Press Releases

Ambrogio Intermodal becomes newest ERFA member

ERFA's Board of Directors welcomes the addition of Ambrogio Intermodal to the ERFA membership. Ambrogio Intermodal is one of the major Italian intermodal transportation companies on the national and international market.

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Press Release - Provisions of Agreed TEN-T Guidelines a step forward but ERTMS on-board strategy missing

On 14 February 2024, the European Parliament?s Transport and Tourism Committee adopted the compromise text on the Revision of the TEN-T Guidelines. This now paves the way for adoption by the European Parliament Plenary before the European Parliament elections which will, most likely, shortly be followed by approval by EU ministers and formal adoption. Whilst ERFA support that an agreement has been reached, paving the way for clarity on infrastructure developments over the coming decades, further attention will be needed on certain points.

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Press Release - Strikes in Germany: DB InfraGO must fulfil its sovereign duty as an infrastructure manager

The European rail freight sector has been watching the escalating wage dispute between the GDL and Deutsche Bahn (DB) with bewilderment. After 2-3 days of strikes in December and at the beginning of January, the GDL has now announced a 6-day strike from today (23 January), which in our view is completely disproportionate and will in turn have a significant impact on rail freight transport. This comes at a time when rail freight transport is already in a very critical situation due to the major infrastructure problems in Germany.

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Press Release - Weights and Dimensions Directive amendment: impractical and ineffective measures for the railway sector

As the EU institutions are debating the European Commission's proposal to amend the Directive governing the Weights and Dimensions of commercial road vehicles (96/53), CER, ERFA, UIC, UIP and UIRR presented today a joint study, carried out by the consultants d-fine GmbH, on the impacts of the Commission's proposal. The study confirms the concerns of the rail freight industry. Should the Commission's proposal be enacted without substantial changes, the proposed measures would have disastrous consequences from a socio-economic and sustainability perspectives.

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Press Release - Common Approach Needed for Rail Freight to get through the Alpine Tunnel Closures

Trans-Alpine rail freight traffic is facing serious difficulties. Two of the tunnels which rail freight is reliant on, namely the Frejus and Gotthard Base Tunnel, remain totally or partially closed. Frejus tunnel will remain closed until the end of 2024 due to a landslide which occurred in August, whilst the Gotthard base Tunnel (GBT) will remain partially closed until September 2024 due to a derailment which occurred during the same month. Strategic support measures are required to ensure these temporary restrictions in capacity will not have a severe negative impact on rail freight operators and the sector.

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Press Release - Parliament Position on Capacity Regulation on Good Track

On 17 November, the rapporteur for the Railway Capacity Regulation, Ms. Tilly Metz, presented her draft report. The draft report represents a significant improvement on the Commission proposal and forms a good basis for establishing a European Parliament position on the Regulation. Of note, the Regulation strengthens the role of infrastructure users, introduces a clearer governance structure and a more ambitious implementation plan.

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Press Release - ERFA re-elects President and Vice-President

During the ERFA Board of Directors meeting held on 16 November 2023 in Milan (I), the decision was taken to re-elect Dirk Stahl as ERFA President and Maciej Gladyga as ERFA-Vice President. Both mandates are for a two-year period up until November 2025. This period will involve a lot of change within the European Institutions, with European elections in May 2024, and with it a new European Commission and Parliament. In the short term, it will also involve closing strategically important files such as the TEN-T and Capacity Management Regulation as well as the revision of the Combined Transport Directive and State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings.

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Press Release - Ambitious Track Access Charges Policy Needed to Reach Green Deal and Modal Shift Objectives

For rail freight to be able to meet the modal shift objectives of increasing rail freight volumes by 50% by 2030 and doubling volumes by 2050 , it needs to be cost competitive with other modes of transport, particularly road. This will require the implementation of Track Access Charge regimes which looks to ensure parity in cost for road and rail. Recent experiences have shown a fragmented approach to infrastructure charging throughout Europe. In several Member States, Infrastructure Managers are continuously adjusting infrastructure rates to increasingly allow rail to compete. In other cases, the opposite is being observed, where rail is becoming more expensive compared to road, undermining rail freight?s ability to compete.

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Position Paper - Revision of the Weights & Dimensions Directive

The proposal for a revision of the Weights and Dimensions Directive should be used, in conjunction with the Combined Transport Directive, to incentivise the use of rail-road intermodal transport, the greenest and most energy efficient way to transport goods on long distance. Therefore, significant amendments are required to ensure this aim is reached as the text currently favours more polluting and energy consuming road only traffic, threatens rail-road interoperability, will generate other negative externalities and a substantial reverse modal shift.

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Position Paper - CountEmissions EU Regulation

ERFA welcomes the inclusion of the new CountEmissions EU Regulation inside the Greening Freight Transport Package. Allowing economic actors to know how much CO2 emissions are generated by transport services is indeed a key element to decarbonise freight transport as the less polluting modes and services will be better highlighted. However, carbon reporting should be made mandatory and co-legislators should introduce a carbon labelling to communicate the data to shippers in a uniform way and maximise the effect of the Regulation.

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Joint Press Release - Revision of Train Drivers Directive Essential to Growing International Rail Traffic

International railway transportation experiences significant operational barriers compared to road and aviation through stringent language requirements which hinder the development of international travel. Whilst it is not appropriate to make like for like comparisons with other modes, or call for a copy and paste of systems, significant changes to existing requirements are needed to facilitate the growth of international rail transportation.

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Joint Press Release - The Greening Freight Transport Package should be kept together

CER, ERFA and UIRR call on the European Parliament and the European Council to maintain the package approach when considering the legislative proposals in the "Greening Freight Transport Package" (GFTP) tabled by the European Commission on 11 July. The amendment of the Weights and Dimensions Directive (WDD) should not be considered on its own merit without seeing the Combined Transport Directive (CTD) amendment proposal. The new CountEmissionEU Regulation is a similarly closely linked part of the GFTP.

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