The European Commission has put forward a proposal to implement a rail gauge of 1435 mm for all member states in Europe. This is to reduce restrictions on rail transport between countries.
The EU’s trans-European transport network (TEN-T) policy aims to build an effective, EU-wide, multimodal transport network across the EU. It includes railways, inland waterways, short sea routes and roads connected to cities, maritime and inland ports, airports and terminals.
War in Ukraine
The proposal submitted last December is being amended. It now proposes to extend four TEN-T transport corridors to key transport hubs in Ukraine and Moldova. The war has highlighted the importance of supply chains and food security, which in turn has put rail links in the spotlight. The problems on the border with Ukraine have also highlighted that the lack of interoperability of the rail network makes the EU vulnerable.
Countries with different track gauges
Within the European Union, Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain must draw up a plan to become part of the nine existing corridors of the trans-European transport network with a European standard of 1435 mm.
Expanding the European network
The European Commission has proposed extending the North Sea-Baltic Corridor to the port city of Mariopol. The Baltic Sea-Adriatic Corridor and Rhine-Danube Corridor should both extend from the Slovakia-Ukraine border to Lviv. The Baltic Sea-Black Sea/Egean Corridor runs from Romanian Bucharest to the port city of Odessa via Moldova.
In addition, the commission wants to extend the so-called solidarity lanes for transporting Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods by rail. According to the European transport commissioner, extending the four European transport corridors to the territories of Ukraine and Moldova will improve transport connectivity between these two countries and the EU. These corridors will be top priority in rebuilding Ukraine’s transport infrastructure once the war is over.
Current situation rail transport Silk Road to China
Rail transport between Europe and China is virtually unabated. The current transit time to and from China is only 14 – 19 days. According to a fixed schedule, goods trains run daily from Tilburg with destinations throughout Europe as well as China. MOL Logistics has a product specialist for transport by rail. Check out the possibilities for this environmentally friendly alternative here.