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NEWS OF THE WEEK: the Commission adopts proposals for a Fourth Railway Package

4th Railway package

The European Commission announced a comprehensive package of measures to deliver better quality and more choice in railway services in Europe. Rail is a vital part of EU transport, with a key role in addressing rising traffic demand, congestion, fuel security and decarbonisation.

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New French train stations to be realised with a PPP scheme

blurred train

The European Union will support with over €2 million from the TEN-T Programme studies to ensure a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme can be used in 2014 to finance the design, building and operation/maintenance of two brand new railway stations in France.

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LNG for the maritime sector closer to reality thanks to EU supported project

man and boat

The European Union will support with over €1.2 million from the TEN-T Programme a study aimed at identifying and addressing the potential barriers to the construction and operation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelled vessels.

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Better rail travel in Sweden thanks to EU-supported project

train on railway tracks

The European Union will co-finance with almost €5 million from the TEN-T Programme a series of studies required ahead of the construction phase of a crucial rail tunnel in Gothenburg, Sweden. The project, which forms part of the "Nordic Triangle railway/road axis" (TEN-T Priority Project 12), will, once the tunnel is completed, ultimately help improve rail travel both through Gothenburg and to its port.

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EU supports inland waterway transport in Belgium

boat

The European Union will co-finance with almost €5 million from the TEN-T Programme three projects aimed at improving the navigability of certain sections on the fluvial network in Belgium forming part of the "Inland Waterway Seine-Scheldt" (TEN-T Priority Project 30).

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Study to evaluate new fuels for maritime transport receives EU support

sea ship

The European Union will support with almost €2 million from the TEN-T Programme a study looking at the potential beneficial effects of using alternative fuels for port operations. The study, which will include pilots in Spain, Slovenia and Italy, will especially look at the ways to improve environmental performance of the participating ports' container terminals.

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Background

EU flag

4th Railway Package – Statement Vice-President Siim Kallas

Europe's railways are approaching a very important junction. We face two choices. We have the opportunity to create a truly European railway network of tracks and routes which actually works. And alongside that an internal market for rail with common standards and far fewer barriers to competition. Trains would be able to run freely from Rotterdam to Genoa, from Paris to Bratislava and from Warsaw to Marseille. After decades of stagnation in many countries, rail will be able to grow again to the benefit of citizens, businesses and the environment. Or we can take the other track.

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European Rail: Challenges Ahead

The Fourth Rail Package - The European Commission has adopted the 4th Railway Package made up of six legislative proposals focusing on four key areas (see IP/13/65). EU wide approvals: To save time and money for companies, trains and rolling stock should be built and certified once to run everywhere in Europe. There should be one safety certificate for companies so they can operate EU wide. A structure that works. To ensure the rail network is run in an efficient and non-discriminatory manner, the Commission is proposing to strengthen infrastructure managers and ensuring that the two functions of managing the tracks and running the trains should be kept apart. More access to the railway. To encourage innovation and efficiency, the Commission is proposing to open up domestic passenger railways to new entrants and services efficiency. A skilled workforce: A vibrant rail sector depends on a skilled and motivated workforce. The rail package ensures that Member States can go further to protect staff when public service contracts are transferred.

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