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European trains will soon become less noisy

noisy train

New, quieter brake blocks, which could reduce the noise of rail wagons by 50 %, will be soon introduced in the EU market as the European Railway Agency has authorised innovative LL brake blocks intended for rail freight wagons. This is the final step of many years of development and technical tests, conducted by the block manufacturers and the International Union of Railways, and a landmark for effective rail noise abatement in the European Union.


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Transport Council – 10 June 2013


European transport ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Monday 10 June, under the chair of Mr Leo Varadkar, Ireland's minister for transport, tourism and sport. Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport and mobility, will also attend, representing the European Commission. The Council is expected to agree "general approaches" – that is, political agreements pending the position of the European Parliament – on a number of legislative proposals, including rail interoperability, roadworthiness (inspection and registration), occurrence reporting in civil aviation and marine equipment. Ministers will also consider the current state of play regarding the Connecting Europe Facility, the future funding instrument for trans-European networks in the transport, energy and telecommunications sectors. On the sidelines of the Council meeting, the European Union and Israel will sign an aviation agreement.


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New rail terminal in UK Port of Felixstowe highlights TEN-T financing impact

rail terminal

A new rail terminal in the British Port of Felixstowe was inaugurated today. The new “North Rail Terminal”, which will increase the overall freight handling capacity of the port and boost co-modality, was part of an EU co-financed project supported to the tune of €5 million.


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Stakeholder conference on the Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information system

A stakeholder conference on the Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information system took place in Lisbon on 7 June 2013 as part of the on-going vessel traffic monitoring review. Experts from Member States as well as a broad range of industry representatives were present. The main issues discussed at the conference were:

  1. The current use of the SafeSeaNet system
  2. Implementation of the Directive - Ships in need of assistance; Places of refuge (following the MSC Flaminia situation last year)
  3. Current scope and legal structure of the Directive.

The Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information system - SafeSeaNet system

The VTMIS Directive establishes an EU-wide vessel traffic monitoring and information system for receipt, storage and exchange of data on ships' movements, dangerous and polluting cargoes and on accidents and incidents. The Directive sets up the so called SafeSeaNet system as the core system in the EU maritime domain.

The SafeSeaNet system is hosted in the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and they are in charge of its technical running and development. The SafeSeaNet system provides on the one hand maritime safety, maritime security and pollution preparedness. And on the other hand, it reports formalities for vessels entering and/or leaving an EU port addresses. The SafeSeaNet system is continuously enhanced and developed in line with decisions of the SSN High Level Steering Group (HLSG). Future possibilities for SSN to combine, process, and integrate maritime data such as LRIT, shore-AIS, Satellite-AIS, VMS, VDS (satellite-based radar detection), Search and Rescue (SAR) and optical satellite products, as well as other information (such as hazmat reports, incident reports, end-user data/observations, etc) will allow SSN to enable the receipt, storage, retrieval and exchange of information for the efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport in the Union.

The added value

As a result, a complete maritime picture will be outlined which will be used to enhance maritime awareness. This will benefit different types of vessels using European seas including vessels working in the fields of Fisheries Control, Marine pollution and Marine Environment, Customs, Border Control, General law enforcement and, Defence (the EU NAVFOR MarSurv service).


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