Duisburg yard (Photo: DB).

EUROPE: The European Rail Freight Association has called on the new European Commission to modernise the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings to take into account developments in the 11 years since the current guidelines were created.

The organisation which represents new entrants to the freight market believes there is a need to clarify when funding may be permitted for freight rolling stock, to modernise the rules for restructuring freight divisions of incumbent railways, and to allow for the possibility of public funding playing a greater role in ERTMS deployment and noise reduction measures.

The existing guidelines had been ‘created at a very specific moment in time with a specific context, as clearly stated in the guidelines themselves, and it must be accepted that this moment has now passed’, said ERFA Secretary General Conor Feighan on December 5. ‘It is therefore essential that a revision takes place in order to have a framework that meets the needs of the European rail freight sector as a whole.’