European Freight Corridors – established by Regulation EU/913/2010 – are one of the cornerstones of Community policy aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of international rail freight transport and, therefore, meeting the freight transport modal share objectives established by the EU White Paper for 2030: diversion of 30% of road freight transport over 300 km to rail or inland waterways.
They are therefore a positive example of structured cooperation between infrastructure managers, transport companies and terminals.
In particular, in collaboration with the other infrastructure managers involved, we are responsible for determining how best to standardise the processes and tools for managing international rail capacity and planned traffic disruptions, as well as to coordinate the management of cross-border traffic and emergencies and assess the measurement of international rail performance.
There are currently eleven European Freight Corridors in operation, four of which relating to Italy:
Each Corridor, organised in the form of autonomous legal entities (European Economic Interest Groupings or International Associations), has its own operational governance representing the various infrastructure managers.
Since the entry into force of EU Regulation (2013), as RFI we have had a leading role in managing the European Freight Corridors. Currently, three of the four corridors relating to Italy are managed by a director from our company.
EU Regulation 913/2010 establishes the rules for creating and organising international rail corridors for competitive freight transportation in view of developing a single European railway network.
The main measures introduced by the Regulation can be summarised as follows:
1) Governance: establishment of Management Boards (consisting of Infrastructure Managers and capacity allocation bodies belonging to the Corridor) for creating and operating the Freight Corridors; establishment of Executive Boards (consisting of representatives of the Member States belonging to the Corridor) for supervising the activities of the Freight Corridors;
2) Implementation Plan: drafting of the document containing the measures for setting up and operating the Corridor;
3) Corridor One Stop Shop: establishment and management of the Corridor One Stop Shop for internationally standardised capacity allocation;
4) Planned disruptions: publication of planned disruptions to the railway infrastructure belonging to the corridor and measures for their international coordination;
5) Stakeholder consultation: creation and management of the consultation groups for the Railway Undertakings which use the Corridor and the Terminals belonging to the Corridor;
6) Performance: implementation of the measures for monitoring corridor performance and for conducting a customer satisfaction survey;
7) Traffic Management: measures for standardising international freight traffic.
Governance of the corridors is ensured by the Executive Board, the Management Board and the Consultative Committees comprising the representatives from the Terminals and Railway Undertakings involved in operating the corridor.
More specifically, the Executive Board consists of the representatives from the Ministries for Transport and has the role of:
establishing the corridor's general aims,
providing an opinion when requested by one of the consultative committees in order to help settle disputes with the Management Board,
approving the implementation plan and the investment plan,
adopting a framework agreement for infrastructure capacity allocation along the corridor,
informing the European Commission every two years on the progress made on the Implementation Plan.
The Management Committee, comprising representatives from the Infrastructure Managers and capacity allocation bodies, instead has the role of:
establishing two consultative committees comprising the Terminals linked to the corridor and the Railway Committees that operate there, respectively,
coordinating the use of IT applications for managing the requests for international paths along the corridor,
drawing up and delivering the Implementation Plan,
devising and adopting the following measures:- Definition of processes for consulting those requesting infrastructure capacity.
Consultative groups comprising representatives from the Terminals and Railway Undertakings involved in the corridor's operation.