ERFA Event - Finding the Right Track: Navigating Infrastructure Development and Growing Rail Freight in Europe
The European Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy sets out two growth targets for rail freight; grow rail freight volumes by 50% by 2030 and double rail freight volumes by 2050. In order to meet 2030 targets, there needs to be a sufficient quantity and quality of rail infrastructure capacity made available and coordinated internationally. In order to meet the 2050 targets, extensive infrastructure works are required to modernise the network. The event will focus on how to create a framework which was allow for both of these objectives to be achievable.
In connection with ERFA celebrating its 20th anniversary, ERFA tasked ECM Ventures to conclude a study on the current status of liberalization, its effects on the rail freight market and remaining hurdles which have to be overcome in order for rail freight to be able to play its necessary role as the most sustainable means of freight transportation. The findings of this study, along with keynote speeches and a panel discussion, were presented to policy makers and business representatives during ERFAs annual event on 24 March 2022.
"How to turn rail freight into a profitable business?" The ERFA Annual Event 2019 took place in Warsaw on 3rd April. The objective of this meeting outside Brussels was to draw attention on the success stories and remaining access barriers to rail freight market in Eastern European countries. The event was dedicated to the actions needed to improve the profitability of the rail freight business, how to attract more new entrants and develop more competition in the market.
Private rail freight companies, represented by ERFA, held their annual strategy workshop in Brussels this week. The conditions needed to boost rail freight growth in Europe and to drive rail?s attractiveness for customers on quality, reliability and cost issues were the main themes of the day.
An update was provided at the RU Dialogue on ERFA's subgroup "Future Legislation, Implementation,Soft measures". ERFA asks for support from the European Commission regarding last-minute funding of construction works by national ministries. How can national ministries be encouraged to provide business stability for the market and support Infrastructure Managers in effective planning and management of contsruction works?
ERFA presented on the gauge issue at the RU Dialogue meeting on 5th November. Our presentation was linked to the ERA recommendations from the Facilitating Combined Transport Working Group but we also rose issues that were not covered by the ERA Working Group.
The ERFA Chair of the RU Subgroup " Future Legislation, Implementation, Soft measures", Maciej Gladyga, presented an update on the work being done to sensitise Infrastructure Managers to the problems caused to rail services by construction works. The new EU legislative framework, Annex VII, should serve as a basis for improving the management and coordination of disruptions to the rail network. One key issue is the definition of a major TCR. RUs strongly believe that some construction works are split into several short independent periods of work when they should in fact count as one major disruption.
ERFA presents at the Workshop on Common Portal for rail freight facilities. ERFA supports the development of a user-friendly EU portal that provides accurate and reliable data on service facilities. Access should be free of charge for users and costs for the efficient running of the portal should be kept low.
At the IRG Rail Annual Forum today ERFA urged rail regulators to be a key progressive voice of change in the rail sector. Support for favourable business conditions are needed now more than ever to attract customers to rail. Key ERFA priorities are driver language simplification, minimising the impact of infrastructure disruptions on rail services and lowering access charges.
ERFA's Annual event, held on April 18th was dedicated to the actions needed to reduce track access charges for rail and improve the competitive offer. The rules of the European Union oblige Member States to put in place incentives for reducing rail access charges. Access charges are a significant cost on the rail business, especially as for the most part rail's competitor road doesn't pay a similar fee for using the infrastructure.