Environment

Noise Substances Low-emission and Electro-Mobility
Environment

Noise

©IP

Objective

Noise pollution is one of the most widespread public health threats in industrialised countries and the second largest environmental cause of health problems in the EU, impacting the railway sector and rail operations. The EU is taking several actions on noise exposure, one of which is reducing noise emissions from rail freight. 

Regulation (EU) 1304/2014 on the Technical Specification for Interoperability related to Rolling stock – Noise (NOI TSI) establishes the framework for noise emitted by rolling stock (locomotives and passenger and freight wagons).

EIM in action

  • EIM’s Noise Working Group (NOI WG) contributes to the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) Task Force dealing with the application of the TSI Noise to existing freight wagons;
  • EIM advocates the importance of speeding-up the process for freight wagons to become quieter, as well as the importance of available, cost-efficient noise reduction solutions in order to prevent a modal shift from rail to other transport modes;
  • EIM contributes to the dissemination of the information and activities related to the quieter routes, which were published on the website of ERA for each Member State; 
  • EIM’s NOI WG is active in the ERA Task Force dealing with the use of alternative brake blocks during specific winter conditions in Nordic countries.

EIM actions in 2021

  • EIM’s NOI WG has been sharing experiences in relation to the list of quieter routes;
  • EIM has contributed to the technical opinion on the reporting of the information for quieter routes. The EC followed the EIM recommendations (the information will have to be provided exclusively through RINF and no longer with the Noise template). 
  • EIM’s Nordic IM members continued working with the task force on the assessment of the composite brake blocks towards an exemption to be taken based on the composite brake blocks (CBBs) performance in the Nordic countries. 

Outlook 2022

  • EIM’s NOI WG experts will follow the activity and outcome of the new ERA Topical Working Group on the composite brake blocks which will handle the noise emission of CBBs.
  • EIM’s NOI WG will continue to follow the progress of the Task Force on specific Nordic winter conditions and the JNS procedure.
  • EIM’s NOI WG will follow the revision of the TSI Noise with the adoption of the test bench method for the acoustic performance of alternative brake blocks.

EC Regulation (EU) No 1304/2014

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS
Environment

Substances

Objective

Rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) deploy the following substances to maintain their rail network: 

  • Glyphosate: a herbicide used in agriculture used to control the growth of weed along railway tracks. 
  • Creosote: a wood preservative that protects wooden railway sleepers from the natural elements and increases their lifespan by 10 to 30 years. 

One of the core regulatory acts regarding glyphosate and creosote is Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. This Regulation regulates the renewal of approvals for both those substances. 

The Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/238 extends the permitted period of use of creosote until 31st October 2021. The members of EIM are actively engaged in finding alternatives to creosote, the goal being to minimise the use of creosote as quickly as possible, without jeopardizing the safety of the railway system. 

EIM in action

  • EIM advocates another temporary exemption for railways regarding the ban of glyphosate and creosote, as both are still necessary for safe railway operations;
  • At the same time, EIM also advocates the extensive research of alternative products through participating in various research platforms.

EIM actions in  2021

  • EIM, CER and UIC continued to contribute to the ‘AT-WOOD’ project: a platform for exchanging best practices regarding alternative products and methods for creosote; 
  • EIM has closely followed the development of legislation related to glyphosate and creosote. 

Outlook 2022

  • The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will continue to operate the process for permitting the use of creosote until October 2022.
  • EIM will continue to participate in the UIC AT-WOOD project

Regulation (EC) 1107/2009

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS
Environment

Low-emission and Electro-Mobility

Objective

With the publication in March 2020 of its proposal of the “European Climate Law”, the Commission envisages a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as part of its wider policy on the European Green Deal. The Member States will be bound to take all measures to meet this target in all concerned sectors, including transport. In this framework, the rail sector is participating in the ‘E-Mobility Platform’ promoting trains as one of the best electromobility solutions for citizens helping to achieve the climate ambition of zero emissions. The platform is also gaining importance in the framework of the revision of the ‘Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive’ (AFID) which is scheduled for Q4 2021. The revision of the AFID is part of the ‘Fit-for-55’-package, published in the summer of 2021. This initiative aims, amongst many other proposals, to turn the AFID into a Regulation (‘AFIR’) which will leave less flexibility to Member States eventually on the topic. Railways however are not explicitly addressed in the AFIR-proposal and fall outside the scope. EIM continues to follow the topic on a stand-alone basis, and through the e-mobility platform

EIM in action

  • EIM is a full member of the Electromobility Platform, a multimodal, cross-sectorial forum of industry stakeholders with the goal of fostering e-mobility in European transport;
  • EIM advocates the recognition of the strategic importance of electric rail services for passengers and freight. 

EIM actions in 2021

  • EIM proposed a number of amendments to multiple position papers of the E-mobility platform. 

Outlook 2022

  • EIM will follow the development of the ‘Alternative Fuels Directive’ in relation to hydrogen, charging points for electric vehicles at train stations and the latest battery developments. 
  • EIM will continue to actively participate in the Electromobility Platform.  
  • EIM will continue to contribute to topics such as energy efficiency and energy transition.

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS

Directive 2014/94/EU

EU LEGISLATION INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGERS
Continue with the part
Strategic Vision