EU rail sector welcomes trilogue conclusions on TEN-T regulation

The European Rail Sector welcomes the conclusion on 18 December of Trilogue negotiations between EU institutions on the revision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Regulation. The Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies (CER) acknowledges the immense work and tireless commitment of the Rapporteurs, Shadow Rapporteurs, MEPs, and Council and Commission officials to reach this agreed text.

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is essential for the coordination of major rail projects, physical and digital, across Europe. The overall development of European rail corridors including cross-border, regional and high-speed infrastructure, will help to shift more passengers and freight to sustainable modes like rail and meet the European Green Deal targets. From the initial Commission proposal, CER has supported the new Regulation that introduces a gradual development of the network with the Core, Extended Core and Comprehensive networks, creates the European Transport Corridors through the integration of the former Core Network Corridors with the Rail Freight Corridors, and reinforces the role of the Coordinators.

The negotiations have brought about positive results regarding the following points:

The acceleration of ERTMS deployment in a continuous manner has been confirmed in the text with different deadlines for the core, extended core and comprehensive networks, while the decommissioning of the class B systems will take place at a later stage with possible exemptions but guaranteeing compatibility for a truly interoperable network;
A strong and attractive rail network connecting passenger and freight terminals, major ports and airports will serve as the backbone of a sustainable transport ecosystem.

The new TEN-T Regulation will be an opportunity to present a Masterplan for the development of an interoperable high-speed rail network linking European capitals and major cities and supporting the development of international passenger services.

The revised TEN-T introduces ambitious requirements and challenging provisions that should come hand-in-hand with equally ambitious financing and funding mechanisms. Massive investments are needed to complete the TEN-T network: €500 billion is needed by 2030 for the core network and €1,500 billion is needed by 2050 for the comprehensive network. CER believes that the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF III) – the EU’s dedicated funding instrument – should be increased to at least €100 billion under the next long-term EU budget plan (MFF 2028-2035) and be complemented with other funds to be able to meet the TEN-T targets and completion deadlines.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: ”Railways today lack sufficient capacity on many corridors to further grow. We expect the TEN-T provisions to bring to completion the current cross-border projects and rail corridors, increase capacity through digital solutions such as ERTMS and more performing standards, reach full interoperability between national networks, connect rail and all the ports/airports of the core network, realise new infrastructure and develop a high-speed rail network connecting all EU capitals and major cities. We praise the European institutions for reaching an agreement and invite them to now develop and deploy in a timely manner what has been agreed . We are absolutely convinced of rail’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.”

Kehinde Olusegun

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