Deutsche Bahn passenger in the coronavirus pandemic

Photos: DB/Oliver Lang

EUROPE: Members of the European Parliament have voted to extend a Covid-19 relief measure that allows rail infrastructure access charges to be reduced, waived or deferred.

The temporary measure has been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. The extension will run until the end of June 2022, with a possibility for further extension until end of 2023.

The draft rules approved by the European Parliament on February 16 will now be passed-on to the EU Council for formal adoption, and will come into force once published in the Official Journal of the EU.

The Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies’ Covid Impact Tracker has calculated the loss of revenue to the EU rail sector from the pandemic at €50bn in 2020 and 2021. Executive Director Dr Alberto Mazzola said CER fully supports the relief measure, ‘provided infrastructure managers are compensated’, and it would like to see further measures at the national level to support the rail sector.