EU member states sign declaration for more international goods transport by rail

During the three-day TEN-T conference, the 28 member states of the EU, together with Norway and Switzerland, discussed the international transport of goods. In a special declaration, the ministers of these countries have now established that goods transport by rail should be improved in the short term in a joint effort with the railway sector, i.e., the managers of the railways, the transporters, goods terminals, shippers and industry.

In a sector-wide statement, the sector has committed itself to the further development of the already existent railway corridors for goods transport, i.e., the main routes for international goods trains. This should make it easier for all parties to transport goods by rail over the European continent. There are currently nine corridors that crisscross Europe. Each of them has a fixed one-stop shop that enables goods to be transported through all countries, such as from Rotterdam to Genoa.
In the new declaration, which was signed on 21 June, the member countries and the sector agreed to many points of improvement, including:

  • Real-time exchange of data between all transport partners;
  • Taking decisions in 2017 concerning noisy carriages in goods trains;
  • Measuring and assessing the performance of international goods transport by rail in the same manner in all countries;
  • Using railway corridors for goods transport as the starting point for identifying the main infrastructural bottlenecks for the international transport of goods by rail and coordinating the introduction of ERTMS;
  • Promoting the equalisation of transport partners’ work methods, such as coordination between countries with respect to activities on the tracks.

In the two years ahead, it will be assessed whether all parties have implemented the agreements reached and whether they have delivered the intended improvement.