Position paper: Evaluation of the Rail Freight Corridor regulation 28/03/19

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Evaluation of the Rail Freight Corridor Regulation

Intermodal trains, i.e. freight trains transporting intermodal loading units (ILU), constitute the only consistently growing production system of rail freight.  Basing freight transport on the use of ILUs - containers, swap bodies and (craneable) semi-trailers - is a prerequisite to economically shifting cargo from road to more sustainable modes of transport over long(er) distances.  UIRR member Combined Transport operators and Transhipment Terminal Managers have an inherent interest in boosting the quality performance of rail freight, which is critical for the competitiveness of their transport services.

The evolution of European Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) – created by Regulation 913/2010 – have been closely assisted by UIRR both in the legislative phase and during implementation in the past decade.  RFCs are viewed as an effective solution to increase the efficiency and thus the performance of rail freight in Europe.  The regulation, having been adopted nearly ten years ago, is highly due for a comprehensive evaluation followed by a comprehensive set of corrective amendments.  UIRR is convinced that the performance of Rail Freight Corridors, and cross-border freight trains, can be considerably improved this way.

In this paper, UIRR offers its insights on how to get more tangible results out of European RFCs.  Three aspects of the Regulation will be addressed in this paper:

  • The mission of RFCs:  are the mission objectives set out for the Corridors the right ones to deliver the ultimate aim of ensuring adequate access to rail infrastructure for cross-border rail freight through good quality train paths, offering competitive conditions in terms of commercial speed, journey times and reliability?
  • The organisation of RFCs:  is the organisational setup and the governance of the Corridors - as defined in the Regulation and established through best practice over the past decade - appropriate?  Or could it be enhanced?
  • The tasks and competences of RFCs:  are the authorisations, competences and capacities of Corridors adequate to fulfil the expectations of the stakeholders and (would-be) users of rail freight, like shippers and consignors?

Read further and download the full text as a pdf below:

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Position paper RFC regulation March 2019 EN