10-17

EU Commissioner reply to the 2nd Rastatt open letter

Official Violeta Bulc response to Rastatt “Lessons to be learnt” letter.

 

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17-11-17

ERFA Strategy Day 2017

On the occasion of the ERFA Strategy Day Workshop, an internal meeting of private rail freight companies in Europe, the unfriendly business environment for rail freight and the weak state of the industry were heavily discussed.

The presentation of Joakim Landholm, CEO of Hector Rail, highlighted concerns related to the dominance of incumbents, in terms of distorting prices and limiting the customer-orientation as well as the lack of crucial and complete data in the sector. Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas stressed the failure of rail to make any significant gains from modal shift until now and the importance of a shift towards rail freight as crucial and urgent for sustainable logistics in Europe.

During the day the key role of national governments and infrastructure managers in supporting rail’s competitiveness  was underlined. The German Master Plan should be developed as best practice in other European countries with a focus on international services.

The European Commission was also present at the meeting to outline on how they could support the reduction of the access charges in the rail sector and to present the Eurovignette directive as an instrument to level the playing field between rail and road. 

 

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27-10-17

EU Commissioner reply to the 2nd Rastatt open letter

Official Violeta Bulc response to Rastatt “Lessons to be learnt” letter.

 

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19-09-17

ERFA's presentation at the first annual IRG-Rail Forum

At the first annual IRG Rail Forum ERFA gave an overview of the Rail

Freight Corridors from a freight RUs perspective.

The concerns of RUs were presented, highlighting the lack of joint agreement on performance indicators among IMs; the limited coordination on infrastructure works and investments and the lack of provision of appropriate alternatives during TCRs.

The EU legislation establishing the rail freight corridors is too weak on performance objectives and the voluntary initiatives undertaken are not legally binding, limiting the progress of the corridors.

Market oriented KPIs and data would improve the efficiency of the Corridors, potentially attracting more customers and so becoming more attractive to investments. 

Last but not least we need much more coordination and cooperation among IMs. Contingency plans, coordination of works along the lines, alternative routes in case of disruption. We need to be prepared in emergency situations..and to learn lessons from RASTATT!

Rail customers are losing patience….all the efforts made in the past could be for nothing if the RFCs do not make significant progress in performance.

                                                                           

 

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31-05-17

ALLRAIL presents its work programme

Erich Forster presented ALLRAIL's work programme in the Brandenburg representation in Brussels.

He highlighted ALLRAIL's priorities to reform the rail sector in order to improve the quality, the performance and the attractiveness of rail services in Europe.

 

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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.

 

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ALL NEWS / EVENTS

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14-09-17

ALLRAIL urges Commission to challenge Slovakia Government to comply with 4th Railway Package and encourage Above Rail competition.

ALLRAIL, the association of independent passenger and freight rail companies, asks the European Commission to take urgent action against the Slovak Government (Slovak Ministry of Transportation) and the Slovak Transport Authority, which are seeking to block a new international passenger service between Bratislava and Prague planned by the ALLRAIL member Regiojet.

 

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12-07-17

Implementing EU rules is an urgent need to make rail more competitive

ERFA, representing new entrants in the rail market highlights two deadlines in July, which are important steps forward in moving rail towards a more competitive and cost-effective sector.

  • The first deadline concerns the removal of more than 11 000 national rules, which heavily contribute to a fragmented and more costly rail market. ERFA fully supports the role of the European Union Railway Agency, ERA, in analysing, reviewing and removing all unnecessary and redundant national rules.
  • The second deadline concerns the transparency of how access charges are calculated and passed on to railway undertakings. Rail regulators will for the first time have the opportunity to scrutinise how the costs are calculated and to check whether railway undertakings are paying too much.
 

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05-07-17

ALLRAIL welcomes the judgement of the European Court of Justice and the decision of the Dutch Regulatory Body (ACM) as two important steps forward towards a competitive rail market in Europe

ALLRAIL welcomes the judgement of the European Court of Justice and the decision of the Dutch Regulatory Body (ACM) as two important steps forward towards a competitive rail market in Europe.

 

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28-06-17

How to ensure value of money for public investments in rail?

ALLRAIL, the Alliance of Rail New Entrants, believes that any public financing of public service rail contracts (PSOs) in Europe should benefit the passenger, taxpayer and the rail sector as a whole. In 2016 the European Commission stated that any resources used from an EU-financing program to fund passenger rolling stock have to be invested in the most reasonable manner and must have an overall positive impact both on the competitiveness and the development of the sector. In order to maintain these principles, it recommended obligatory tendering for PSO contracts IF government funding for rolling stock is included.

 

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09-06-17

European Mobility Package - Road charging

ERFA welcomes the European Commission’s Mobility Package as an important opportunity to foster a more competitive, cleaner and safer transport system. It is an important step forward in creating the right price signals and conditions for customers to choose the most sustainable modes of transport.

 

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ALL PRESS

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21-11-17

Press Statement: Learnings from Rastatt

Infrastructure Managers must strengthen their support for international services.

Rail freight companies set out their priorities following the Rastatt disaster:

- Infrastructure managers must take responsibility for developing one standard infrastructure if rail is to be competitive with road.

- Rail companies who have to adapt to different operational rules, signalling systems, language requirements, train parameters can never deliver a competitive offer.

- Full liability for the financial damages caused by Rastatt must also be settled by DB Netz in the short term. The lost customer confidence in rail as a reliable partner in the supply chain must be regained.

 

READ MORE

pdf  

14-11-17

Adoption of the new European Union rule to improve rail infrastructure works

The European Rail Freight Association strongly welcomes the adoption of new EU rules to improve the coordination of infrastructure works.

It is a positive step forward for rail’s competitiveness.

Improved rail performance is essential to make rail more customer-friendly and to encourage a shift of goods from road to rail.

ERFA urges infrastructure managers to ensure the success of the new framework for organising infrastructure works!

 

 

DOWNLOAD

pdf  

06-10-17

ERFA press release on ERTMS

ERFA welcomes the European Court of Auditors’ ERTMS report, stating that ERTMS has not been properly planned, deployed and managed, and that the individual business case for the parties involved have not been considered.

The lack of a business case for today’s railway undertakings, who will face the costs, but very little of the benefits of ERTMS, should be addressed as a priority.

ERFA welcomes the key report recommendations for a thorough assessment of the costs, coordinated and legally binding dates for decommissioning national signalling systems and the improved targeting of EU funding for cross-border sections and locomotives involved in international traffic.

 

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04-10-17

ALLRAIL Press Release on Rail Passenger Rights

Last week a new proposal for the regulation on EU rail passengers’ rights and obligations was released by the European Commission.

ALLRAIL stresses that better access to rail travel information should become a passenger right.

While ALLRAIL welcomes the new Regulation, our press release highlights how the travel information proposals will jeopardise further growth in above Rail competition.

 

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03-10-17

European Commission's decision to fine Lithuanian Railways

ERFA welcomes the decision, adopted yesterday, by the European Commission to fine the Lithuanian incumbent rail company for an unprecedented case of anti-competitive behaviour that took place in 2008.

Such anti-competitive behaviour jeopardises efforts to shift more goods onto rail and to build a more competitive rail sector.

ERFA underlines the need for greater efforts on the part of Member States to support a competitive European rail sector.

We also encourage the European Commission to pursue without delay other anti-competitive cases in the rail sector.

 

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ALL POSITIONS / PUBLICATIONS



Rail competition barometer

  • Germany comdemned for failing to separate financial accounts within DB

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) comdemned Germany for failling to separate financial accounts between infrastructures and trains operations.This creates a significant risk of cross-subsidisation within the holding.

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  • NS fined for abuse of dominant position in the regional tender process

    The Dutch Regulator has found that NS has submitted a lossmaking bid in order to shut out competition on the regional tendering process. NS is also accused to obstruct the access to service facilities at train stations for its competitors

    Read more

  • 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!

    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

  • 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

    Read more

  • 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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