11 June 2021 Europe

The Luxembourg Rail Protocol

Putting rail at the forefront of smart and sustainable mobility, the EU transport council declaration recognises the unique contribution of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol.

The Rail Working Group (RWG) has warmly welcomed the Council conclusions ‘Putting Rail at the Forefront of Smart and Sustainable Mobility as agreed on, 3 June 2021 by the European Transport Ministers.

The work led by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council recognises the central role rail can play in enabling the European Union path towards more sustainable mobility and the achievement of the EU climate objectives.

The RWG agrees that private sector support for procurement of new, much needed, investment in rolling stock will be an essential component of the EU strategy to encourage the post-pandemic expansion of sustainable transport across Europe through the rail sector and greatly appreciates the Council recognition of the unique contribution of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention.

Sweden and Luxembourg have already ratified the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, as has the EU itself in relation to its competencies, and a number of other EU member states are working on ratification.

“We strongly urge member states to move forward with ratification at the earliest opportunity,” said Howard Rosen, RWG Chairman. “Not only will this make private investment in rolling stock easier and cheaper” he added, “but the Luxembourg Rail Protocol will also provide much more flexibility for operators as to how they pay for their fleets and create new business opportunities and jobs in the rail manufacturing sector”.

Anne Mazière, RWG Management Committee member and COO of the Rail Structured finance team at Crédit Agricole CIB, one of the largest private rolling stock funder in Europe, commented: “by creating a common security and asset identification system for rail lenders and lessors across Europe, the Luxembourg Rail Protocol will play a direct role in facilitating the Single European Rail Area, lower the barriers to entry for both public and private operators in different parts of the rail sector as well as support investment in new, environmentally friendly, technology for the railways”.


Footnote

Editor’s note: With financing of railway projects and assets in Africa being such a challenge, the adoption of this protocol on the African continent will go a long way in providing lenders valuable protection and should be adopted.

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