Routing: Almería-Valencia/Algeciras/Madrid-Zaragoza/Barcelona-Marseille-Lyon-Turin-Milan-Verona -Padua/Venice-Trieste/Capodistria-Ljubljana-Budapest Ljubljana/Fiume -Zagabria-Budapest-Zahony (Hungarian-Ukranian border)
Members: ADIF (Spain), Línea Figueras Perpignan (Spain-France), SNCF Réseau (France), Oc’Via (France), RFI (Italy), SŽ - Infrastruktura (Slovenia), MÁV (Hungary); VPE (Hungary), e HŽ Infrastruktura (Croatia)
Legal Form: European Economic Interest Grouping
Registered Office, Permanent Office and One Stop Shop: Milan.


The Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor is Europe's most important horizontal rail freight axis, stretching 7,779 km from Spain to the border of the European Union, connecting the Mediterranean Basin with Central Europe and Ukraine.

For this reason, the Mediterranean Freight Railway Corridor has a high potential to capture significant shares of Europe-Asia traffic flows, although these are currently threatened by the unfortunate conflict in Ukraine.

On its route from East to West, the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor is interconnected with seven other Rail Freight Corridors and crosses three of the four main manufacturing areas in Europe: Catalonia, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Piedmont-Lombardy. In 2023, the GDP of the countries crossed by the Mediterranean Corridor was approximately EUR 6,700 billion, with a total population of around 191 million (Eurostat data 2023). The Corridor connects more than 100 intermodal Terminals, five major Mediterranean Sea Ports and two important inland ports (Lyon and Budapest).

For Italy, the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor represents an important logistical connection with France to the west and Slovenia to the east, passing through some of the country's most economically advanced regions, including the ports of Venice and Trieste.

With regard to freight flows between Italy and France, the volumes of goods transported through the Frejus Tunnel are shown in the following table (Alpinfo data, 2023):




Modane Pass Total Freight Volume – Thousands of Tonnes



Modane Pass Rail Freight Volume – Thousands of Tonnes



Modane Pass Modal Share – Percentage



Ventimiglia Pass Total Cargo Volumes – Thousands of Tonnes



Ventimiglia Pass Railway Freight Volumes – Thousands of Tonnes



Ventimiglia Pass Modal Share – Percentage



This data shows a high freight transport intensity, albeit it not comparable to the Swiss and Austrian passes, with ample room for growth for the railway sector in view of the increasingly pressing need to reduce road congestion, particularly when it comes to exchanges between France and Italy. 

The organisation of the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor became operational in 2013, in line with the deadlines set by EU Regulation 2010/913.

From its establishment until today, the Mediterranean Freight Railway Corridor has seen a steady increase in the ratio of rail capacity demand to capacity offered , stabilising at around 45% in recent years and peaking at 53% for TT2024. The ratio of the rail capacity offered by the corridor to the total planned international capacity offered by the infrastructure managers has also been gradually increasing, a sign of the increasingly important role played by the corridor as a one-stop shop for the supply of harmonised international capacity (C-OSS).

TT = timetable; LTL = late path request. TT2015 22%; TT 2016 25%; TT 2017 27%; TT 2018 33%; TT 2019 30% and 34% after LPR; TT 2020 24%

Over the years, the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor has contributed considerably to the improvement of international cooperation between its Infrastructure Managers and the Capacity Allocation Body (in Hungary there is a separation of roles), which culminated in the important Conference in Zagreb in 2017, at which a Letter of Intent was signed by the respective CEOs containing a number of specific measures aimed at strengthening the development of international freight transport.

One of the Corridor's tasks is to periodically update a market study on observed and expected traffic trends along its route. The Corridor conducted an initial study in 2013, which was subsequently updated in 2016, when Croatia joined the Corridor. The market study contains a series of modal shift projections with medium- and long-term time horizons depending on a number of parameters that determine the modal selection (e.g. cost of rail and road transport, infrastructure developments, etc.). In 2020, the Corridor, in cooperation with the Ten-T Mediterranean Corridor, developed a new study with an analysis of the traffic on the Corridor and future development scenarios based on the assumption of the evolution of certain economic factors and transport policies.

In 2017, the Corridor also completed a study on the last rail mile, aimed at identifying the main infrastructure measures needed to strengthen the performance of the supply chain in relation to the connections between infrastructure manager and terminals.

As of 2019, the Train Performance Management (TPM) Working Group has held a series of meetings with the Railway Undertakings operating along the Corridor twice a year in order to:

  • better understand the developments and needs of the rail transport market;
  • identify weaknesses and possible corrective actions;
  • initiate and conduct joint analyses of the main problems of the railway sector along the Corridor, with particular reference to cross-border transits.

One of the most important studies conducted by the Corridor in recent years is the “Boost on Rail” study developed in 2019 in cooperation with Federchimica, which focused on identifying the factors considered by the chemical sector to be decisive for modal shift.  

In 2020, the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor carried out a pilot project concerning the implementation of an End-to-End international rail transport control and monitoring function on a sample of bi-national and tri-national international traffic relations.  

The main objectives of the project were:

  • The proactive involvement of all actors in the railway supply chain (Infrastructure Managers, Intermodal Terminals and Industrial Junctions) together with other important stakeholders (RNE, Industrial Associations and End Users) in the real-time monitoring of trains on a restricted selection of routes;
  • The improvement of the quality of the data entered into the European systems, concerning the monitoring of rail traffic, with the integration of data concerning the activities of arriving and departing terminals;
  • The regular production of punctuality reports for the monitored flows, shared with all the actors involved, with the aim of identifying improvement actions and defining punctuality targets capable of increasing the share of transported traffic.

Activities to improve circulation at borders

• Villa Opicina Task Force

Since September 2020, due to planned works at the Karavanke Tunnel (on the Austrian-Slovenian border), some of the Koper - Villach traffic has been diverted via Villa Opicina/Tarvisio, resulting in critical management problems for the Villa Opicina facility and the terminals and facilities in the area on both sides of the border. In response to a 32% increase in traffic at the Italian-Slovenian border crossing, the Mediterranean Freight Railway Corridor coordinated a task force made up of the Italian and Slovenian Infrastructure Managers with the objective of jointly monitoring the planning and operational management of freight traffic, sharing the rules for managing cross-border traffic, and setting up a round table with the Railway Undertakings to share actions to improve punctuality at the crossing.

In 2023 and 2024, the Villa Opicina Task Force will continue its activities to streamline railway traffic between Italy and Slovenia. The priority objective is to achieve a significant reduction in the stationing time of freight trains in the Villa Opicina station.

• Modane Task Force

At the border between Italy and France at the Modane facility, with the involvement of RFI and SNCF Réseau, the Corridor has launched the Quality Circle Operation (QCO), an initiative aimed at reducing transit times through the identification of joint initiatives with railway undertakings, also in anticipation of the construction of the new Turin-Lyon link.

• QCO Perpignan - Barcelona

During the meeting held in Madrid between the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor and the management of the Infrastructure Manager (IM) ADIF, on 21/06/2023, the “QCO Perpignan - Barcelona” Task Force was launched, with the aim of facilitating and improving cross-border cooperation between the two IMs, ADIF and SNCF Réseau, and all other stakeholders. The priority objectives identified are as follows: 

Optimisation of management procedures at Perpignan FI Station 

TT Targets 2023: 

  • Night openings of the LFP on Sat/Sun and Sun/Mon as of TT 2023;
  • Night-time openings of ADIF on Sat/Sun and Sun/Mon as of 30/03/2023;
  • Application of new standards and procedures in railway traffic management.

Future TT 2024 targets: 

  • Feasibility study for a third night opening during the week;
  • Further optimisation of rail traffic management at Perpignan Station;
  • Further development of the QCO BCP Perpignan - Barcelona.

One of the future challenges of the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor is certainly to achieve the transfer of freight traffic from road to rail, to reach a rail share of 30% by 2030, in line with the objectives set by the European transport policy.

In continuity with the actions taken in 2022 and 2023, in the medium term the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor will focus its efforts on:

  • Improving border transits, by carrying out actions to develop greater interoperability and to ensure regular monitoring of traffic in order to identify and implement corrective actions to decrease dwell times and ensure greater transport reliability, at all border points included in the Corridor;
  • Improving performance monitoring with a focus on improving data reliability and greater digitisation of information management;
  • Developing an international capacity offer increasingly in line with the needs of the end-users, extending the offer with a higher degree of coordination with terminals and ports. 


Mediterranean Freight Corridor organization