The European Commission has approved funding of €22.2m to equip freight locomotives in the Netherlands with the latest traffic management equipment.

The funding is part of the EU’s plan to make railway systems more interoperable without affecting competition in the sector.

The funds will be used to install the latest version of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on the Netherlands’ 99 cross-border freight locomotives.

Approximately 30-40% of the European Core Network Corridors are to be installed with ERTMS by 2023.

To adhere to regulations, the Netherlands is planning to install ERTMS on the majority of its rail network that forms part of the European Core Network Corridors.

The EU also noted that owners of the trains will need to upgrade equipment to ensure the effective use of ERTMS.

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The Dutch state will provide €23.8m in funding to the owners to upgrade equipment.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “The Dutch scheme will contribute to the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System and to the creation of a Single European Railway Area.

“It will improve the competitiveness of European railways and foster the shift of freight traffic from road to rail, in line with the EU’s environmental and transport objectives, without unduly distorting competition.”

Last month, EU launched a €1.4bn call to support sustainable transport projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

EU also unveiled plans to invest more than €880m ($966m) in two projects to improve the rail network in Poland.

In September, EU revealed plans to invest over €117m to connect different parts of Europe, with a focus on sustainable transport modes.