The European Commission has approved a €28 million support scheme in the Netherlands to encourage the shift of freight transport from road to rail. This, among other things, will help rail freight companies to cope with the significant increase in the cost of access to the tracks next year. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailFreight.


Under the scheme, which will run until January 1, 2026, the aid will take the form of direct subsidies to rail operators. Rail operators will be compensated for 25 percent of the cost of sidings and shunting work incurred by them during cargo operations.

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From January 1, 2023, the Dutch rail infrastructure operator ProRail will apply a new methodology for calculating rail infrastructure charges. This will result in lower rail charges but higher siding charges. Ultimately, this means a higher average cost, according to RailGood, which represents the Dutch railway companies.

The scheme has been approved under EU state aid rules, which means member states are allowed to provide support to the private sector to get through difficult times. The Commission found that this measure was necessary and proportionate to encourage the use of rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport and contributes to the reduction of traffic congestion.

The aim of this measure is to ensure that rail operators remain competitive with road transport and thus facilitate the transition from road to rail transport.

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