Commenting on its priority areas for rail, the declaration cites digitalisation – automation, interoperable IT systems, the deployment of ETCS and ERTMS both trackside and on-board – and research & innovation. Both of these areas underpin the Green Deal as they help drive modal shift and increase climate-friendly transport.
Berlin Declaration Commitments
With these things in mind, the EU’s transport ministers said they wanted “to support international rail freight and further strengthen the Rail Freight Corridors” by making the following commitments:
- Further strengthen and develop the Rail Freight Corridors
- Support rail freight stakeholders to enable them to better adapt to market needs
- Enhance rail freight transport as one of the most environmentally friendly ways of moving freight
- Bring about further technical and operational harmonisation
- Recognise that a strong rail freight sector requires skilled workers
The declaration pressed home the need for Infrastructure Managers to develop virtual European Traffic Management, for 740m trains and for mitigating rail noise to increase rail freight acceptance among the population. Automatic digital coupling was another key area of interest and support.