Divača-Koper railway. Photo: Slovenian government

Slovenia takes steps to support rail freight sector

Divača-Koper railway. Photo: Slovenian government

The European Commission has approved a 15 million euros support scheme proposed by the Slovenian government. The funding will run until the end of 2023 and will be available to railway companies through direct grants.

Slovenia’s state aid to rail freight transport will have two focal points: single-wagon transport and combined transport. Both sectors are relatively underdeveloped in the country. Specifically, funding will cover external costs related to accidents, pollution, congestion and environmental goals.

Past criticism

Despite combined transport experiencing substantial volume growth in Europe, some countries do not follow this trend by providing minimum or no support to the sector. Since 2019, UIRR had indicated that Slovenia, together with Norway, Spain, Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia, were among the countries with no national funding program targeting combined transport.

Although coordinated support on a European level is the key to supporting this segment of rail freight transport, national measures are also necessary, at least on an initial stage, towards a more sustainable and efficient sector. Are 15 million euros enough to upgrade the Slovenian combined transport sector? For now, it is sure that they are the first step to keep up with developments in other countries and open up new possibilities.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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