The European Commission and the path towards a low-carbon transport system

In November 2019, the Commission has published a paper regarding the new Platform of Rail Infrastructure Managers in Europe(PRIME), with which it intends contributing to mitigate climate change in the Old World. PRIME, in particular, has been established in 2013 by The Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and rail infrastructure managers to realize a single European railway area, improve the cross-border cooperation and make European Union mobility more sustainable.

Through its paper, which refers to an increase in renewable energy investments by some European countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Austria,  and thanks to the crucial contribution of rail infrastructure managers, the Commission aims at decarbonizing the transport system and reaching a circular economy,  ensuring the ecosustainability with the reuse or recycling of infrastructure materials (rail, ballast, catenary).

The ultimate goal of the Commission is to change the current transport models and to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. Therefore, a strong focus should be on existing rail lines, and in particular on the possibility to increase their capacity through digitalization. In this regard, the ongoing evaluation of Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 represents an opportunity for the whole sector to identify possible improvements that would allow infrastructure managers to better satisfy their clients.

Marco Stillo