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Consultation: European Commission consults on action to reduce noisy rail freight across Europe

A consultation has been launched by the European Commission that looks at freight train operators having to pay more for the use of older noisy rolling stock. DG MOVE, the Commission’s transport department is though hesitant in using this approach through fear of shifting freight from rail back to the road. Railway noise is emerging as a major political issue that will become even more important with the predicted increase in rail traffic. The European Commission regularly receives complaints from local authorities and citizens’ groups on the subject particularly in Germany and the Netherlands. EU noise rules for the sector adopted in 2005 have had limited effect due to freight wagons having a long life time. In the meantime, some Member States have started adopting their own stricter rules which the Commission is concerned will disaggregate the European Trans European Freight Network and its ability to compete with road haulage in taking trucks off European roads. Options other than introducing noise charges include subsidising the retrofitting of low-noise brake blocks through the EU budget.
Issue 25