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56 Organizations Hand Over Updated Railway Siding Charter with 97 Measures to the Federal Government

56 Organizations Hand Over Updated Railway Siding Charter with 97 Measures to the Federal Government
photo: VDV / BME / Tanja Marotzke/Railway siding charter
01 / 02 / 2024

On the initiative of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), the VPI is working together with 56 associations and organizations from industry, trade, logistics, construction, agriculture and timber, recycling, and local authorities to strengthen and promote sidings in the German rail network.

"Customer-oriented access points for rail transportation should become a natural part of a modern infrastructure. If we want to bring growth to the rails, we need to make rail freight transport as easy as possible for shippers," says Malte Lawrenz, Chairman of the VPI, explaining the VPI's support for the initiative. The rail siding charter, which was updated for the first time since 2019, was presented to Michael Theurer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport and Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, by VDV Vice President Joachim Berends at the 17th BME/VDV Rail Freight Transport Forum.

At the presentation of the charter, VDV Vice President Joachim Berends emphasized, "Since the first edition in 2019, many of the charter's proposals have already been implemented or are currently being implemented. But we are still far from reaching our goal, and further topics have been added. 56 signatory organizations are proposing measures so that we can strengthen Germany as a business location with more modern sidings - and protect the climate." The forum attracted a record 280 participants.

A lack of local sidings negatively impacts rail freight services: Wagonload services, for example, rely on access points close to customers. To ensure that these systems can also contribute to traffic growth on the railways, their access points need to be significantly strengthened. The alliance is committed to this. "We will only achieve our goal of shifting freight traffic to rail and increasing the share of rail freight traffic to 25 percent by 2030 with as many access points for rail freight traffic as possible. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is therefore promoting private investment in the construction, expansion, reactivation, and replacement of sidings to shift freight traffic to environmentally and climate-friendly rail and keep existing freight traffic on the rails," said State Secretary Theurer at the handover of the 2024 Siding Charter.

97 Measures for Customer-Oriented Access Points

The siding charter aims to strengthen rail freight transport by improving the framework conditions for sidings and customer-oriented access points. It is also intended to steer the transport policy debate towards the connection of access points to the public rail network and provide concrete proposals for measures for a rail infrastructure that meets demand. The charter pursues five main objectives and proposes 97 specific measures to make rail freight transport fit for the future and increase rail's market share. It also addresses strengthening tri- and multimodal hubs and transshipment terminals to enable efficient transport systems. Dr. Helena Melnikov, Managing Director of the German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME), says, "We support the central demands of the charter to the best of our ability. The most important thing now is to reduce bureaucracy and simplify regulations. At the same time, the promotion of sidings must be improved, more commercial areas must be connected to the rail network, and new transport concepts must be created that incorporate sidings."


Source: VPI Press Release