EUROPE: The Association of European Rail Rolling Stock Lessors and the AllRail association of independent operators have met to discuss the provision of vehicles to facilitate the launch of new passenger services.

Rolling stock availability has provided a stumbling block to ambitions to launch new open access services, with high capital costs for new vehicles and a limited secondhand market.

AllRail said operators are keen to for unused or under-used vehicles to be made available, while lessors are interested in funding new-build rolling stock or modernising secondhand vehicles.

It said the European Commission should trust and support the private sector to catalyse competition and innovation, as the association believes ‘the emergence of a public financing structure for passenger rolling stock is not the solution to the climate crisis’.

AllRail suggested the EU could provide support with non-recurring costs and for upgrading of existing vehicles to avoid situations where stock is scrapped before becoming life expired.

‘It is important that, like in other transport modes, there is an open and vibrant market for second hand rolling stock’, said AllRail President Erich Forster on February 1. ‘If there is unused or underused long distance rolling stock at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, then we pledge that our members will use it in order to grow EU cross-border rail and achieve modal shift.’

AERRL President Fabien Rochefort added that ‘we have shown over the last 12 years that we are capable of giving access to efficient, interoperable and safe rolling stock to all interested railway undertakings. We are willing to promote the same development in the passenger market, with the collaboration of all the players.’