Eurotunnel Launches ETICA To Help Develop Intermodal Rail Freight
Eurotunnel considers that one of its principal missions is to develop railway traffic between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Having introduced several previous measures (Open Access, European Interoperability Standards – TSI), Eurotunnel is launching ETICA1 (Eurotunnel Incentive for Capacity Additions), a system of financial support for railway operators launching new intermodal rail freight services through the Channel Tunnel.
The difficulty with opening new services through the Channel Tunnel is not, contrary to some views, due to the level of access charges, which are very competitive2, but to the marketing and service start-up costs and the controls at Frethun. The ETICA mechanism, which will be available to all railway operators, will provide a one off financial support for start-up investments, for 1 year. The ETICA mechanism, which will be fully funded by Eurotunnel, with no public subsidy, is based on the Marco Polo aid system, conforms to European Directives and does not change the access charges set out in the Network Statement.
Eurotunnel believes that its intrinsic strengths of efficiency and respect for the environment mean there is potential to further develop rail freight through the Tunnel.