The current European Union noise regulations for new or upgraded interoperable rail vehicles came into force in 2002 for high-speed rail and in 2006 for conventional traffic. These standards are known as Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI), and are adopted by Commission Decisions. A comprehensive revision of the Noise TSI is planned for 2013. A working group has been established by the European Railway Agency (ERA) who is leading the revision process, where T&E represents the views of environmental groups. This paper is intended as an input to the working group.
A group of environmental NGOs has published a ranking list of 17 European cities, based on what they have done to improve air quality. Berlin came top, closely followed by Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich.
Freight carried by rail is up, in particular in eastern Europe. The figures, from the European railway companies’ umbrella organisation CER, coincide with a report highlighting ‘significant potential’ for a shift to rail to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The Commission has published proposals to standardise rail ticketing information, which it says is a first step towards easier pan-European train journeys. The transport commissioner Siim Kallas says this is part of long-term efforts to allow rail to compete with short-distance air transport.