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New rail regulations aim to level playing field

'To make trains competitive, efficient, and cheap for consumers'

10 March, 20:06
New rail regulations aim to level playing field (updates previous) (ANSA) - Rome, March 10 - New rail regulations will cover both passenger and freight trains and will aim to increase productivity and competitiveness while lowering costs for passengers, companies, and consumers by making sure all train operators have equal access to railway infrastructure, Italy's Transportation Regulation Authority said Monday.

"Critical elements have come to our attention, which put the principle of equal and non-discriminatory access at risk, with negative effects on passenger and freight rail service," the Authority said in a statement.

The regulations will contain "regulatory remedies" making sure all railway companies get to play on a level playing field in terms of tolls, leases, disabled passenger access, and quotas of infrastructure assigned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI SpA), the private company that manages Italy's railway system thanks to a public concession expiring in 2060.

The Authority made the decision to come up with new regulations on March 6, following an investigation beginning in January.

The new procedures will be ready within three months, when they will be subject to public consultation, the Authority said.

Besides a number of secondary regional railway companies, Italy has two national competitors: publicly-owned Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. and its subsidiary Trenitalia, and Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori S.p.A., a high-speed train operator founded in 2011 by four Italian businessmen to compete with Trenitalia.