EU to fund rail siding construction for ‘any willing company’ in Czechia
The Commission approved a railway siding building, upgrade and reconstruction funding scheme for Czechia. The scheme is worth 74 million euros and will run until 2027. The EU institution said the funding will be available for all companies willing to acquire an efficient railway connection to the country’s network.
Additionally, the funding scheme will provide for more. For instance, eligible companies, like industrial sites, will also receive financial support for building or rebuilding facilities directly linked to the railway sidings. Such facilities could include cargo handling equipment. The Commission clarified that the state aid scheme will provide the funds in the form of direct grants, which will cover, however, 49 per cent of the total expenditure and investment in each case.
Two more financing schemes running
Apart from the latest state aid scheme that aims to incentivise the use of rail freight by providing access to the Czech railway network, Czechia is benefiting from two more EU funding packages at the moment, both with more or less the same duration. Specifically, the first is a 180 million euros package supporting operators using electric traction for their services. This scheme was approved in late 2022 and will run until 2026. It also indirectly compensates for the rapidly rising energy prices in the country and Europe.
The second one concerns combined transport terminals in Czechia. In this case, the Commission re-introduced an older measure that expired in 2020. With a funding scheme of 68,7 million euros, Brussels decided in March 2023 to keep supporting the development of combined transport terminals in the country and, specifically, the expansion o their capacity. Like the recently introduced measure for sidings, the funding for combined transport terminals will last until 2027.