Mobility and Transport


Evaluation of Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight

Evaluation of Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight

Evaluation of Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight
Consultation period: 

Target group

All citizens and organisations were welcome to contribute to this consultation.

The consultation was also of particular interest for the organisations directly or indirectly participating in the Rail Freight Corridors and their development (transport ministries, infrastructure managers/allocation bodies, freight railway undertakings, corridor terminals, regulatory bodies) and for the broader railway and transport community (passenger railway undertakings, terminals, shippers, forwarders, intermodal operators, last-mile infrastructure operators, national safety authorities, transport research institutions and think tanks, transport consultancies, etc.), but also for local and regional authorities, environment associations, industry associations etc. In addition rail passengers and citizens interested in the development of railways or in sustainable mobility were also welcome to contribute.

Due to the technicality of some concepts two questionnaires were provided:

  • The first


    was intended for a public without any particular knowledge of the Rail Freight Corridors and of Regulation (EU) 913/2010; (results)
  • The other


    was intended for a public familiar with the Rail Freight Corridors or with the European railway market or the (rail) freight transport sector. (results)

The respondent was free to choose which of the questionnaires she or he wishes to answer.

Objective of the consultation

Regulation (EU) 913/2010 (RFC Regulation) concerning a European rail network for competitive freight entered into force in November 2010. According to its Article 23 the Commission has to submit a report to the European Parliament and Council examining its application. The Commission decided to extend the scope of this exercise with performing a broader examination of the effects of the Regulation. This consultation has also to be seen in the context of a new phase starting for the initial nine Rail Freight Corridors (the establishment of which are foreseen by the Regulation), now that they all became operational.

This open public consultation ensured that any citizen as well as any stakeholder has the opportunity to provide the Commission with their views on the Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs), the RFC Regulation, its implementation and its effects.

It also aimed at complementing the feedback that the Commission already received on the implementation of the Rail Freight Corridors and on its policy, by asking a wide range of questions and addressing a wide range of stakeholders and interested citizens.

The results of the consultation will be fed to the full evaluation exercise of Regulation (EU)913/2010 which the Commission intends to complete in 2019, after having given the sector additional time to progress on implementation of RFCs and on the initiatives in the framework of the Rotterdam Sector Statement.

Questions and answers

Contributions were accepted in any official EU language.

In total DG MOVE received 37 contributions to the non-expert questionnaire and 92 contributions to the expert-questionnaire. Out of the 92 contributions, 8 contributions were received after the deadline. All contributions corresponding with the general template of the questionnaire were taken into account in the statistical analysis. The other contributions (in a form of letters) were taken into account in the general examination of the application of the Regulation 913/2010.

Among the respondents of the expert questionnaire, 5 respondents asked to be treated anonymously and 14 asked to be kept confidential.

Among the respondents of the non-expert questionnaire, 6 respondents asked to be treated anonymously and 11 asked to be kept confidential.

As regards the non-expert questionnaire, the stakeholders represented either citizens, or public organisations or private organisations. For what concerns the  expert questionnaire, the stakeholders represented either citizens or one of the following organisations: consultancy; end-customer; end-customer association; environment association; freight railway undertaking; industry; industry association; infrastructure manager / allocation body; integrated railway company; ministry of transport; port authority; public authority (regional, local, etc.); rail association; rail freight corridor; regulatory body; research institution.

Overall, all stakeholders generally supported the boosting of rail freight transport, however many of them considered the rail sector and the RFCs need more time to mature market-oriented solutions.

More specifically, the majority of the of stakeholder groups representing authorities, infrastructure managers and allocation bodies and logistic companies, industry associations, shippers, forwarders, intermodal operators, freight railway undertakings, port authorities, etc. have identified challenges in fulfilling the provisions of the RFC Regulation, considering that some provisions do not fit well with market requirements. 

At the same time, the majority responding from authorities and infrastructure managers and allocation bodies, i.e. mainly the stakeholders involved in the Executive boards and Management boards of the RFCs, were not in favour of any modification of the policy measures on the short term. They considered that some processes are starting to stabilise in the corridors, but fundamental discussions are still taking place on how best to develop international services in the RFCs. For these groups, the rail sector and the RFCs need more time to mature the market-oriented solutions they are currently developing, in particular on governance, product definition, operational provisions, investment planning, and terminals. The Rotterdam Ministerial Declaration and the Sector Statement (Under the Dutch presidency of the Council, a Ministerial Declaration and a Sector Statement have been endorsed in the margins of the TEN-T DAYS in June 2016 in Rotterdam. They both contain important actions in the short term which will help to make progress on new projects. endorsed during the TEN-T DAYS in 2016 contain important actions in the short term which aim at making progress on new projects.

Opinions from the following stakeholders groups: logistic companies, industry associations, shippers, forwarders, intermodal operators, freight railway undertakings, port authorities, were divided. Some believed the sector should be left to deliver progress on its own initiative, but others considered that more EU support and regulatory pressure is needed in order to deliver on the potential of the RFCs. In particular, some of them considered the Regulation focuses on establishing (as opposed to operating) the RFCs, which is considered as not sufficient to achieve its underlying objectives. Shippers and freight forwarders would like a much more business-orientated rail freight service with traceability of their goods, and reliable and flexible services. 

In conclusion, stakeholder consultation has helped to identify the areas where improvements are needed. New ideas have been proposed to respond to the issues identified, but often with a distinction for short, medium and long term solutions.

For detailed information, please consult the

/transport/file/2016-european-rail-network-competitive-freight-opc-reportpdf_endetailed OPC report



The RFC Regulation lays down the rules for the establishment, organisation and management of international Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs), on the main international rail freight routes. (The general legal framework for the operation of trains and the management of infrastructure on the Rail Freight Corridors is set out by Directive 2012/34/EU establishing a single European railway area)

The development of these Rail Freight Corridors forms the key element of the Commission's strategy in order to boost rail freight and is an integral part of the policy aiming at achieving the modal shift objectives set up in the White Paper on Transport, notably shifting 30% of long distance road freight on more sustainable modes of transport, particularly rail, by 2030. Reaching these ambitious objectives means that far larger volumes of freight will have to be carried by rail.

The Regulation contains a list of nine initial RFCs (see the Annex of the RFC Regulation) to be established (six by November 2013 and an additional three by November 2015). Further RFCs may be designated following a specific procedure and taking account of a certain number of criteria. A RFC is constituted of railway lines, linking two or more terminals along a predefined principal route and for each of the RFCs, a dedicated governance structure is set up, consisting of:

  • an Executive Board composed of Member State representatives, and responsible for defining the general objectives and framework of the RFC and supervising its functioning.
  • a Management Board composed of rail Infrastructure Managers and Allocation Bodies, in charge of implementing the corridor, i.a. through providing coordinated rail capacity, setting up a Corridor-One Stop Shop as single contact point for requesting this rail capacity, elaborating an investment plan, through the coordination of infrastructure works and of traffic management and etc.
  • two Advisory Groups, one for Railway undertakings and one for Terminal managers, which may issue opinions and representing the interests of these two categories of stakeholders within the RFC.

Through the establishment of Rail Freight Corridors and their corresponding governance structures, the Regulation aims at bettering the conditions for rail freight traffic along these corridors and to trigger its development in terms of volume, market share, quality and reliability. In particular, the RFC Regulation fosters the cooperation between the different stakeholders (primarily the Member States and the Infrastructure managers), the coordination in terms of capacity offer, traffic management, infrastructure works and conditions of use of the infrastructure, the harmonisation of processes and rules, as well the development of the infrastructure and the related coordination in terms of investments. The development of the RFC is monitored through a yearly performance report and a yearly customer satisfaction survey. The development of a Rail Freight Corridor is based on the elaboration (and updates) of a comprehensive Transport Market Study.

The TEN-T Guidelines (Regulation (EU) 1315/2013) and the Connecting Europe Facility (Regulation (EU) 1316/2013), which entered into force in 2013 and which concern all modes of transport, set the framework for the development of the transport infrastructure in Europe and for its EU funding. The Guidelines specify priorities and technical parameters to be fulfilled on the defined Trans-European Network of Transport, consisting in a dual-layer structure: the comprehensive network (to be achieved by 2050) and the core network (to be achieved by 2030). Nine Core Network Corridors (CNCs) have been defined as key instruments for the timely and coordinated completion of the Core Network. One European coordinator has been designated for each Core Network Corridor, in charge of coordinating its completion and i.a. responsible for the drafting of the Work Plans of the CNCs.

The principal routes of the RFCs have been extended and aligned with the CNCs. Since then, the RFCs form the rail freight backbone of the CNCs. The technical parameters for rail on the Core Network for Freight foreseen by the TEN-T guidelines are of great importance for the development of the Rail Freight Corridors (deployment of the European Railway Traffic Management System, 22.5 t axle load, 740 m train length, 100 km/h line speed, electrification).

Transparency and confidentiality

Please note that contributions received from this survey, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the European Commission's website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his or her legitimate interests. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.

Explanations about the protection of personal data

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

Important notice

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures.

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Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.

Consultation material

Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight

Roadmap for the Evaluation of Regulation (EU) 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight

Information on the TEN-T policy

Register of interested representative

/transport/file/2016-european-rail-network-competitive-freight-opc-reportpdf_enReport on the Open public consultation

/transport/file/2016-european-rail-network-competitive-freight-non-expertspdf_enPublished results from public without any particular knowledge of the Rail Freight Corridors and of Regulation (EU) 913/2010

/transport/file/2016-european-rail-network-competitive-freight-expertspdf_enPublished results from public familiar with the Rail Freight Corridors or with the European railway market or the (rail) freight transport sector