Rail sector joint press release17/04/2020
The undersigned European associations - representing infrastructure managers, railway operators, intermodal companies, wagon keepers and the rail supply industry - jointly:
- Welcome the Resolution of the European Parliament on COVID-19 and the proposed massive recovery and reconstruction package for investment to support the European economy after the crisis;
- Remind that also the rail sector has a crucial, strategic and innovative role to play during and after the crisis. Rail infrastructure, rail freight and intermodal services, as well as its rail supply industry ensure the cross-border delivery of essential goods and other critical commodities and prove to be critical actors and assets;
- Underline that rail passenger services continue to provide key services for crucial workers during the crisis;
- Reassure that the protection of rail passengers and staff remains an unquestionable priority also under these exceptional circumstances; while reminding that, in a situation with no revenues and increasing requests for refund, temporary flexibility in paying ticket or passes refunds is needed to reduce the risk of cash-flow issues.
- Call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States to further support high performing rail infrastructure and transport operators, as well as a competitive rail supply industry, so that they can quickly resume business activities as soon as the crisis is over;
- Advocate ongoing support for the rail sector also beyond the COVID-19 period in order to support the sector’s digital transformation and sustainable transition. By doing so, the rail sector can make a substantial contribution to the European Green Deal, the Single European Rail Area and the resilience and the development of multimodal logistics;
- Conclude that rail transport connects businesses and people in normal and exceptional times in a reliable manner and that it is committed to become a sustainable, innovative, seamless transport backbone for Europe.