Major investments are being ploughed into European rail freight infrastructure, including in the UK, despite the latest Channel Tunnel results indicating still-declining volumes.
GetLink, which operates UK Channel Tunnel rail freight services, recorded a 23% year-on-year downturn in truck traffic for the three months to June, indicating a deteriorating situation after movements fell 14% in Q1, showing year-to-date figures at 19% below those in 2022.
The figures from GetLink were followed by announcements from both the French and UK governments on major spending plans for intermodal infrastructure.
At the end of July, UK Export Finance (UKEF) agreed to partner with BNP, ING and JP Morgan to provide some €781m to finance a high-speed 286 km electric rail connection in southern Turkey, connecting its second-largest box port, Mersin, with the cities of Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep.
UK minister for exports Malcom Offord said: “UK exports to Turkey reached £8.5bn and we announced an updated trade deal to further boost exports and imports between our countries. UK Export Finance’s backing for this transformative high-speed railway adds to this success story.
“This deal shows that the UK, home to the world’s first railway system, still moves full steam ahead with its export of railroad innovation and expertise.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Railways (UZ) announced this morning it had secured a €6.7m grant from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support continuing operations across its freight services amid the war with Russia.
Originally marked for a modernisation project to electrify and upgrade rail infrastructure, the EIB agreed to repurpose the funds.
And there was also news this week that France is to lend €37.6m to assist the country in repairing damaged tracks.
Source: The Loadstar
Read the full story here: https://theloadstar.com/investments-signal-green-light-for-european-rail-freight-projects/