State aid for freight sidings approved
FRANCE: The European Commission has approved the granting of €60m of state aid for the construction, renewal or extension of freight sidings.
The European Rail Freight Association welcomed the decision, saying ‘around 50% of the 2 500 to 3 000 sidings are out of service’, and many industries were ‘facing aging sidings which may lead to closure due to prohibitive maintenance or renewal costs, hampering rail freight operations in the future.’
ERFA said it was important to ensure that public subsidy was allocated on a neutral and transparent basis to support a competitive rail sector. As such, it was ‘essential that the refurbished sidings are available for access by all operators on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis’.