EC Adopts Rules to Increase Access to Rail Infrastructure

© European Union , 2015 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service Photo: Etienne Ansotte

The European Commission has adopted rules to widen access to rail by the creation of fairer conditions for new train services to make better use of rail infrastructure.

The European rail sector is dominated by operators which, in some instances, have ties with infrastructure managers. This results in the blocking of infrastructure by way of framework agreements between operators and managers. The new rules will enable operators who wish to provide alternative services access to key networks in order to make the European rail market more competitive.

Commissioner Violetta Bulc said:

“Today’s adoption is a step in the right direction in order to make railways more efficient in Europe. The new framework agreements will give new entrants a better and fairer access to the rail infrastructure, offering them additional visibility and thereby fostering investments. These new agreements will also optimise the use of the rail infrastructure in Europe.”

Companies who have expressed an interest will be allowed to find out about remaining capacity and opportunities to access infrastructure. The rules provide for common criteria in any subsequent agreements in relation to capacity needs, duration of contract and existing framework agreements. The rules will apply from December 2016 onwards.

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