Rail Freight Corridors Under Assessment
Regulation EU 913/2010 on a European Rail Network for Competitive Freight led to the establishment of nine European rail freight corridors.
These corridors were meant to:
- Make cross-border traffic smoother,
- Help strike the right balance between freight and passenger traffic, in terms of capacity allocation or priority rules in case of disturbances on the network,
- Promote intermodality between rail and other modes by integrating terminals into corridor management and development.
The European Commission, under the impulse of the Dutch Presidency of the EU, has started assessing progress with these corridors. The corridors could prove useful to shippers by helping resolve some of the issues that have undermined rail’s performance and attractiveness, and by acting as test beds for innovative procedures. The discussion on the corridors is also helping put freight back on the agenda, after years of political discussions mainly focused on passenger rail transport.
On 21 June, the Dutch Presidency of the EU will organise a conference on the rail freight corridors to assess progress and discuss solutions and forthcoming developments with all relevant stakeholders. ESC will be represented by the Chairman of the Railway Transport Council, Mr Hermand, from Total, and by Unilever. Two declarations will be adopted during the conference: a ministerial one, and a stakeholders’ one, which contains some of the key messages and policy asks from the ESC position paper on rail freight corridors.
The ESC position paper on rail freight corridors was presented to the railway unit of DG MOVE and Dutch MEP Wim van de Camp, and was well received. The European Commission seems particularly willing to ensure that shippers are consulted, and has reacted favourably to the idea of an annual meeting with all rail freight stakeholders, including shippers, to review the performance and functioning of the corridors and rail freight in general. This is a point that ESC will keep pushing for in the forthcoming discussions on rail freight corridors, and in its response to the European Commission consultation on Regulation 913/2010.
On 22 and 23 June 2016, the International Union of Railways (UIC) will organize its 2016 Global Rail Freight Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC) is one of the leading events in the international rail freight calendar and will bring together top executives and decision makers, rail and logistics professionals, shippers, influential politicians and institutions from across the globe.
The program of this conference and a list of speakers can be found here: http://www.grfc2016.com/
ESC is a supporter of this conference. ESC members will therefore be able to benefit from a 15% discount on their registration fee. Interested ESC members can register using the dedicated link provided below, using the discount code GRFC2016ESC15: