The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a German aid scheme to promote the shift of freight traffic from road to rail. The scheme has a yearly budget of EUR 350 million and will run from 2018 to 2023.
Under the scheme, rail freight operators will be compensated for up to 45% of their track access charges. It is expected that the rail freight operators benefiting from the scheme will pass on the benefits of the aid to their customers, the freight shippers, through lower prices. Rail freight operators will be obliged to inform their customers of the fact that their track access charges have been significantly reduced.
In August 2018, Germany notified to the Commission a scheme to provide public support for freight transport by rail. The EC found that the scheme is beneficial for the environment and for mobility as it supports rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport, while also decreasing road congestion.
The scheme will support rail freight operators in Germany in order to contribute to a reduction of road congestion and CO2 emissions.