Commission pumps millions for intermodal development in Italy and Czechia

Last week the EU Commission approved two state aid schemes, one for Italy and one for the Czech Republic. Both of them aim to boost the intermodal sectors of the countries. In Italy, the focus lies in incentivising companies to use more rail, while in Czechia, it’s all about constructing and upgrading combined transport terminals.

Both countries have received European financial support before to boost the rail and intermodal industries. In fact, the latest aid package directed to the Czech Republic is not new. It is reintroduced and continues from a previous support scheme that covered the period between 2015 and 2020.

30 million for shift to rail

For Italy, the Commission approved a 30 million euros aid scheme to encourage the freight traffic to shift from road to rail and waterborne transport in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The region is home to the port of Trieste in the northeast part of Italy and on the border with Slovenia. It is also a region that traditionally uses intermodal transport since volumes to and from the port of Trieste are transhipped between trains and sea vessels.

However, there is space for further expansion and companies to start using more rail. For this purpose, “The aid will be granted in the form of direct grants to logistics companies and multimodal transport operators that combine a rail and waterborne leg as an alternative to road-only transport”, informs the Commission.

“The amount of aid that eligible beneficiaries can receive is based on the reduction in the external costs (pollution, noise, congestion and accidents) achieved by rail and waterborne transport, compared to road transport, as well as on the distance covered by the services”, it adds. The financial support scheme will last until the end of 2027.

Czech combined transport terminals

As for Czechia, the Commission re-introduced an already tested scheme implemented for five years and will use the remaining budget of this period to develop combined transport terminals in the country further. That being said, the Czech government will have 68,7 million euros at its disposal to utilise for this purpose until 2027.

“The measure is necessary and proportionate to achieve the objective pursued, namely to expand the capacity of combined transport terminals, in particular for the purposes of continental combined transport, thus facilitating the shift of freight transport from road to rail, and, where appropriate, to inland waterway transport, in Czechia”, underlined the Commission.

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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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