by Josephine Cordero Sapién
22 Sep 2020
Ten years ago today (22 September 2020) the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight.
Then, in 2016, followed the Rotterdam Declaration on “Rail Freight Corridors to Boost International Rail Freight”, which was adopted by the Sector Statement Group of relevant railway stakeholders.
Yesterday in Berlin, the EU and EFTA’s transport ministers signed the ministerial declaration “Rail Freight Corridors: The Future of Rail Freight in Europe”, continuing the progress.
The Berlin Declaration sits amid the serious economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, rail has proven to be reliable and punctual and an essential element of a resilient multi-modal transport system. Rail freight has continued to run largely without interruption. This has highlighted the key success factors of rail freight, namely good quality and high-capacity infrastructure.”
Commenting on its priority areas for rail, the declaration cites digitalisation – automation, interoperable IT systems, the deployment of ETCS and ERTMS both trackside and on-board – and research & innovation. Both of these areas underpin the Green Deal as they help drive modal shift and increase climate-friendly transport.
With these things in mind, the EU’s transport ministers said they wanted “to support international rail freight and further strengthen the Rail Freight Corridors” by making the following commitments:
The declaration pressed home the need for Infrastructure Managers to develop virtual European Traffic Management, for 740m trains and for mitigating rail noise to increase rail freight acceptance among the population. Automatic digital coupling was another key area of interest and support.
“The Berlin Declaration showcases the necessary clear commitment of the EU Member States to support international rail freight and rightly recognises the environmental advantage of rail freight in view of the European Green Deal. We notably welcome the clear commitment of the Member States to agree on a migration strategy for Digital Automatic Coupling and the recognition of the importance of further digitalisation of infrastructure networks, capacity management and allocation.”
At the European DAC Day conference attendees discussed how operational DAC migration can be achieved across Europe by 2030.
ABB will supply Lithuanian Railways with a 25 kV power solution to electrify 730 kilometres of rail track between Vilnius and Klaipeda.
The EU Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, addressed the rail industry, operators and policy makers at InnoTrans 2022.
Adif Alta Velocidad (Adif) has put into service the first of the three sections that will make up the Madrid-Extremadura High-Speed Line.
The EC has approved an Italian scheme to compensate rail freight companies for financial damage suffered due to the pandemic.
Thales has begun drafting the construction project for the installation of signalling on the Eastern Bypass in Valladolid, Spain.
Softronic has chosen Thales to deliver and equip five LEMA 6000 kW locomotives with ETCS Level 2 and PZB vehicle equipment.
To celebrate 50 years of Interrailing, 43 European railways have launched a joint campaign offering a 50% discount on Interrail tickets.
Positive interim results have been reported from the EU test run of a Deutsche Bahn freight train equipped with digital automatic couplers.
Talgo has developed a new type of running gear frame, or rodal, that reduces the mass of the rolling assembly by 50%.
Alstom and ENGIE have signed a partnership agreement to supply a renewable hydrogen to heavy-duty European rail freight.
Talgo and Indra have signed a strategic agreement that will see them become a founding member of innovation programme Europe's Rail.
Testing of a digital automatic coupling (DAC) for freight rail continues this month with trials by SBB Cargo in Switzerland.
Talgo has agreed a €35m green loan with the European Investment Bank to finance its research, development and innovation (RDI) strategy.
Two new Nightjet lines are launching, providing night-time rail travel between Vienna – Munich – Paris and Zurich – Cologne – Amsterdam.
A trial using silicone carbide semiconductor technology in a Siemens Mobility Avenio tram in Munich has successfully concluded.
Germany has been referred to the EU Court of Justice regarding non-compliance with safety and interoperability requirements.
Alstom has signed an MoU with oil and gas company MOL to explore the use of hydrogen technology for rail transport in Hungary.
Alstom has agreed to hand over its Reichshoffen production site and Coradia Polyvalent and TALENT3 platforms to CAF.
An Implenia/Webuild (and swiss subsidiary CSC) joint venture has been awarded Lot H41 of the Brenner Base Tunnel project.
Rail Baltica has been granted an additional 19.7m euros in funding thanks to a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) cross-border grant agreement.
The Connecting Europe Express has reached its final destination of Paris after 36 days travelling across Europe.
A new night train travelling between Vienna to Paris comes into service this December thanks to a collaboration between the ÖBB, SNCF and DB.
The Connecting Europe Express, one of the feature activities of the European Year of Rail 2021, is visiting TRAKO in Poland today.
Webuild and partners have won a contract to excavate a section of the Turin-Lyon high-speed/high-capacity railway base tunnel.
Alstom’s Régiolis Crossborder, a hybrid unit, has arrived at Výzkumný Ústav Železniční's test circuit in the Czech Republic.
This month Transdev and Snälltåget will launch the first trans-European night train linking three capitals: Stockholm, Copenhagen and Berlin.
Alstom has signed an agreement with Vossloh Locomotives to equip 50 of their DE 18 freight locomotives with its on-board signalling solution.
United Wagon Company has obtained vehicle type approval from the European Union Agency for Railways for two of its flat cars.
An ex-military site in Latvia is being scanned for unexploded ordnance as part of a Rail Baltica greenfield railway infrastructure project.
The European Commission has announced the route of the Connected Europe Express as part of the European Year of Rail.
The private rail freight operator Lineas has acquired Dutch operator Independent Rail Partner to strengthen its position in the country.
RegioJet is partnering with Dutch start-up European Sleeper to provide night train services connecting Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels.
Webuild has been chosen as the best bidder for a Brenner Base Tunnel rail extension project. It will be the majority leader in a consortium.
The contract for the construction of the Rail Baltica Riga International Airport station and associated infrastructure has been signed.
Deutsche Bahn and SCNF have signed a cooperation agreement on digitalisation and technology to help drive ahead the European rail sector.
The European Commission has officially proposed the successor to Shift2Rail – Europe's Rail JU – to the European Council and Parliament.
Albanian State Railways has signed a contract for the rehabilitation of the Durrës-Tirana line and the construction of a new 5.7km line.
On 29 January 2021 Alstom has completed the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation with a combined order backlog of 71.1 billion euros.
The Voice of European Railways (CER) says railways in the EU27 made losses of 26 billion euros in 2020 because of COVID-19.
The European Commission has published the 7th monitoring report (2015–2018) on the development of the rail market in the EU.
The European Commission has presented its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy with ten flagship ideas to decarbonise transport.
There will be new international night trains in Europe from 2021, as agreed by the bosses of Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, OEBB and SBB.
Alstom and Bombardier have announced the expected closing date for Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
Brexit: the European Commission has proposed a regulation giving extensions covering the Channel Tunnel infrastructure and train licences.
State aid: the European Commission has approved Austrian measures to support passenger and rail freight affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on making 2021 the European Year of Rail.
The European Commission has chosen the FCH2RAIL project to explore hydrogen fuel cells for rail vehicles, using Horizon 2020 funding.
The digital automatic coupling project under the consortium DAC4EU has entered the test phase after 4 different prototypes were installed.
The European Commission said it welcomed the provisional adoption of changes to rail passenger rights in the EU, which it proposed in 2017.
Alstom, as part of a consortium, has won a rail infrastructure project in Romania. This contract, Lot 2, completes the project (Lots 1 & 3).
EU: The Parliament has voted for regulations allowing Member States to authorise infrastructure managers to waive track access charges.
DB has premiered the first trial of digital automatic coupling technology for its freight wagons in a project that will run until 2022.
The European Commission (EC) is asking for calls of interest as it intends to establish a new partnership on rail research and innovation.
The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom, following Alstom's commitments.
The German Ministry of Transport has launched a project to test and certify digital automatic coupling. A DB-led consortium will run it.
Rail Baltica has received its next round of funding, with €184 million coming from the EU's CEF, and €32 million from national co-financing.
Alstom plans to submit commitments to the Commission in anticipation of its planned acquisition of Bombardier Transportation early next year.
Alstom has responded to the rumours that it is in talks with Bombardier about a potential acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
Following von der Leyen's speech on the EU Green Deal in the European Parliament, the rail industry has voiced its support.
Adina-Ioana Valean, the European Transport Commissioner-Designate, had her hearing in front of MEPs on 14 November.
Rail Baltica has announced its tender for the Riga Airport station and associated works. Candidate selection will occur in January 2020.
Von der Leyen has picked her candidate for Transport Commissioner, Romanian politician Adina-Ioana Valean. Her hearing is on 14 November.
CAF has won signalling contracts worth more than 120 million euros (134.48 million USD) for Spain, Slovenia and Bulgaria. High-speed train in Spain © Kabel...
The European Commission has given the Latvian railway electrification project the go-ahead. The EU Cohesion Fund will contribute 347m euros.
The CEE: Co-Building the Belt and Road conference took place in Warsaw this week. What are the key concerns and opportunities for the region?
On 16 June 2019 the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) will become THE EU railway authority, issuing authorisations for rail vehicles.
After a framework agreement for 100 locomotives announced earlier in May, Stadler is now to supply ten further electric locomotives to ELP.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 21: Alstom wins a contract for 27 fuel cell trains and installs its incremental train control system.
Russian Railways launches a new rail freight service from Japan to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway, cutting transport times to 19 days.
The House of Lords EU Committee has published its report "Brexit: road, rail and maritime transport". What are the key findings for rail?
British Steel, a major supplier to the rail industry, has gone into liquidation following Brexit-related financial trouble.
The European Loc Pool has ordered ten Stadler hybrid locomotives consolidating its leading position in this segment of rolling stock leasing.
Deutsche Bahn celebrates Europe Day 2019 by illuminating Berlin Central Station. DB is evidence of the success of European collaboration.
The 8th European TramDriver Championship will take place in Brussels on 4 May. Last year's winning team came from Stockholm, Sweden.
In the Industry Insider Week 13: Deutsche Bahn considers sale options for DB Arriva and Stadler wins its biggest vehicle order to date.
The Industry Insider week 12 featuring all the must-read rail news stories from 18–22 March, including the Eurotunnel shuttle refurbishment.
The European Commission has published the 2019 EU Transport Scoreboard, set of 30 categories looking at all aspects of transport in Member States.
Eurotunnel and TLF Overseas have signed a partnership agreement to mitigate the impact of Brexit on cross-border trade and passengers.
Travelling by rail is much safer than travelling by car or by bus. In fact, the risk of death is 56 times lower when travelling by rail.
All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider for 4–8 February 2019.
Alstom-Siemens merger denied: following an investigation by the EC and remedial proposals by Alstom and Siemens, the EC has ruled against the merger.
The Rail Baltica project has seen a boost with Finland joining in as a shareholder. The Finnish goverment said it would create a ltd company to that end.
All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider for 28 January–1 February 2019.
All the important rail news of the week, summed up for you in one place: our Railway-News Industry Insider for 21–25 January 2019.
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