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Federal Railways face competition from Italy

Trains

(Keystone)

The Swiss Federal Railways are going to face competition from Italy in freight transportation. A private railway company, Ferrovie Nord, wants to transport goods between Milan and Basel after receiving a licence from the Italian transport ministry.

After approval of the bilateral agreements with the European Union, Switzerland will recognise the licence, says Davide Demicheli from the Swiss federal transport ministry.

However, this cannot take place before the bilateral accords come into force. Ferrovie Nord, based in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, now has to apply to the Swiss Transport Ministry for a safety certificate.

"Since the bilaterals will only become a reality next year, it is clear that we have received no application yet," said Demicheli.

Ferrovie Nord will be competing with the cargo division of the Federal Railways. "We have to reckon with such projects since they are sprouting up all over Europe," says Christian Kräuchi from the Swiss Federal Railways. "We are busy making ourselves fit for such plans," he added.

Ferrovie Nord administers an extensive rail network around Milan. Its project foresees in a second phase an extension of the route for goods traffic from Basel to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The Swiss Federal Railways and the Italian State Railways (FS) are setting up a joint venture company to transport freight linking North and South called Cargo SI. It will begin operational activity with headquarters in Milan on October 1.

swissinfo with agencies

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