Press Releases

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy - An Important Step Towards an Ambitious Legal Framework for Rail Freight

The publication of the European Commission's Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy signals the beginning of a process to deliver a legal framework which meets the needs of the rail freight industry. ERFA welcomes the publication of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and anticipates an ambitious revision of the key legal texts included within the Strategy.

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Private and Independent Rail Freight Undertakings Reiterate Call for Fair Support during ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

The question of how best to support rail freight through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner remains one of the most pressing issues facing the sector. This topic has been brought back to the fore due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic currently taking hold throughout Europe. ERFA calls on the European Commission and Member States to ensure that support measures, which are needed, do not lead to avoidable competition distortion and damage to the industry as a whole.

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Sector Statement Group welcomes Berlin Declaration and presents its progress report

The Sector Statement Group (SSG) welcomes today's publication of the Berlin Declaration. The declaration showcases the necessary clear commitment of the EU Member States to support international rail freight and rightly recognises the environmental advantage of rail freight in view of the European Green Deal. We notably welcome the clear commitment of the Member States to agree on a migration strategy for Digital Automatic Coupling and the recognition of the importance of further digitalisation of infrastructure networks, capacity management and allocation.

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ERFA Welcomes Parliament Vote on Waiving and Reducing Track Access Charges

ERFA welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the proposed European Regulation establishing measures for a sustainable rail market. This Regulation will give Member States the necessary freedom to support the rail freight industry in a neutral, economically justified and transparent way through the waiving or reduction of track access charges.

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ERFA supports French Proposal to Waive Track Access Charges

ERFA welcomes the announced by Prime Minister of France, Mr. Jean Castex, that France will waive track access charges until the end of 2020 and reduce charges by half for the entirety of 2021. ERFA believes this initiative will support all rail freight undertakings in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. ERFA calls for other national governments to follow the example of France to assist the rail freight industry.

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High level of Punctuality and Reliability in Rail Freight - Lessons from COVID-19 Period

One of the direct consequences of the COVID crisis has been the freeing up of capacity on the European railway network due to drastically reduced passenger traffic. This has coincided with a significant increase in the service offer and punctuality of rail freight. Passenger traffic will return, but it is essential that policy makers also ensure that lessons are learnt from this crisis regarding the key success factors for rail freight ? namely good quality and quantity of capacity for freight.

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State Aid for the Rail Freight Sector in context of COVID-19

In order for rail freight undertakings to be able to successfully navigate the COVID-19 crisis, it is important to reach the correct decisions about European and national support measures. These support measures should prioritise sectoral schemes, such as a waiving of track access charges and energy charges (with support for service providers), which benefit all rail freight operators. It is essential that any potential support measures directly given to railway undertakings are transparent, fair and open to all actors, state owned and private.

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COVID19 Creating a Fair and Balanced Temporary State Aid Framework for Rail Freight

Rail freight will face significant challenges to continued operations over the coming months, particularly in light of a significant slowdown in industrial output due to national measures taken to control the outbreak of COVID-19. These short-term measures could cause longer term damage to the sector, namely the disappearance of operators and capacity, if measures are not taken to support the industry. ERFA and UIP therefore call for State support measures to be granted to Infrastructure Managers coupled with a short-term waiving of Track Access Charges and Energy Charges for rail freight undertakings.

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Freight Associations call for Further Action to Secure Rail Freight Supply Chains and Mobility of Goods

The signing associations welcome the agreement of 18 March between EU Transport Ministers and the European Commission to work closely to minimise traffic disruptions, especially for essential freight. For rail freight to be able to play a leading role in freight flows, the associations believe further measures need to be taken, both by the European Commission and national authorities.

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