Rail takes lion's share of TEN funding
WELL OVER half of the Ecu352m allocated by the European Commission under the Trans-European Networks funding programme for 1997 is being spent on rail projects.
Analysis of the Ecu352m made available for 125 schemes, as notified to 14 of the 15 EU governments by Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock on July 24, shows that pure rail projects plus those with a significant rail element accounted for Ecu220m (Table I). After allowing for the non-rail element in some small multimodal studies, and a substantial road element in the Øresund link and its access routes, the rail total lies between 55% and 60%.
The Commission's White Paper on rail policy published in July 1996 stated that 'rail's share of the passenger market is no more than 6% and that of the freight market 16%.' The fact that rail is getting the lion's share of TEN funding despite this low and declining share of the transport market shows how serious the Commission is about making greater use of rail in the future.
New high speed lines attract about Ecu90m of the rail total, with nearly Ecu43m going into the Köln - Frankfurt and Nürnberg - Berlin Neubaustrecken and their connecting links. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link to London also attracts strong support with Ecu24m going to London & Continental Railways for a design package.
Most of the French funding is earmarked for construction of TGV Est which gets Ecu13m, but as this project is still on hold while a further review takes place, the full amount may not be spent in 1997. The new line from Amsterdam to the Belgian frontier gets serious money for design even though a start date is still uncertain.
Though harder to identify, there is robust support for the expansion of international freight within this year's TEN funding. The most conspicuous element is Ecu10m for design of the Betuwe freight line from Rotterdam to the German frontier at Emmerich. However, the Øresund link between Sweden and Denmark - together with the Storebaelt crossing completed earlier this year - will allow several million tonnes a year currently using train ferries to move continuously on rail between Norway, Sweden and continental Europe.
With the Brenner base tunnel still uncertain, Ecu9m has been allocated to the design of improvements to the present route in the lower Inn valley east of Innsbruck; this carries a heavy flow of intermodal freight including rolling motorway services between Germany and Italy.
The Ecu8m provided for loading gauge and power supply enhancement between Genova and Domodossola is also aimed at improving the flow of intermodal traffic through the Alps, this time through the Simplon tunnel; work on enlarging clearances for carrying 4m high lorries on the southern approach to the Simplon tunnel began this summer. o
TABLE: Table I. Trans-European Network funds for rail projects in 1997
Country Project Grant Ecu000
Europe European Rail Traffic Management System 9000
Øresund fixed link: coast-to-coast crossing 20000
Rail access in Denmark 5500
Rail and road access in Sweden 5000
Austria Semmering base tunnel, trial bores 1300
Wels - Passau and Parndorf - Kittsee (Wien - Bratislava) upgrading 3000
Brenner, Lower Inn valley design studies 9000
Wien - St Pölten new line studies 900
Belgium Zaventem airport surface access study 500
Denmark Studies to speed up inter-city trains 1000
Finland Turku - Helsinki - Vainikkala line improvements 3700
Nordic Triangle studies 500
France TGV Est: studies and implementation 13000
TGV Sud: Perpignan - Spanish frontier study 500
Germany Köln-Bonn airport: high speed rail link 2000
Stuttgart 21 through station: trial boring 3500
Study of faster routes to Polish and Czech borders 340
Köln - Rhein/Main Neubaustrecke 24950
Gr?€?bers - Leipzig and Erfurt - Arnstadt (Berlin - Nürnberg) new lines 16000
Great Britain Channel Tunnel Rail Link 24000
West Coast Main Line upgrading and feasibility studies 9000
Trans-Pennine corridor study (multi-modal) 145
Greece Patras to Corinth; gauge conversion study 1 000
Italy Verona - Venezia: high speed and combined transport studies 3000
Venezia - Trieste improvements study 600
Venezia - Tarvisio improvements 3400
North Adriatic line upgrading 8000
Genova - Novara - Domodossola power supply and loading gauge upgrade 8100
Improved access to Verona 4000
Luxembourg Traction power upgrade 1000
Netherlands Antwerpen - Amsterdam new line: design studies 10000
Betuwe freight line design and technical studies 10000
Portugal North line upgrading 2250
Beira Baixa line upgrading 1250
Spain Madrid Barajas airport access study 1 500
Madrid - Zaragoza new line 3600
Madrid - Valladolid new line 3200
Castellon - Oropesa improvements (Mediterranean corridor) 500
Sevilla - Cadiz improvements 1000
Murcia to AVE line connections 500
Portugal - Spain - France links study 800
Sweden Helsingborg - Kävlinge upgrading studies 2000
Varberg - Hamra upgrading studies 1400