Track Access Charges

Enrico Letta’s Report on the Future of the EU Single Market Says the Right Things about Rail

After over 400 meetings and visiting 65 cities, the President of the Jacques Delors Institute and former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta has issued a report on the future of the EU Single Market and presented it to EU leaders.

It clearly highlights the obstacles that still prevent the Single European Railway Area from leading the way towards sustainable, affordable free movement of people across the Union.

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Joint letter: We can make travelling by rail cheaper by reducing rail tolls

An alliance of rail operators, ticket vendors and civil society, committed to make rail more affordable, calls upon the the Member States to:

  • Reduce rail tolls for trains with high capacity. Passenger trains should aim at offering as many seats as possible per train to incentivise a high load factor;
  • Reduce rail tolls for night trains and cross-border trains;

The alliance also calls upon the European Commission to:

  • Revise the Single European Railway Area Directive (2012/34/EU) to set incentives for lower rail tolls for the segments mentioned above. The upcoming guidelines4 will not be sufficient to achieve change. Legislative action is needed to stop excessive tolls.

Read the open letter

(Interview) RTE’24: Challenges to market liberalisation in The European Union

As one of the 12 recognized rail associations representing the rail industry at a European level, the non-governmental organisation ALLRAIL, the ‘Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe,’ has been advocating for European Union (EU) regulation that will enable faster market opening in Europe since 2017. ALLRAIL Secretary General Nick Brooks discusses the core challenges to reaching their objective with RailTech.

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There Are Problems With The Liberalisation Of Passenger Rail In Spain

• Yesterday, the EU Commission decided to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice for failing to correctly transpose Directive 2012/34/EU establishing a Single European Railway Area (SERA).
• Commercial success in Spain is being achieved, but at the expense of French and Italian taxpayers and travellers in those countries. We believe that ADIF created a “Spanish model” that contradicts the SERA, especially on State Aid rules. This must be reviewed and, if necessary, replaced.

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GERMANY: Invest in the Infrastructure, not in a Company! The Planned Equity Increase for DB Risks Delaying Urgent Upgrades to the Network

Last week, the media reported about plans by the German government to increase the equity capital of the state-owned rail incumbent Deutsche Bahn (DB).

Not only would this distort competition - because equity injections into the DB Group parent company mean that its commercial subsidiaries can also benefit from support intended for its infrastructure subsidiary, but also, it comes at a time when the EU Commission’s competition authority is already investigating both DB and French incumbent SNCF for cross-subsidisation of their commercial freight operator subsidiaries.

Read the press release