The Netherlands will subsidize the installation of ERTMS in freight locomotives

2023/08/11 at 4:27 PM

The Dutch government will allocate EUR 67 million to co-finance the installation of the latest version of the ERTMS system in locomotives. Consent to grant public aid to enterprises was granted by the European Commission.

The mechanism of co-financing freight carriers investing in the ERTMS system was launched in the Netherlands in 2019. Originally, the Dutch government planned to spend EUR 46 million for this purpose. Due to the great interest of companies and the growing costs of these investments, the program budget was increased by EUR 21 million. Financial assistance is provided in the form of direct grants. By increasing the budget of this programme, more locomotives will be able to install ERTMS. In addition, carriers will receive compensation for the losses they incur due to the shutdown of vehicles for the time of system installation.

The European Commission has found that the Dutch financing mechanism is compliant with the state aid rules set out in the European Treaties, as it contributes to increasing the interoperability of freight rail, increases the competitiveness of sustainable transport and thus contributes to the achievement of the objectives set out in the European Green Deal. In particular, the implementation of the European rail traffic management system will facilitate freight transport on international connections between Dutch seaports and Germany and other countries.

The Dutch government has been criticized by representatives of the railway industry and the European Commission for the slow pace of implementing the ERTMS system. One of the reasons for this slowness is the fact that the ATB automatic train protection system is used in this country, and the European system is treated as an accessory. Meanwhile, the delay in the implementation of ERTMS in the Netherlands and other European countries is one of the brakes on the development of intermodal transport in Europe.

Photo: Sebastian Terfloth Wikimedia Commons

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