The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) has launched Europe’s latest rail association, the Alliance of Rail New Entrants (ALLRAIL).

The organisation will bring together private companies and open access operators from the European freight and passenger rail market who favour greater competition and liberalisation across the sector.

The group says that customers will benefit from greater competition and save on costs – as would local authorities – if closed markets are opened up. Members include LEO Express, MTR Nordic, NTV, Regiojet, Trainline and WESTbahn.

It adds: “Fair competition and open markets [are] the only way to shift freight and passengers from road to rail by offering attractive and additional choices…

“ALLRAIL members are hungry to invest in rail and to set up new routes and new types of services across Europe, making rail a more attractive and competitive transport mode for existing and new customers.”

The organisation says it will focus its efforts on opening rail markets in all EU Member States, pursuing non-discriminatory access and financing for rolling stock, competitive track access charges and an open data environment.

Erich Forster, chief executive of WESTbahn has been elected president of ALLRAIL and Tony Berkeley, ERFA director, as the vice president.

Peter Koehler, chief executive of LEO Express, and Nick Brooks, head of European affairs at Trainline, have also been elected as ALLRAIL board directors.

The association was launched today (April 20) by ERFA in Brussels.