Rail Freight Corridors

Regulation n. 913/2010 sets the following deadlines for corridors crossing Italy to entry into operation:

  • November 2013: for the Rhine – Alpine and the Mediterranean rail freight corridor
  • November 2015: for the Scandinavian - Mediterranean and the Baltic – Adriatic rail freight corridor

EU Regulation n. UE 913/2010  contains provisions for the creation of a European rail network for competitive freight transport. To this end the Regulation sets modalities and timing by which the national network operators through which the corridors are to coordinate their implementation.
Main measures contained in the Regulation include:

  • Implementation of the subsystems for the interoperability of corridors in order to allow the passage of trains from one national network to another without encountering technical barriers;

  • Investments coordination in order implement the standards of the railway of the TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) on all lines relating to the corridor;

  • Publication and updating of Implementation Plans for each corridor describing main corridor’s features such as the reference transport market, bottlenecks, investment and procedures for traffic management to be put in place in order to improve the rail freight competitiveness;

  • Creation of a corridor body known as Corridor One Stop Shop (C-OSS) in charge of the publication and the allocation of the capacity for international rail freight transport, through the PCS a European system for the allocation of capacity for international rail freight transport;

  • Creation of prearranged paths harmonized among Corridor Infrastructure Managers to promote rail freight transport;

  • Performance monitoring of freight trains and customer satisfaction through monitoring systems for international freight trains

EU Regulation n. UE 913/2010  defines the following corridors for the creation of the European rail network for competitive freight:

  • Scandinavian-Mediterranean
  • North Sea-Baltic
  • North Sea-Mediterranean
  • Baltic-Adriatic
  • Orient-East Med
  • Rhine-Alpine
  • Atlantic
  • Rhine-Danube
  • Mediterranean

For more information about the characteristics of the corridors such as the definition of routes and lines, the analysis of the reference transport market and the list of projects, please refer to studies published by the European Union at the following link

Rail freight corridors crossing Italy are:

  • Rhine – Alpine corridor: stretching from Rotterdam to Genoa along the Rhine River through a key area of Europe's industrial fabric and is connected to Zeebrugge and Antwerp via Cologne.

  • Mediterranean corridor: crossing five EU countries (Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary) with an extension of over 6,000 km across the route Almería-Valenzia/Madrid-Saragozza/Barcellona-Marsiglia-Lione-Torino-Milano-Verona-Padova/Venezia-Trieste/Koper-Ljubljana-Budapest-Záhony.

  • Baltic – Adriatic corridor: called North-South axis links the ports of Poland with those of Slovenia and Italy with terminal located in the hinterland of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. The initial routing "Gdynia - Katowice - Ostrava / Zilina - Bratislava / Vienna / Klagenfurt - Udine - Venice / Trieste / Bologna / Ravenna / Graz - Maribor - Ljubljana - Koper / Trieste", was modified to connect the ports of Szczecin and Swinoujscie included within the corridors of the Regulations crossing Poland.  The corridor total length is of 4,825 km (given by the sum of both main and alternatives lines).

  • Scandinavian – Mediterranean: The Scandinavian Mediterranean Corridor stretches more than 7,000 km through the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Italy connecting the cities of Stockholm, Malmo, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Innsbruck, Verona and Palermo.

For more information about the characteristics of the corridors such as the definition of routes and lines, the analysis of the reference transport market and the list of projects, please refer to studies published  in the  RNE website .

Regulation 913/2010 provides the following bodies have to be set up for the governance of freight corridors:

  • Executive Board composed of representatives of the authorities of the Member States concerned. The Executive  Board is responsible for:
    • defining the general objectives of the rail freight corridor
    • give an opinion if it is required by one of the advisory groups to help resolve disputes with the Management Board;
    • approve the implementation plan and the investment plan of the corridor;
    • adopt a framework agreement for capacity allocation along the corridor
    • present to every two years the European Commission the results of the implementation plan for that corridor
  • Management Board composed by representatives of the infrastructure managers.
    The Management Board is responsible for:
    • set up an advisory group made up of managers and owners of the terminals of the freight corridor;
    • coordinate the use of IT applications for handling requests for international paths along the corridor
    • prepare and deliver the Implementation Plan
    • prepare and approve the following measures:
      • definition of processes for the consultation of the applicants infrastructure capacity
      • delivery of an investment plan for the implementation of the rail freight corridor
      • the definition of coordinated processes for the provision of information on planned works down the hall
      • set up of a Corridor One Stop Shop for capacity allocation
      • definition of pre arranged harmonized paths among infrastructure manager as well as reserve capacity and priority rules
      • definition of traffic management procedures along the corridor
  • Advisory Groups composed by Railway Undertakings an terminal owners and managers. These groups may issue an opinion on any proposal by the management board which has direct consequences on their activity (investments, operations, information systems, processes).

In order to fulfill the tasks assigned by the Regulation the Management Board make use of operational and technical support through the establishment of thematic working groups responsible for providing their own assessments on the various issues to be analyzed for the implementation of the corridor (such as the 'analysis of the transport market, the procedures for the management of rail traffic, the preparation of investment plans, etc.).

the efficient governance of the corridors the Article 8.5 of the Regulation n. 913/2010 provides that the Management Board may establish legal entities with their own legal representation and separated by Infrastrucuture Managers themselves in order to manage both their relations should these relations be either internal (eg. Human and material resources necessary for the functioning of the support structures for the governance of the corridor) or external (eg. contracts and tenders with third party suppliers, EU funding procedures).

The two corridors crossing Italy that have entered into operation in November 2013 have already established a legal entity representation in the legal form of the EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping) while the remaining two corridors entering into operation on November 2015, respectively Scandinavian – Mediterranean and Baltic – Adriatic corridor, are establishing an Austrian association and an EEIG.