Net Zero Investment Plan

Area 3 : Off-road Infrastructures (14.5%)

Investment in electrifying the rail network, establishing multimodal hubs, enhancing public transport, and upgrading harbors’ electricity infrastructure is vital for advancing Europe’s sustainability goals and improving transportation efficiency, necessitating significant financial commitments and strategic planning.

Share of investment needs dedicated to off-road infrastructures

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Off-road Infrastructures Priorities

Rail Network

Multimodal Hubs

Public Transport


  1. Rail Network & 12. Multimodal Hubs

The electrification of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) rail network by 2030, 2040 and 2050 presents a significant infrastructure challenge; one that will require substantial investments. Unfortunately, such investment in rail infrastructure has been sorely lacking over the past two decades. To address this, increased investment is imperative, with priority for three key areas. First, maintenance of existing infrastructure is paramount for ensuring optimal track conditions, enabling higher speeds and improving services. Second, upgrading existing network infrastructure – including implementing the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) signalisation and addressing bottlenecks – are crucial for enhancing efficiency and capacity. As acknowledged by former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in his report “The future of the Single Market”, massive investments are needed to support the establishment of a comprehensive, pan-European high-speed rail network, “seamlessly linking all EU capitals and major urban centres”, with the aim “to significantly elevate rail’s role in long-distance passenger transportation, aiming to capture more than 50% of the market share”. The achievement of this initiative is presented as “a cornerstone in the EU’s journey towards enhanced connectivity, economic growth, and environmental sustainability, underscoring its profound importance for the future of the European Union”. According to the latest analysis by Institut Rousseau, an annual investment of 47 billion euros between 2024 and 2030 is required for the development of rail infrastructures to complete the TEN-T core network.

  1. Public Transport

Public transport – including urban rail infrastructure such as metros, trams and light rail vehicles – has a pivotal role to play in achieving Europe’s climate objectives. These systems combine high capacity, energy efficiency and safety with minimal land use, making them indispensable components of sustainable mobility. The revised TEN-T Regulation mandates that 430 major cities along the network develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) to promote zero- and low-emission mobility. Accordingly, there must be adequate funding allocated to support alternative fuel infrastructure solutions for urban rail, ensuring that charging infrastructure is also available at key locations such as terminuses and bus stops as well as at depots. In fact, the new TEN-T mandates that airports with an annual passenger traffic volume of more than 12 million passengers shall be connected to the TEN-T railway network, including the high-speed network, allowing for long distance rail services.

  1. Harbours

Upgrading maritime and inland port grids, along with their connections to the national grid, is essential for powering Shore-Side Electricity (SSE) infrastructure in European ports. Starting with ferry, container and cruise ship terminals by 2025, and extending to all other terminals by 2035, SSE infrastructure will ease the transition to cleaner maritime transportation. By prioritising investments in port electrification, Europe can reduce emissions from the shipping sector and promote sustainable port operations, in alignment with its climate objectives.