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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.


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20-07-17

Rail network grinds to a halt over construction works: rail customers alienated and the survival of smaller railway undertakings jeopardised

ERFA highlights the impact of a series of infrastructure works during the summer period in Germany, but also on neighbouring networks, most notably in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, which are heavily damaging rail’s reputation as a serious alternative to road transport. There are reported to be at least 22 construction sites during the month of July on the key Central Europe North- South corridor linking the north of Italy with Germany, the Netherlands and far beyond.

Reverse modal shift as customers forced to put goods back onto the road: negative impact on the environment, road congestion and safety during the busy summer period

Risk to rail of losing customers due to inconsistency of services and lack of reliability

Basic household goods such as washing powder, pet food, as well as key industrial goods, tyres, plastic granulates for automotive industry and parcel delivery services heavily impacted

 

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PRESS12-07-17

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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PRESS05-07-17

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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PRESS28-06-17

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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NEWSLETTERS26-06-17

ERFA Newsletter n°9

 

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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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12-03-17

ERFA Annual Event 2017

ERFA held its Annual event on the 7th March in Brussels, with Gert-Jan Koopman, EU Commission’s Deputy Director General for State Aid at DG Competition. The event was dedicated to the actions needed to deliver further market opening in Europe. Rail newcomers are often frustrated in their efforts to set up new routes and offer new types of services.

 

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12-03-17

ERFA General Assembly Meeting

The ERFA General Assembly Meeting took place on the 7th March in Brussels. This event was an opportunity to discuss political and technical issues with ERFA members and to collect their inputs and concerns.

As a market orientated driver, ERFA relies on the contribution of its members to define its strategy and priorities.

On the same day, Lindsay Durham (Freightliner Group) has been elected ERFA President. Markus Vaerst (Cargo Rail Europe) has been appointed as ERFA Vice-President.

 

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14-12-16

Workshop on 'Rail Freight Digitalisation' Business Case : Road-Rail Combined Transport

On December 14th 2016 ERFA together with UIRR (Combined Transport Association) welcomed nearly 40 participants to the Workshop on “Rail Freight Digitalization”. 8 speakers provided valuable “food for thought” regarding different digital solutions, covering all aspects of rail freight transportation including interfaces to infrastructure managers, terminals and the customers.

 

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ALL NEWS / EVENTS

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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.
 

READ MORE

pdf  

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.

 

READ MORE

pdf  

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.

 

READ MORE

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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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19-05-17

ERFA supports EU proposals for "quick wins" to improve rail's reliability and performance

The EU is proposing new rules to create a more customer-orientated rail network, taking important steps forward to improve the reliability and quality of rail services.

The changes aim at minimising disruptions to rail services when infrastructure works are being carried out and at creating a more dynamic and flexible timetable process for reserving capacity.

 

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ALL PRESS

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05-01-17

List of Applicable Legislation

Recently ERFA, together with other associations entered into a joint agreement with TÜV Süd, where the latter will provide the associations with an updated list of all applicable legislation for railway manufacturing, maintenance and refurbishment, also known as "Listing of directives relating to RFU-PLG Ol3"

 

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23-12-16

RINF use and evolution

The primary objective of RINF is to support the process of assessing the route compatibility between the vehicle and the route. In order to support a sound assessment the register of infrastructure must be comprehensive. RINF has to be populated with the relevant information by each National Registry Entity (NRE). As a mid-to-long-term goal, it is important to avoid any redundancy with the TSIs and to optimise the infrastructure managers’ efforts in providing information to railway undertakings.

 

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21-12-16

Vehicle authorisation in European countries with broad gauge

ERFA and CER highlight in a common position paper the differences of the broad-gauge systems and showcases their specific needs for vehicle authorisation in light of the 4th Railway Package’s Technical Pillar.

 

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19-12-16

A Single Language for the Single European Railway Area

ERFA believes that a single operational language, English, for international traffic is a necessary step towards an integrated Single European Railway Area, and should be part of the revision of the train drivers’ directive (Directive 2007/59/EC).

ERFA is convinced that a single operational language for international traffic is a simple but important step forward bringing supranational-orientation and competition in the European rail network as well as guaranteeing high safety standards.

 

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12-12-16

Ensuring a non-discriminatory, transparent and fair access to facilities, a prime condition for rail's competitiveness

ERFA, representing new entrants in the rail market, very much welcomes the draft implementing act on access to service facilities and rail related services.

The European Commission’s draft published in October responds to the concerns raised by many small railway undertakings from both passenger and freight sectors in Europe. Ensuring a non-discriminatory, transparent and fair access to facilities is one of the prime conditions needed for developing an open rail market and to improve rail’s competitiveness. 

 

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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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • "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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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