As rolling stock owners and service providers we consider rail transport as the green heart within a European multimodal transport system.
AERRL strongly believes that developing and maintaining a sustainably successful European transport system requires defragmentation of the railway sector and a holistic view on technological, (socio-) political and economic aspects – across the region and including all stakeholders. Rail rolling stock lessors are an integral part of that transport system and as such committed supporters of the EU vision of a Single European Railway Area.
Interoperability & Safety
AERRL is an advocate for safe and reliable rail transport across Europe. We stand firm behind the European Railway Safety Declaration and actively promote the Entity in Charge of Maintenance certification scheme and compliance to European Technical Specification for Interoperability. We support the dialogue to improve interoperability of rolling stock at lowest cost with highest safety standards. We believe in the necessity of a coordinated development of a European Corridor network to improve border crossings for the competitiveness of rail transport through Europe.
We believe in providing a European scheme for maintenance with common open standards organized under the ECM scheme for a lean, safe and efficient rail operation.
We are supportive towards the enhancement of a harmonized open maintenance infrastructure access, which shall be feeding into a smoothly running transport system without borders. We therefore endorse an increasing competition in the European rolling stock maintenance market. We believe that European rules should support, for a period of at least 30 years after delivery, that rail equipment can become obsolete due to the absence of maintenance possibilities.
Decarbonization & Environment
Rail transport as the inherently more environmentally friendly mode of passenger and cargo transports, contributing best to reducing emissions by being a competitive alternative to air or road transport. Therefore, we strongly support a multi-modal transport system with rail transport as its backbone.
AERRL believes not only in the potential of rail transport as the backbone of an overall European transport system, but also believes in the potential of decarbonization within the rail sector itself. We support the continued shift towards renewable energy sources and are in favour of further electrification of the European rail network. We greatly support the uniformity of an electric and alternative European energy supply infrastructure, rather than the development of non-interoperable solutions on national levels. We strongly believe that the technological swap from diesel traction towards more sustainable energies and technologies must be supported by a European framework which should include support to innovation, definition of standards and investment to the benefit of an open access fuelling network.
AERRL strongly promotes ETCS and specifically a uniform standard across the European Union while advocating for a single common European rollout plan per baseline level upgrade rather than national advancement efforts. Reducing legacy systems in member states and implementing ETCS on both main lines as well as branch lines are initiatives we support.
As rolling-stock lessors we fulfill our responsibility to invest in our vehicles, keeping them safe, up-to-date and manage major upgrades through their lifecycles. This also accounts for major upgrades such as ETCS. ETCS is one of the major technological and financial challenges of our industry, and in order for AERRL to strongly support this transition we are asking for a pragmatic and realistic ETCS Baseline3 implementation plan, upgrade timeframe and content requirement. We are particularly attentive to the capacity of the EU member states and ERA to make available standards, regulations, and infrastructure deployment more consistent, transparent and sooner. We furthermore desire that approvals by the ERA and EU are made in such way, that involved rail equipment can be operated for a period of at least 10 years.
Competitiveness & Innovation and fair competition
AERRL supports a European and holistic view on rail transport considering technological, (socio-) political and economic aspects. We believe that the further opening of the railway sector and the reduction of market entry barriers will facilitate broader access to rolling stock and increased standardization in e.g. the areas of system architecture, infrastructure provision, maintenance or homologation processes which will help the sector thrive and innovate.
We believe that rolling stock lessors contribute significantly to a competitive rail transport system, helping operators to achieve maximum asset utilization and therefore aim to improve regulatory policies that will help bolster the vitality and global competitiveness of European’s rail leasing industry. We support the further shift towards standardized European processes managed through ERA for a lean and swift ECM & homologation management.
AERRL promotes modern public funding, granting fair access to funds for both private and public entities as part of the same European transport system. We advocate for concentrating public funding or tax incentives on network access and signaling, fair and uniform energy supply and charging processes across Europe, open access maintenance and fueling infrastructure, intermodal freight and passenger hubs, research and consider that subsidies directed to rolling stock investments generates distortions of competition harmful to free competition.
Standardization & Political Framework
AERRL believes that standardization is the key for a sustainably effective European transport system. Rail rolling stock lessors are an integral part of that system, investing in vehicles, maintaining them and feeding back our experiences along the life cycle of the vehicles and their cross-country operation for improvements.
Acting as owners, asset managers, keepers and service providers we aim for active involvement in ERA norm standardization to provide and receive feedback on issuing norms and regulations for the enhancement of technical and operational harmonization.
AERRL believes that rail transport will only succeed as a backbone of an European transport Ecosystem when innovation is promoted and supported within a competitive European rolling-stock manufacturer and service provider market and beyond rolling stock by promoting a modern rail infrastructure access e.g. through building innovative transport hubs around urban areas with electrified access routes.