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March 22, 2022

EC approves scheme for sustainable rail freight transport in Spain

The scheme is expected to support the shifting of freight transport from road to rail.

The European Commission (EC) has approved a €120m scheme to support sustainable rail freight transport in Spain.

Funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the measure will help enhance the environmental performance of rail transport.

The measure is also said to be in line with the objectives of the Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the European Green Deal.

European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said: “The €120m scheme approved today will contribute to improving the competitiveness and greening of rail freight transport in Spain.

“It will also support the shift from road to rail, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, while limiting possible distortions of competition.”

Set to run until 30 June 2026, the scheme will be funded after the EC’s positive assessment of the Spanish Recovery and Resilience Plan and its approval by the Council.

It can be used by all freight companies in the EU. The companies must have all the required licences, including the single safety certificate.

Evaluated under EU State aid rules, the Spanish scheme is expected to help achieve the pursued objectives such as coordination of rail transport and the shift of freight transport to rail from road.

Additionally, the scheme will benefit the environment and mobility, as it supports rail transport that is less polluting compared to road transport and also enables reduction in road congestion.

In August last year, two German schemes worth more than €2.5bn were approved by the EC to support the rail freight industry and the long-distance rail passenger sector.

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