Transport | Policy Brief
How to revitalise rail freight with digitalisation?
14 January 2020
AUTHOR: Matthias Finger, MONTERO-PASCUAL Juan J., Teodora Serafimova
In its 2011 White Paper the Commission set the objective of shifting 30% of road freight over 300 km to other modes, such as rail or waterborne transport, by 2030. By 2050 the share is to be increased to 50%. In addition to supporting these decarbonisation objectives, a shift from road to rail offers to ease congestion on roads, lower the pressure on road infrastructures by taking over the heaviest loads and by reducing the risks linked to transporting dangerous goods. Yet, the progress achieved to date in the Member States remains insufficient, as the share of rail freight stagnates at around 18%. To ensure that rail freight takes off, its performance needs to improve drastically in terms of quality and efficiency. The sector and the legislators need to think fresh and bold and to consider holistically what can be done to overcome this stagnation.
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