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New EU Rules to Enhance Rail Infrastructure Efficiency and Support the European Green Deal

New EU Rules to Enhance Rail Infrastructure Efficiency and Support the European Green Deal
photo: Rail Cargo Group / Public domain/Railway tracks
20 / 03 / 2024

The approved conditions aim to enhance the efficiency of railway lines and support the European Green Deal.

Last Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted an opinion on new conditions for planning and allocating rail infrastructure capacity within the European Union (EU). The rules are designed to enable more optimal use of railway lines, increase their punctuality and reliability, and, importantly, reduce transport-related emissions, according to reports from Netky.

MEPs endorse segmenting rail infrastructure capacity planning into three main phases: strategic planning every five years, annual planning, and subsequent adaptation. They also advocate for the establishment of a European rail platform, composed of railway undertakings. This forum will allow operators, ports, or rail service owners to share their perspectives.

Decarbonising Transport

As highlighted by the European Parliament, the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Smart Mobility Strategy underscore the pressing necessity to decarbonize the European transport sector. In this regard, rail transport is pivotal. Rail stands out as one of the most efficient modes of passenger and freight transport. Hence, it is vital to utilize the existing infrastructure most effectively and to capitalize on capacity increases of up to 4%, as estimated by the Commission.

Currently, rail lines suffer from frequent congestion, delays, and inadequate speed. Beyond optimizing the railways' usage, offering more flexibility in last-minute route allocation is expected to draw more freight traffic to the sector. This change should also benefit passengers, who will enjoy the advantage of booking capacity earlier.