National Rail Freight Strategies

In the context of the climate change discussion, rail freight is getting more importance and political attention as a sustainable mode of transport. But, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, railway undertakings face new financial and operational challenges.

To encourage further growth and modal shift to rail and to support railway undertakings in the pandemic situation, all national Ministries of Transport (MoT) along the RFC Rhine-Alpine have published national rail strategies and started support programmes.

In order to create transparency about the different support measures available, the RFC core team created this overview based on information provided by the MoT representatives in our Executive Board. We list brief information on the programmes and strategies. For a further in-depth view on the regulations please use the links to the national MoT information provided.

If you have questions/comments on this overview or think that information is missing, please contact us via

The cooperation agreement between the Regulatory Bodies of the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy can be found here.




Policies for the modal shift

As part of the National Energy and Climate Plan



Federal financial support for retrofitting freight wagons


All documents are available in Dutch, French or English.



Climate Package of the Federal Government

Including 11 billion € to strengthen rail infrastructure in the years 2020-2030.

Masterplan rail freight traffic

Including 66 measures and 5 immediate measures, details are listed in the section below.


Selection of measures from the masterplan:

Reduction of track access charges

Especially for rail freight traffic. The volume of the measure is 350 million € p.a. with a funding rate of 47%.


Federal Program for the future of rail freight traffic

A funding scheme for the testing and launch of innovative technologies with 30 million € p.a. until 2024. Half of the investment costs have to be paid by the sector.


Financial support for rail freight plant prices

Especially for the support of single-wagon loads. The funding volume is 40 million € p.a. until 2025.


Sidings track support program

Support program for the building, extension and reactivation of private rail sidings. Up to 50% of the costs can be funded. The financial volume is 34 million € p.a. until the end of 2023 and 49 million € p.a. for the years 2024 and 2025.


All documents are available in German language only.



General modal Shift Policy

Overview in German.

Concept for rail freight traffic

Download as PDF document.

Information on Swiss transport policy

      Overview in English

Fact Sheet in English:

Swiss transport policy from A to Z



Operational Subsidies

Usable for unattended combined traffic (UKV) and attended combined traffic (RoLa)

Subsidies for technical improvements in rail freight traffic

This is only a concept. Please find the correlating letter of intent as a PDF document here.

Investment contribution for private rail freight facilities


Aside from the fact sheet and the Information on Swiss transport policy, the information given is available in German, French and Italian.



The Strategic document of passengers and freight railway mobility (Documento Strategico della Mobilità Ferroviaria di passeggeri e merci (DSMF)) it covers the period 2022-2026.

Find the complete document here.



The law no. 77 of 17 July 2020, the so-called "Rilancio Decree" provides urgent measures in the field of health, support for work and the economy, as well as social policies, related to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19. Relevant for the railway sector:

  • Article 214(3) "extraordinary contributions for railroad undertakings", which provides that "the amount of 70 million euros for 2020 and 80 million euros per year from 2021 to 2034 (a total of 1 billion and 190 million euros) has been approved to support rail freight undertakings".

Find the complete law here.



Limitation of liability for internal content

The content of this document has been compiled with thorough care and to the best of our knowledge based on the input given by the Members of the RFC Rhine-Alpine Exucutive Board. However, we cannot assume any liability for the information being up-to-date, complete or accurate for any of the pages.

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