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The construction of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), based on the interconnection and interoperability of national transport networks, including rail, is of great importance for the EU’s economic competitiveness and its balanced and sustainable development. As part of the EU’s TEN-T programme, a number of European Coordinators are tasked with facilitating the implementation of certain multi-country rail projects (six including ERTMS) that are seen as a high priority for the network

One of the EU’s aims for the rail sector is to upgrade by 2012–2015 a number of important freight routes by deploying ERTMS systems along them. The six routes carry around a fifth of Europe’s rail freight traffic.

The EU is also working towards the creation of a rail network giving priority to freight, including the realisation of a number of international freight-oriented “corridors” - at least one in each EU Member State by 2012.