ITALY: A scheme designed to encourage wagon owners to fit low-noise composite brake blocks to older wagons has been approved by European Commission under EU State aid rules.

Open to all European Economic Area owners and operators of wagons on the Italian network, the scheme will make €20m available to reimburse of up to 50% of the cost retrofitting quieter composite brake blocks to vehicles which entered service before January 1 2015. This is intended to bring older wagons into line with the more restrictive noise limits which are mandatory for new vehicles.

The European Commission found that wagon owners and operators would not have sufficient incentives to retrofit their vehicles without the aid scheme, and thus it was compatible with state aid rules.