Press Releases

Press Release - Revision of Train Drivers Directive Needed to Reflect Reality of Rail Freight Operations

The revision of the Train Drivers Directive will play an important role in ensuring rail freight can achieve its modal shift objectives. With the closing of the public consultation on the revision of the Directive, it is important that the European Commission adopts an approach which ensures the train driver certification process ensures a high level of safety of operations whilst also introducing greater flexibility and ensuring that language requirements do not become a bottleneck to the good functioning of the European rail freight market.

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Press Release - Development of Energy Prices Threaten Competitive Rail Freight Market

The impact of dramatically increasing energy prices in the rail freight market has the potential to not only reverse modal shift, but also to fundamentally change the composition of the European rail freight sector. Many smaller and medium sized railway undertakings are at risk of leaving markets or even bankruptcy depending on the evolution of energy charging policies. It is essential that measures are taken which support rail freight and ensure 20 years of market opening is not undermined.

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Press Release - Block Exemptions Acceptable Conditional to Improved State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings

On 06 July, the European Commission proposed a Council Regulation introducing rules to simplify procedures for State Aid to green transport. The adoption of the Regulation will enable the Commission to declare certain categories of State Aid to greener modes of transport compatible with the internal market and allow for the European Commission to introduce adopt a Block Exemption Regulation for certain aids. ERFA believes this will have a positive impact on modal shift, but raises the importance of the upcoming revision of the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings.

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Press Release - Addressing International Capacity Management Essential in Order to Grow Rail Freight

On 22 June, the European Commission's public consultation on boosting cross-border rail concluded. ERFA believes it is essential that the follow-up to this consultation process is that the European Commission adopts an ambitious legislative approach with a strong focus on capacity management, built along the provisions with TTR (Timetabling and Capacity Redesign), in order to ensure that rail freight is well placed to meet its long-term growth targets.

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Press Release - Building the Conditions for the Success of a  Liberalized Rail Freight Market

The liberalisation process has fundamentally changed, diversified and internationalized the European Rail Freight Market. Challengers have increased their market share on average in European Countries from 17% (2007) to an average market share of 48% (2021) and subsequently represent almost half of the EU rail market. In light of this trend, ERFA has identified different action fields on infrastructure, technological and competition policy which are crucial to secure fair competition and give Railway Undertakings, and especially challengers, support to efficiently contribute to modal shift and the targets of The Green Deal and European Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

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Press Release - Creating a State Aid Regime for a Competitive Rail Freight Market

On 16 March, the European Commission concluded its public consultation on the revision of the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings. What is already known is that the Guidelines are in need of modernization and a revision is therefore essential. ERFA believes it is important that the correct approach is adopted to this revision process so as to ensure the revised Guidelines play a constructive role in supporting a diverse and competitive European rail freight market.

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Press Release - Addressing Capacity Management Essential for Rail Freight

The European Commission's Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy has set ambitious targets for rail freight, namely an increase of volumes carried by rail of 50% by 2030 and a doubling of volumes by 2050. For this to be achieved, it is essential that an international approach to capacity management is adopted. For this reason, in cooperation with ALLRAIL and FTE, ERFA has established a position on Commercial Conditions and an International Body for Compliance.

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Press Release - TEN-T Guidelines - Securing Modal Shift in the Short and Long Term

With the eagerly anticipated publication of the European Commission's proposal for a revision of the TEN-T Guidelines in December 2021, a pivotal discussion has begun on infrastructure development which will have a direct influence on rail freight's ability to meet its 2030 and 2050 growth targets. ERFA supports many of the provisions within the Commission proposal, but the text remains unfinished and further clarification and elaboration is needed in key areas. Crucially, it is essential that Rail freight can operate efficiently over the next 8-10 years in order to reach the 2030 growth targets.

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Joint Open Letter - Disturbances to European Supply Chains due to Unavailability of German Rail Network

Various industry associations raise serious concern regarding the amount, gravity and length of disturbances we are facing since the last two weeks on the German rail network. These disturbances, joined with a lack of alternative capacity being made available, has led to a situation where rail freight in and travelling through Germany on main corridors is coming to a near standstill.

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Joint Statement - Better Rail-Port Connectivity a win-win for Europe

The Connecting Europe Express, which is one of the European Year of Rails most prominent initiatives, has passed through Rotterdam yesterday and arrives today in Antwerp. Arriving in major European port-cities, the interdependencies and mutual reinforcement of European ports and rail freight connections come to the forefront. Increasing the share of rail freight will be an important building block of reaching the EUs Green Deal objectives and therefore should be a central focus of the European Year of Rail. Most European ports are located close to urban nodes with high pressure on the road network, which makes the increased use of rail freight a necessary choice for many ports. And vice versa, for rail freight operations, a significant share of the cargo transported on the tracks, particularly in high growth markets such as intermodal traffic, passes through the port.

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Rail Sector Agrees on a Common Vision on Digital Capacity Management

Europes major Infrastructure Managers and Railway Undertakings endorsed a Joint Vision for the Sector on Digital Capacity Management. RailNetEurope, Forum Train Europe, the Rail Freight Forward initiative, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, European Rail Infrastructure Managers and the European Rail Freight Association have published the cornerstones of the future of Digital Capacity Management (DCM). DCM will contribute to freeing up capacity on congested lines and boosting modal shift to rail for both passenger and freight traffic. A strong call for investments in Digital Capacity Management stresses its role as a major game changer in order to reach the Green Deal targets for the transport sector. DCM is the integral IT-part of the European programme - TimeTable Redesign (TTR) for Smart Capacity Management.

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