Rail freight has a crucial role to play in both reaching the EU’s climate goals and supporting economic growth and competitiveness. Speakers at the 16th Florence Rail Forum shared their thoughts on how to improve operability of the European Rail Freight Corridors and make rail freight more attractive.
The 2016 Rotterdam declaration clearly stated a political commitment to addressing the most important obstacles for rail freight in Europe. EU legislation and policies provide a sound basis, in particular with the 4th Railway Package, the long-standing policy towards achieving interoperability, the ambitious infrastructure development policy through TEN-T and the EU budget financial support, especially the CEF, and the R&I Shift2Rail program. On top of this, the Rail Freight Corridors are a key element to boost rail freight. An interoperable European infrastructure based on the TEN-T corridors is crucial, but so is the sector’s commitment to improving reliability, punctuality and service orientation. Only an ambitious implementation of these different complementary policies, by all the stakeholders concerned, can deliver the expected results.
Senior stakeholders from regulators, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, rail suppliers, authorities, associations, and academics looked at the rail freight corridors and suggested solutions for the improvement of European rail freight on the whole.
A summary of presentations and the Observer will soon be available on the conference page!