European Union will work to enhance international rail freight

The 28 member states of the European Union (EU), joined by Norway and Switzerland, have agreed to take action in the short-term to improve international rail freight.

A special declaration to this end was signed at the annual three-day conference on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

Governments will work closely with railway managers, freight carriers and shippers, freight terminals, transhippers and parties in industry to achieve the declaration’s goals.

In a sector-wide declaration, parties in the sector have affirmed that they will continue working to further develop the existing railway corridors, which form the core network for international rail freight.

This should make it easier for all parties to run freight trains across the European continent. Europe is currently covered by nine corridors, running in all directions. The Rhine-Alpine corridor, for instance, connects Rotterdam to Genoa. Traffic along each corridor is centrally coordinated.

The declaration signed by the governments and sector parties sets out many points that will be improved. For instance, performance of international freight transport in all countries will be measured and assessed using uniform methods.

Parties in the freight sector will be encouraged to harmonise their work methods and to coordinate their rail engineering works with neighbouring countries.

The parties’ response to the agreements and the actual improvements made will be monitored over the next two years.

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