Options for a Railway Core Network of Central Europe
A Luettmerding, A Welitschkin, Transport and Spatial Planning Institute, DE
A main option of the TEN-T review is the creation of a core network as a step forward from the loosely connected 30 priority projects being its base until now. This paper presents a proposal for the Central European part of a railway core network.
During the beginning of the year 2009 the European Commission launched the Green Paper on the policy review regarding the Trans-European Network of Transport (TEN-T). A main option of the Green Paper was the creation of a core network within TEN-T as a step forward from the loosely connected 30 priority projects being the base of TEN-T until now. In this paper a proposal for the Central European part of a railway core network is presented. The reason why only the rail network is regarded at is that for this mode a real European transport infrastructure concept is needed most.
Based on the methodology presented during the 3rd SoNorA Think Tank conference in Potsdam (Germany) the existing TEN-T priority projects were overlapped with the other high level networks which are the technology-driven ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) corridors, the market-driven RailNetEurope network as well as the Pan-European Transport Corridors of railways. Furthermore the passenger-oriented Railteam-Network was added.
Based on this overlapping the first step for the creation of a core network was conducted. As a next step the missing links and further possible extensions were worked out and evaluated by a simple population and economic potential calculation as well as a harbour accessibility analysis. Finally a proposal for the Central European part of the rail core network with different levels of priority is presented.
In this case Central Europe covers Austria, the Czech Republic, southern and eastern Germany, Hungary, northern Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In 2004 a list of 30 TEN-T priority projects was published by the European Commission. These loosely connected projects rarely form a network but are the starting point for a core network as these corridors were selected in consensus.
The first corridors relevant for a possible extension of the 30 priority projects are the ERTMS corridors. The European Rail Traffic Management System is an initiative of the EU to improve the cross-border interoperability and signalling procurement by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.
RailNetEurope (RNE) is a common organisation of 33 rail infrastructure managers with the aim to harmonise conditions in rail infrastructure and to improve operational issues in international rail traffic.
Next to the rail freight cooperation seven European rail companies have formed an alliance dedicated to passenger transport called Railteam. The main aim of Railteam is to develop a high-speed network, to improve travel information and to better connect the national railway systems.
In parallel to the TEN-T priority projects the European Commission developed various Pan-European Transport Corridors (PETC) in the Central and Eastern part of Europe.
Although these sections listed above cover the most part of the Central European railway network, various sections are missing. In order to localize further possible extensions the railway sections between large cities and ports which are not part of the TEN-T priority project, are not a ERTMS-Corridor, are not part of the RailNetEurope or Railteam network and are not part of the PETC are evaluated in detail. By this it should be decided which section could enter in the Central European Core Network.
Association for European Transport