Compared to other modes of transport, particularly road and aviation, rail is lagging behind in customer-orientated developments. This trend needs to be reversed.
Today, the barriers and discriminatory practices faced by all new entrants (public and private) across Europe prevent much-needed dynamism, innovation and creativity in the rail sector.
The barriers also undermine the wider interest of boosting growth and jobs across Europe.
ERFA’s objective is to bring about reliable and attractive market conditions and reforms for all new entrants via EU legislation whilst preventing EU legislation creating disadvantages for the rail sector.
ERFA will achieve this by creating a close and constructive relationship with all relevant EU institutions and other stakeholders whilst raising the awareness of the particular challenges of new entrants in the current railway market.
We contribute to the technical and administrative development of railways.
ERFA’s objective is to ensure suitable and affordable technical conditions whilst preventing EU legislation which may lead to discrimination of new entrants.
ERFA will achieve this by actively contributing to relevant initiatives of the European Commission and of ERA via its status as a recognised body of ERA (including its seat in the Board), whilst raising the awareness of the particular challenges and burdens of new entrants in the current railway market.
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!