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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 to 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 implement ERTMS on the 6 ERTMS corridors by 2015–2020, which are covering number of important freight routes. The six routes carry around a fifth of Europe’s rail freight traffic.

The EU has also established a rail network giving priority to freight, through the realisation of a number of international freight-oriented “corridors”.