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18th Florence Rail Forum: How to Revitalise Rail Freight with Digitalisation?

On 8th November 2019, the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation hosted its 18th Florence Rail Forum, this time to discuss the topic […] read more

IntermodalTransport

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The Observer – Towards EU-wide Multimodal Ticketing and Payment Systems

This Policy Brief reflects upon the discussions at the 6th Florence Intermodal Forum that took place on 13th September 2019. On the dedicated webpage, the event […] read more

AirTransport

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The Observer – Navigating Towards a More Efficient Airport Slots Allocation Regime in Europe

This Policy Brief reflects upon the discussions at the 11th Florence Air Forum that took place in Budapest on 6th September 2019. On the dedicated webpage, […] read more

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18.09.2019

Network Industries Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3 – Digital Platforms – The New Network Industries? How to regulate them?

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16.09.2019

6th Florence Intermodal Forum-Towards EU-wide Multimodal Ticketing and Payment Systems

On Friday, 13th September 2019, the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation together with the European Commission’s DG MOVE co-hosted the 6th Florence […] read more

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IGLUS Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 1 – Water Economy and Governance in the Age of Urbanization

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CRNI

5.09.2019

CRNI Journal by Sage. Volume 20 Issue 3, September 2019 – Special Issue on Return of Politics into Regulation

The special issue of the “Competition and Regulation in Network Industries” (CRNI) by Sage on Return of Politics into Regulation is now available! Featured paper. […] read more

Network Industries

CRNI

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CRNI Journal by Sage. Volume 20 Issue 2, June 2019 – Special Issue on “The Reform of the Railway Sector”

The special issue of the “Competition and Regulation in Network Industries” (CRNI) by Sage on “The Reform of the Railway Sector” is now available! Featured […] read more

Network Industries

CRNI

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CRNI Journal by Sage. Volume 20 Issue 1, March 2019 – Special Issue on “Digitalisation”

The special issue of the “Competition and Regulation in Network Industries” (CRNI) by Sage on “Digitalisation” is now available! Featured paper Combating incumbency advantage of […] read more

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18th Florence Rail Forum: How to Revitalise Rail Freight with Digitalisation?

- Rail, Transport

On 8th November 2019, the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation hosted its 18th Florence Rail Forum, this time to discuss the topic of rail freight and more concretely how we can increase its share with the help of digitalisation.

In its 2011 White Paper the Commission set the objective that 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030. By 2050 the share is to be increased to 50%. Yet, the progress achieved to date in the Member States remains insufficient, and the share of rail freight stagnates around 17%.

In addition to supporting decarbonisation objectives, a shift to rail would also ease congestion on roads, lower the pressure on road infrastructure by taking over the heaviest loads and reducing the risks linked to transporting dangerous goods.

There was overwhelming agreement among participants that digitalisation can play an important enabling role in boosting the share of goods transported on rail and thus reaping the associated benefits. More specifically, digital tools offer a means of relieving fragmentation, facilitating the implementation of rail freight corridors and fostering multimodality by means of closer coordination between stakeholders. This in turn, will depend on the effective exchange of information and a break away from the current data-sharing anxiety mind set. Participants stressed the need to ensure high quality and standardised data availability and sharing. Guaranteeing enforcement of data sharing obligations will require a clarification of governance models (i.e. who will act as the ‘data manager’?). 

An essential precondition to realising the above benefits, however, is a mental shift to instill more trust and cooperation within the sector. The aviation sector, and in particular the Eurocontrol approach, were highlighted as a best practice example that the rail freight sector could build on.  

We would like to thank all participants for travelling to Florence and contributing to a lively debate.

For more information on the forum programme and follow-up materials, please click here.