The European Rail Freight Association has warned of the potential for market re-monopolisation in certain EU countries, following revised network usage conditions.
The association reckons that new conditions of usage in some countries will drive the expense of running freight operations so high that it will be impossible for new operators to compete.
A statement from the ERFA board said: “Revised network usage conditions of Italian infrastructure manager RFI will require rescue locomotives and wagons, double insurance cover, higher shunting fees, etc., entailing additional investments of tens of millions of euro by the rail freight industry”
The trade body is calling upon the European Parliament to support the Recast of the first Railway Package to liberalise the rail freight market in the EU, and to prevent discriminatory measures such as those in Italy.
“The obstacles are legal, technical, financial and operational. If the Recast does not dismantle these obstacles, private investments by rail freight operators, terminals, ports, leasing companies and wagon keepers will disappear,” it said.
The board intends the Recast to entitle rail freight operators to financial compensation for services not fulfilled by the infrastructure supplier, for example during strikes. The ERFA board said: “If railway undertakings suffer financial losses because of infrastructure managers, the latter must reimburse them.”
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