Dutch Rail in line for €70 Million EU Aid.
The European Commission has approved a support scheme amounting to 70 million Euros in order to significantly reduce the track access charges for rail freight in the Netherlands.
The scheme, which will run from 2019 to 2023, will be open to all railway companies operating in the Netherlands and with an access agreement with Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail. The EU funds are in support of the subsidy scheme as promised by the Dutch government in the measure package.
The approval of EU financial aid is good news for the Dutch rail freight sector, which has long complained of high track access charges in particular compared to neighbouring Germany. Railway companies want to see these costs lowered to a ‘German level’ in order to remain competitive as a rail freight country.
“It is very good news that the EU Commission has approved these subsidies”, commented Hans-Willem Vroon, who represents the Dutch rail freight sector though lobby organisation RailGood. “This financial aid does not pose any further conditions to the subsidy scheme. This is in line with the German subsidy scheme for track access charges. RailGood is content with this important step in the process of bringing user charges in line with the German charges this year.”