Within the framework of the 'European Year of Rail', once again the shift of heavy goods traffic in the entire Alpine region was at the centre of the discussion.
'Transport by rail is far more energy-efficient, reduces CO2 emissions and is thus considerably more climate-friendly than transport by truck. Currently, only 30 % of goods in the EU are transported by rail across the Alps, whereas in Switzerland it is already 74 %. That should be our European goal – that´s where we have to go' says Tyrolean Vice President Felipe after the meeting.
The participants agreed that this has to be improved in the future, in favour of rail. 'There is a need for true costs on the road in order to enable fair competition for rail. In order to achieve this, the current proposal for the Eurovignette Directive must be tightened up so that the majority of heavy goods transports via the Brenner pass are also carried out by rail – in future also through the Brenner base tunnel – and no longer by truck' said Tyrolean Vice President Felipe.
The 'Brenner on Rail' project initiated by MEPs Barbara Thaler and Herbert Dorfmann was also presented at today's event. The European Commission will launch a call for tender for the project this year. The EU has set itself the goal of creating a uniform European railway area. However, borderless rail transport fails due to the different technical systems, work and safety regulations as well as operational and organisational regulations of the infrastructure managers. 'With this project we want to show that a goods train can run non-stop from Munich to Verona without all these hurdles. This would not only reduce journey times considerably, but the railways could also compete on an equal footing with the roads, because the real hurdles lie in the national regulations that make the railways unattractive for business,' says MEP Thaler.