Routing: Zeebrugge-Antwerp/Amsterdam/Vlissingen/Rotterdam-Duisburg-[Basel]- Milan- Genoa;

Members: ProRail (Holland); Infrabel (Belgium); DB Netz (Germany); SBB Infrastruktur (Switzerland); BLS Netz (Switxerland); Trasse Schweiz (Switzerland); RFI (Italy);

Legal Form: European Economic Interest Grouping

Registered Office and Permanent Office: Frankfurt (Germany).

Website: https://www.corridor-rhine-alpine.eu

 

 

The Rhine-Alpine Corridor covers approximately 3,900 km of railway network and encompasses the most industrialised and populated area in Europe (called "Blue Banana") connecting it to the North Sea through the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Brugge and to the Mediterranean Sea through the Port of Genoa. The countries through which the Rhine-Alpine Corridor passes have a GDP of approximately 7,100 billion euros (2019 Eurostat data) with a population of approximately 181 million people.

In terms of cross-border traffic, traffic passing between Italy and Switzerland is the second most intense, immediately behind that traffic between Germany and Switzerland.

In relation to the European average modal share, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor has a very high rail modal share (ratio between the volume of freight transported by rail and the total volume of freight transported), thanks in part to the rail transport incentive policy adopted by the Swiss government to reduce road traffic on Alpine passes.

Approximately 50% of international rail freight traffic in Italy takes place on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor.

The rail modal share varies from 65% for the Gottardo passes and up to 92% in Domodossola (Sempione).

The volumes of freight transported on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor is shown below (Alpinfo 2018-2019):

 

2018

2019

Gottardo (Chiasso+Luino) Passes Total Freight Volume - Thousand of Tons

23,736.30

23,094.00

Gottardo (Chiasso+Luino) Passes Rail Freight Volume - Thousand of Tons

15,320.20

15,110.80

Gottardo (Chiasso+Luino) Passes modal share – Percentage

64,54%

65,43%

Sempione Pass Total Freight Volume - Thousands of Tons

13,649.50

12,616.30

Sempione Pass Rail Freight Volume - Thousands of Tons

12,608.90

11,538.20

Sempione Pass modal share - Percentage

92,4%

91.5%

Between 2017 and 2018, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor provided a significant contribution to the drafting of the Handbook for International Contingency Management (ICM), which had an impact on international transport and which was then adopted by all the other Corridors.

Since it is a Corridor with very high traffic intensity and an already substantial rail modal share that would therefore prove difficult to increase, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor has adopted a series of measures aimed at improving the quality of its international services with the goal of making rail transport even more attractive.

The following initiatives are of particular importance:

  • Improved Capacity Offer (ICO) Project carried out in 2019, aimed at improving the Corridor's commercial offer, which helped, among other things, in creating an international catalogue of standardised train paths between Italy and Switzerland.
  • Series of punctuality workshops organised in 2019 with extensive involvement of businesses, terminals and logistics operators, aimed at identifying shared action to improve international rail freight punctuality.

In 2019, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor, in collaboration with RailNetEurope, also launched the pilot project for implementing the IT TCR Tool to support infrastructure managers in standardising planned disruptions impacting the movement of international freight trains.

It should be pointed out that in 2018 the Corridor conducted a market study to analyse the potential variations in demand in relation to the increase in the maximum towable weight permitted for trains, the increase in commercial speed and transport reliability.

One of this study's most interesting conclusions is in highlighting the positive impact that regularity (with specific reference to punctuality) has on modal shift, also in light of the strong presence of combined traffic, especially in the southern part of the corridor.

The infrastructure of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor is being developed quickly thanks to projects such as Ceneri Base Tunnel (Switzerland - planned to open in 2020), Giovi Third Pass (Italy – due to open in 2024) and other infrastructure initiatives aimed at modifying up to 740m of the permissible length of trains, installing ETCS and reducing capacity "bottlenecks”.

Furthermore, with regard to the activities planned for the near future, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor will make a big effort in improving Capacity Management and the Train Performance Management Process with the full involvement of all railway stakeholders. In the latter case, particularly significant is the Eurocontrol feasibility study on the applicability of the cooperation model between aeronautical stakeholders. This study will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.