News 17 Sep 2021

No Green Deal without investments in rail infrastructure

The European Commission will hold today a conference on Rail Infrastructure Investment for the Green Deal, on the occasion of the arrival of the Connecting Europe Express in Bucharest. Speaking at the event, Dr. Alberto Mazzola, Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), will stress the critical importance of investment in rail infrastructure and the EU-added value it creates, by directly contributing to the common European objectives of decarbonisation, digitalisation, and increased competitiveness.

Investment in rail infrastructure supports the creation of the single market with increased mobility of citizens and goods, as well as seamless mobility and accessibility for all users. Furthermore, it directly contributes to economic growth, employment, and cohesion.

By investing in infrastructure, notably by contributing to the completion of the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) on missing links and bottlenecks, but also by enhancing consistent deployment of ERTMS, homogenous electrification, financing of interoperable and energy efficient rolling stock, 5G deployment and by enabling a high-frequency European high-speed rail network connecting major urban centres, it is possible to shift to zero-emission mobility. 

There is a need to rethink the way in which the European Union supports the deployment of ERTMS technology, both on track and on board. CER agrees with the economic analysis of the European Court of Auditors and calls on all EU decision-makers to increase funding while streamlining and strengthening ERTMS governance and decisively accelerating its deployment.

The EU should continue its support to rail projects through the Connecting Europe Facility, Cohesion Fund and European Regional Development Fund, and Member States must ensure that the Recovery Fund includes recovery for railways, thus also contributing to modal shift. 

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola looks forward to an interesting debate on these topics, noting: “One of the European Commission’s policy priorities is greening transport as outlined in the European Green Deal. Railways are the backbone of sustainable mobility in Europe and without sufficient support there will be no Green Deal.

The Commission Conference ‘Rail Infrastructure Investment for the Green Deal’ will be live streamed from the Connecting Europe Express website as of 13:30 CET.

To find out more about rail in the TEN-T, you can view the new CER fact sheet available here on the CER website.