Joint Rail Sector Letter - COVID-19 02/04/20

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A letter from the European rail sector on concrete measures to face the COVID‐19 pandemic and its economic consequences

Dear Vice President Vestager,
Dear Commissioner Vălean,
Dear Commissioner Ferreira,


We, the representatives of European railways, combined transport and wagon load operators, wagon keepers, workshops and mobile services associations, on behalf of our members and of the European rail and intermodal sectors would like to thank all public authorities at all levels – European,  national  and  local  ‐  for  their  efforts  to  ensure  a  coordinated  and  quick  European  response to the health and economic crises triggered by the COVID‐19 pandemic.

Railways ensure the critical mobility of people and goods
We  are  well  aware  that  keeping  European  mobility  and  logistics  operational  is  essential.  All  European rail operators, infrastructure managers and other service providers are doing their best in order to respond to the critical mobility needs in these dire times.

European rail freight companies together with combined transport and wagon load operators, wagon keepers, workshops and mobile services are offering concrete solutions to maintaining consumer  goods  supplies  running,  with  a  special  focus  on  food  supplies,  health  supplies  and  medicines.
In this context, we wish to underline our appreciation for the initiative taken by the European Commission on 16 March and again on 23 March to provide for Green Lanes at border‐crossing, to expedite the transportation of goods. The Commission Guidelines as much as the following Commission  Communication  represent  a  concrete  help  that  will  help  freight  traffic  continue  across the continent.
Meanwhile, despite the very sharp drop in demand, passenger operators still provide services wherever possible, albeit in a reduced manner. They nevertheless manage to enable medical staff and essential workforce to commute to work. The health and safety of travelling public and staff are  the  highest  priority.  Passenger  operators  are  in  close  contact  with  health  &  government  authorities, often going above and beyond the recommended measures.


Infrastructure managers are doing their best to enable all operators to deliver their services.
Other service providers are also fulfilling useful roles, such as providing comprehensive travel information to passengers.
All in all, railways strive to be the backbone of mobility and logistics in Europe also in this time of crisis. With a long‐term perspective, rail sector will be essential to boost and mobilize investment and  support  the  European  economic  recovery  with  concrete  actions. Future  generation  and  people from all backgrounds shall not miss the opportunity to travel around Europe by rail, with fellow Europeans, learning from other cultures, and explore their European identity.  After the crisis, rail will continue to support European and national cohesion as well essential transport to people and freight, investments and economic growth.(...)

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