Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
(23 December 2013)
A number of measures that can alleviate the problem of excessive rail noise and its annoyance to the population are already in place. These comprise:
— Directive 2002/49/EC(1) (Environmental Noise Directive), requesting Member States to produce noise maps and noise action plans along main rail routes, to be consulted and made available to the public.
— Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI) on Noise (2011/229/EU(2)), setting noise limits for new and upgraded rolling stock;
— Directive 2012/34/EU(3) establishing a single European railway area, giving possibility to differentiate infrastructure charges according to noise levels;
— The Connecting Europe Facility (COM(2011)665/3(4)), giving possibility to co-fund the retrofitting of existing freight wagons with silent brake blocks, in order to make them less noisy.