ERFA believes it is crucial that the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings are modernised to take into consideration developments in the rail freight sector over the past eleven years. ERFA therefore calls upon the incoming the European Commission to work towards a revision of the Guidelines for Railway Undertakings.
Given that the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings were not included in the State Aid Modernisation Package of 2012, ERFA believes it is necessary that the opportunity is taken to revise the Guidelines during the upcoming State Aid Modernisation Package. This moment should be taken to clarify on where funding may be permitted for freight rolling stock, modernize the rules for restructuring of a freight division and allow for the possibility of public funding playing a greater role in ERTMS and noise reduction measures.
Crucially, the Guidelines need to take into consideration how the rail freight sector has evolved since 2008. Since 2008, all rail freight divisions and operators have had the opportunity to return to long-term viability. ERFA therefore sees a need to reassess the status for restructuring of a rail freight division.