Como reação à resposta de 3set2020 da DG MOVE à carta para a Comissária dos Transportes de 30jul2020, verificou-se na imprensa especializada uma manifestação de apoio à exclusividade da bitola ibérica. Ver por exemplo
Passou-se assim ao largo da afirmação na resposta da DG MOVE que até 2030 se construiria uma rede em bitola UIC em Portugal (o que já não parece possível dada a inexistencia de projetos e de um plano coordenado com Espanha) e não se referiu a aparente contradição entre a resposta e anteriores posições da própria DG MOVE (ver o relatório de março de 2019):
Transcreve-se da pág.65 deste relatório:
Issue 2 - Completion of Spain's rail TEN-T Core Network by 2030 - The completion of Spain's TEN-T rail Core Network by 2030 could raise concerns given the current pace of implementation. Cross-border rail traffic of freight trains from Spain into France and Portugal remains a bottleneck for completing the Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors. The different gauges used in the neighbouring countries constitute a key barrier to the improvement of Spain's rail connectivity. Increased cooperation between Spain, France and Portugal in the implementation of rail interoperability is underway to overcome these obstacles.
Não consta que tenham sido dados passos no sentido de "overcame these obstacles" (muito difícil repudiar a ideia de que o governo português tem manipulado a informação enviada para Bruxelas). Ignorada esta contradição pela comunicação social, foi antes por ela dada enfase a dois argumentos, aliás utilizados na própria resposta da DG MOVE à carta para a Comissária.
Um é que os outros parâmetros da interoperabilidade são mais importantes do que a diferença de bitola e portanto esta pode ficar para depois.
A aferição da importância já tinha sido feita pela IP citando um estudo do corredor atlantico com as estimativas da redução de custos nos percursos Leixões-Madrid, Leixões-Paris e Leixões-Mannheim devida a cada um dos fatores de interoperabilidade (25 kV, comprimento dos comboios, bitola, ERTMS). Ver quadro abaixo.
De facto, se se pretender apenas explorar a peninsula ibérica, a bitola é irrelevante enquanto Espanha mantiver a rede ibérica. Mas considerando os percursos internacionais, a importância da bitola sobe para segundo em quatro. Isto é, o argumento só tem força se se restringirem os percursos à peninsula ibérica.
O outro argumento é apresentado como o aparecimento de soluções inovadoras para os vagões de mercadorias e no linkedin circulou a notícia de que a Transfesa organizou o transporte de automóveis entre Espanha e a Alemanha utilizando vagões que podem circular em bitola ibérica e UIC (interessa à Medway). Ver
com suspensão dos bogies
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT
Directorate B - Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport
Brussels, 12 october 2020Dear Mr Lopes,
Dear Mr Neto,
I acknowledge receipt of your second letter to Commissioner Välean of 21 September. Commissioner Välean asked me to reply on her behalf.
As stated in the reply to your first letter, interoperability of rail within the Iberian Peninsula and with the rest of the EU is of high importance to the European Commission. Article 39.2.a (iv) of the TEN-T Regulation implies that the new high-speed lines between Lisbon and Madrid, Lisbon and Porto and Aveiro and Salamanca have to be constructed in UIC gauge. This may be achieved through the intermediate step of equipment with polyvalent sleepers and the later shifting to UIC gauge. With the provisions of the current TEN-T Regulation, Portugal is thus not becoming a rail island due to the Iberian gauge and the border crossings with Spain that are part of the core TEN-T network are guaranteeing the interconnection with the rest of the European rail network. The gradual transition from the Iberian gauge to the UIC gauge needs strong coordination between the two countries and the approach followed in Portugal is designed to maintain interoperability with Spain.
The Commission is fully aware of the investments that are being made in the Portuguese rail network. Moreover, given that the most significant works that are underway on the core TEN-T network in Portugal are co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility, the fulfilment of all relevant European Regulations is being scrutinised.
Regarding your specific question about the certification of Iberian gauge, let me clarify that the Technical Specifications for Interoperability relating to Infrastructure (TSI Infra) consider four different possible gauges in the EU, one of them being the Iberian gauge @tps ://eur-l ex. europa -content/EN / ALI ZEX'0 03 A 32014Rl 299). According to the Interoperability Directive, the so-called Notified Body (NoBo) verifies the infrastructure against these TSI. The result of the verification is the "NoBo EC Certificate" issued by the NoBo as part of the authorisation process of the infrastructure. The certificate does not imply that the gauge is considered as interoperable with the UIC
gauge. It implies that the characteristics of the infrastructure are in line with those of the TSI. The term interoperability in the Interoperability Directive is defined as the ability of a rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance.
As already stated in the reply to your first letter, please rest assured that we are pursuing all efforts, including through co-funding, to ensure the interoperability of rail within the Iberian Peninsula and with the rest of the EU, in line with the applicable Regulations and with a high degree of dedication and coordination from both the Portuguese and Spanish Governments and Infrastructure Managers.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIÉ - Tel. +32 22991 1 1 1 Office: DM28 06/ 1 09 - Tel. direct line +32 229-68372
Mantendo-se a ausencia de garantia por parte da DG MOVE do cumprimento do prazo de 2030 para o plano das redesTEN-T na peninsula ibérica com interoperabilidade plena, incluindo a bitola UIC, nem indicação de data alternativa credível, o grupo de subscritores, considerando tal como uma ameaça para a economia, nomeadamente por causa das exportações, enviou 3ªcarta em 19out2020:
Dear Ms Adina Valean
Commissioner for Transportation
Address: Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
Lisboa, 18 October 2020
Subject: risk of Isolation of the Portuguese economy – clarification of the vrail component of the TEN-T in Portugal
Dear Commissioner Adina Valean: we would like to thank you for your letter dated 12 October 2020, that Mr Herald Ruijters wrote to us on your behalf.
We thank you for your answer to the question of our first letter: “The certificate does not imply that the gauge is considered as interoperable with the UIC gauge”. This is a very clear statement, we appreciate that very much, indeed. But we would like to understand what are the practical consequences of this: given that
1. the EU regulation 1315/2013 clearly states that the lines of the Core Network must be in UIC gauge.
2. the use of polyvalent sleepers, on its own, is no guarantee that the rail gauge will be changed from Iberian to UIC gauge. As you know this process implies that single lines cannot be operated during the works to change the position of the rails and replacement of switches and other equipments. Double lines will have their capacity reduced, probably more than 10 times, during that period. This may be unfeasible if the indirect costs, this is, the impact on the economy, is very strong due to lack of competitive and environmentally acceptable alternatives.
3. the official documents and statements of the portuguese Government show that there is no coordination with Spain nor intention of starting the introduction of the UIC gauge in the portuguese rail network before 2030 (nor afterwards, according to members of the Government and the railway manager, as we showed in our previous letter, dated 21 September 2020).
can you please let us know if the costs of the construction and upgrading of lines of the Atlantic Corridor of the EU Core Network in Portugal in Iberian gauge are eligible to be co-financed by CEF?
We also ask you to
i.reaffirm the convenience of meeting the objective of building the Atlantic Corridor in UIC gauge by 2030 to the Portuguese Government and, mainly, to the portuguese public opinion.
ii.avoid the waste of resources in solutions, namely single lines, that don´t serve the future needs of the portuguese economy and are incompatible with EU policies to transfer freight transportation in long distances (>300km) from the roads to rail and maritime transport. When the Atlantic Corridor is finished all lines should be double track, in UIC gauge, and competitive for both passenger traffic (high speed, as you refer in your letter dated 21 September 2020) and freight.
iii.consider the above in the analysis of the Resilience and Recovery Plan the portuguese Government presented to the EU Commission a few days ago.
With best regards
Luis Mira Amaral
Fernando Santos e Silva
Luis Cabral da Silva
Eugénio Menezes de Sequeira
João Luis Mota Campos
José Augusto Felício
Carlos Sousa Oliveira
Rui Carrilho Gomes
António Gomes Correia
José António Ferreira de Barros
Luis Miguel Ribeiro
António Miguel Batista Poças da Rosa
António Almeida Henriques
José Ribau Esteves