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Transport policy
Market opening

Driving force for rail freight


The railway liberalisation represents the cornerstone of the transport policy put into practice by the EU and the Swiss Government since the 1990s in order to develop rail traffic and tackle transport mobility.


Whilst liberalised road transport has continuously increased its productivity and performance in the past decades, the rail industry is still at the start of the liberalisation process. In the introduction to the 4th Railway Package (January 2013), the European Commission describes the insufficient opening of the market, entry barriers for new railway companies, discrimination in daily operation and market-distorting cross-subsidies within integrated railway companies.


In order to improve the competitiveness of the rail against the road, it is essential to achieve separation of infrastructure and operations, but also free access to the network, vital preconditions that allow the opening of the market and the creation of a healthy competitive environment among rail companies. It is also of crucial importance to overcome the numerous technical and administrative hurdles that still stand in the way of a functioning, Europe-wide railway market today.


Hupac is convinced that full liberalisation will give the rail market the crucial impetus for customer-oriented services and sustainable economic success.


Positions of Hupac

  • Acceleration of railway liberalisation across Europe
  • Separation of infrastructure and operations as an effective means to curb the operational and financial discrimination potential of state railways; either through a complete legal and organisational breakup of the infrastructure operator or the construction of strong “Chinese walls” within integrated companies
  • Institution of powerful, independent regulatory bodies to take an active part in accompanying the liberalisation process
  • Creation of suitable conditions for private investments in the railway system
  • Dismantling of technical hurdles and market access barriers so that all railway undertakings have a chance in the open rail market
  • Strengthening of the European Railway Agency in order to achieve Europe-wide interoperability and uniform safety regulations
  • Harmonization and simplification of the homologation processes for rolling stock
  • An international train driver's licence.


Irmtraut Tonndorf
Director Communications & Marketing

Hupac Intermodal SA, Chiasso

Tel. +41 58 8558020