European Context

 The adoption of Regulation (EU) 913/2010 not only provided the legal framework for the development of the Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs), but also sent a clear message to the railway sector that the European Commission wants to express its strong commitment to the promotion of the competitiveness of international rail freight in order to achieve a greater share in the transport market.

For the last few years since the network of all eleven RFCs became operational good results and developments have been observed, in particular in establishment of cooperation pattern within RFCs governance bodies and in identification of project stakeholders needs and expectations. Rail Freight Corridor North Sea-Baltic also works with its corresponding North Sea-Baltic CNC in the framework of the model for cooperation between Rail Freight Corridors and TEN-T Core Network Corridors.

Another milestone in RFCs activities resulting from close cooperation between Corridors’ Executive Boards was the adoption of a harmonized Framework for Capacity Allocation, which is common to all corridors. This Framework ensures that the allocation of capacity takes into account the needs of freight traffic. To a large extent the success of the rail freight corridor concept depends on finding common ground between the stakeholders and further facilitating of international rail freight through a market-oriented approach. Railway undertakings and terminals are strongly encouraged to get involved in the governance of the RFCs through the advisory groups, which were established by the Management Board of each corridor. Although governments may seem to play a crucial role in promoting the modal shift to rail, a substantial part of the success of the RFCs' project lies in the hands of the railway sector itself.

Below listed specific actions need to be undertaken in order to support the development of international rail freight transport through the implementation of the rail freight corridor concept:

  • Making rail freight a more attractive alternative
  • Making the governance of the Rail Freight Corridors more efficient
  • Enhancing operational efficiency
  • Ensuring adequate capacity for all users