ERFA fully supports a competitive and innovative single European railway market offering attractive, fair and transparent market conditions for all railway companies.
ERFA subscribes to the EU’s White Paper goal of achieving sustainable transport, moving more freight and passengers off the roads and onto rail. We work to ensure that rail stays a priority for the European sustainable transport agenda and that the right EU regulatory approach is taken to foster growth in rail.
The 4th Railway Package is one of the key political priorities for the members of ERFA, but not the only one. In fact, new entrants are committed to make rail freight corridors and TEN-T networks a success by seizing the opportunities they create and by feeding back experience and ideas for improvement to all.
Likewise, ERFA is supporting ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) to make rail transport safer and more competitive by deploying ERTMS-fitted rolling stock wherever it is sustainable.
Last, but not least, ERFA has a strong interest in minimizing climate change and its members contribute to the reduction of environmental effects by delivering highly attractive customer services, thereby creating a strong pull effect of its customers to opt for rail transportation.
On the occasion of the ERFA Strategy Day Workshop, an internal meeting of private rail freight companies in Europe, the unfriendly business environment for rail freight and the weak state of the industry were heavily discussed.
The presentation of Joakim Landholm, CEO of Hector Rail, highlighted concerns related to the dominance of incumbents, in terms of distorting prices and limiting the customer-orientation as well as the lack of crucial and complete data in the sector. Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas stressed the failure of rail to make any significant gains from modal shift until now and the importance of a shift towards rail freight as crucial and urgent for sustainable logistics in Europe.
During the day the key role of national governments and infrastructure managers in supporting rail’s competitiveness was underlined. The German Master Plan should be developed as best practice in other European countries with a focus on international services.
The European Commission was also present at the meeting to outline on how they could support the reduction of the access charges in the rail sector and to present the Eurovignette directive as an instrument to level the playing field between rail and road.
The European Rail Freight Association strongly welcomes the adoption of new EU rules to improve the coordination of infrastructure works.
It is a positive step forward for rail’s competitiveness.
Improved rail performance is essential to make rail more customer-friendly and to encourage a shift of goods from road to rail.
ERFA urges infrastructure managers to ensure the success of the new framework for organising infrastructure works!