Funding and soft loans from European Union facilities and affiliated organisations promise to deliver long-awaited Eastern European rail infrastructure improvements over the next decade or so. Artur Perchel, manager, Central Eastern Europe & Israel at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), assesses the impact.
BIDS for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding closed on February 16, with up to €200m available for European Rail Traffic Management (ERTMS) projects, €50m for rail interoperability and a potential share of other funds not dedicated to any specific mode.
THREE years after it was adopted by the European Commission (EC), the Fourth Railway Package has reached a key phase in its gestation, and is likely to become law in 2016, bringing significant structural changes to the industry.
THE European Commission's Innovation and Network's Executive Agency (INEA) signed the final grant agreements for the last batch of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) projects on January 7, meaning that work on 263 key European transport infrastructure projects worth €12.7bn included in CEF are now underway.
THE extension of the European standard-gauge network through Lithuania to Latvia and Estonia took an important step forward on November 24 with the signing of a €734m European Union (EU) grant funding agreement for the Rail Baltica project.
A new ballastless track system developed by French engineers is designed to reduce the initial capital required for slab track and deliver better life-cycle costs than ballasted track. As Keith Barrow reports, NBT is now on test in Russia, where it will be subjected to high axleloads and extreme temperatures.