European Commission approves financial support for Dutch railways

Earlier this week, the European Commission (EC) approved a public support of EUR 70 million to promote the modal shift of freight from roads to railways in Netherlands.

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a €70 million support scheme to encourage the shift of freight traffic from road to rail in the Netherlands. The scheme, which will run from 2019 to 2023, will be open to all railway companies operating in the Netherlands that have an access agreement with the Dutch rail infrastructure manager, ProRail. The support will take the form of compensation payments to railway companies to contribute to the cost of track access charges. The rail freight companies benefiting from the scheme are expected to pass on the benefits of the aid to their customers, i.e., freight shippers, through lower prices. The Commission found that the measure provides the right incentives for achieving a modal shift from road to rail. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is compatible with EU State aid rules.

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