Rhine-Alps and North Sea-Mediterranean freight corridors
To achieve an efficient rail freight network, the European Commission is pursuing a corridor-based approach. This will simplify the coordination between the member states and the infrastructure managers.
To accelerate the introduction of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), six freight corridors have been defined, aligned with existing and future flows of traffic. The corridors particularly relevant to Switzerland are the Rhine-Alps freight corridor (formerly Corridor A, resp. Corridor 1, Rotterdam-Genoa, via Lötschberg-Simplon and Gotthard) and the North Sea-Mediterranean freight corridor (formerly Corridor C, resp. Corridor 2, Antwerp-Lyon/Basel).
Rhine-Alpine Corridor: Rotterdam-Genoa (red) The volume of freight traffic will be doubled to 56 billion tonne-kilometres by 2020 on Corridor A, by increasing punctuality by 26% and shortening journey times by 20%. In 2003 the Ministers of Transport from the Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Lugano to improve the quality of rail freight traffic on Corridor A.
North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor: Antwerp-Lyon/Basel (blue) In Corridor C, the volume of freight traffic will be increased by 55% by 2020, primarily by reducing journey times by 15% and by lowering the number of delayed trains on the Antwerp-Lyon stretch by 75%, and on the Antwerp-Basel by 50%. These measures should enable about 7 billion tonne-kilometres of goods to be shifted from road to rail.