To strengthen the European rail network for freight transport, a total of nine rail cargo corridors will be created in Europe. Two of these corridors run through Austria. Since a few weeks ago they are in full operation and were inaugurated on February 23, in the course of a pan-European “launching event” taking place at the Vienna Hofburg.
At least three EU-Member States are connected through these transeuropean cargo corridors. In addition there is an organisational structure to facilitate far-reaching cooperation of all parties involved and to unify technical, operational and organisational rules. The pan-European target is to promote rail cargo transport and increase the competitiveness of the railway as opposed to road transport.
Within the ÖBB the freight corridors are important to ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, but also for the Rail Cargo Group, which needs well-organized and powerful European freight corridors to achieve its volume targets. Due to the strong influence of the corridors on the Austrian rail network, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is actively involved in the institutions and bodies of the European freight corridors.
Koralm tunnel is a key project for the European cargo transport network. The new southern line is a diagonal link of European countries, passing through Austria, and also the relaunch of an ancient trading route between the Baltic and the Adriatic Sea. The Baltic-Adriatic cargo transport corridor is directly connected to the port of Koper, the most important port for cargo transport in Austria. Two thirds of the cargo volume is transhipped on the railway there.
The obligatory organisation of the cargo transport corridors involves all stakeholders in cargo transport. The cargo transport network involves the European Commission, the Transport Ministries of the involved countries, operators of railway infrastructure, railway companies, terminals and ports. To facilitate the implementation every corridor has its Corridor-One Stop Shop (C-OSS), assigning prepared international train paths.
Cargo transport corridor in Austria:
- Baltic-Adriatic corridor
- Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor (Brenner)
- Rhine-Danube corridor
- Orient/Eastern Mediterranean corridor