SETA - Optimization and Small Scale Investments for Improved Railway Connections
Andreas Friedwagner, VERRACON GmbH, Roman Michalek, Land Burgenland - Mobilitätszentrale
On the 28th of September 2012 the SETA demonstration train ran on the route Zagreb - Vienna in 5 hours.
The new electro-diesel train from the Croatian railways reduced the travel time on 371km long route between the two European capitals by more than 1 hour. The reduction of travel time has been achieved by overcoming the identified organizational bottlenecks (police & custom control, number of stops, reduced waiting times, e.g.). This demonstration train is the first step to introduce a competitive passenger transport service on international level.
With additional small scale investments in the existing rail infrastructure it will be possible to reduce travel time to 4 hours until 2020. Improving railway connections for people and goods does not always need billions of Euros. Process optimization and small scale investments may cause additional effort for transnational coordination, but generate maximum value for money.
SETA – South East Transport Axis
Optimization and small scale investments for improved railway connections
The transport connection from central Europe to the northern Adriatic ports and further on to the Western Balkans is of major importance for the regions in Central and South East Europe. In times of limited budgets and long-term planning schedules for new infrastructure stretches, the focus must be switched to the improvement and further development of existing rail infrastructure.
Following a common vision, 11 partners from 6 countries between Vienna/Bratislava and the northern Adriatic ports of Rijeka, Koper and Monfalcone applied for project funding from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF). In spring 2011 the project SETA has been approved by the South-East Europe Programme (www.southeast-europe.net).
It is the objective of the project SETA to improve the accessibility and logistic work flows in South East Europe. This objective will be reached by the development and implementation of short and medium term transport infrastructure measures and the improvement of organisational framework conditions. The provision of enhanced railway infrastructure and new services along the shortest route between Central Europe and the Northern Adriatic ports will enable efficient and competitive railway transport between the regions from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea.
“We are on the verge of a new time, time of renewed interest for goods on rail, rather than on road, time of great European links, time for a new Europe of welfare for all. I wish that the Mediterranean and Central Europe come together soon, supported by the SETA, via Rijeka.” Vojko Obersnel, Mayor of the City of Rijeka
With the support of the railway companies, the responsible authorities and financed by the EC (South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme) it was possible to demonstrate the feasibility of the solutions developed in the project SETA:
On the 28th of September 2012 the SETA demonstration train ran on the route Zagreb - Vienna in 5 hours. The new electro-diesel train from the Croatian railways reduced the travel time on 371km long route between the two European capitals by more than 1 hour. The reduction of travel time has been achieved by overcoming the identified organizational bottlenecks (police & custom control, number of stops, reduced waiting times, e.g.). This demonstration train is the first step to introduce a competitive passenger transport service on international level.
Besides the identification and solution of organizational bottlenecks, the experts of the SETA project have identified further bottlenecks in the existing infrastructure, which prevent competitive services along this route. Together with the experts from the railway companies and the regions concerned, the SETA partners have developed a set of small scale infrastructure investment measures which will result in further travel time reductions. With the investments planned by the railway infrastructure providers (mainly in Western Hungary) to be ready for usage until 2020 it will be possible to further reduce travel time to 4 hours!
Businesses in the regions along the railway corridor will benefit from more and better connections between the two capital cities and further on to the Adriatic ports of Rijeka, Koper and Monfalcone. As transport volumes being transported via the ports are still increasing, access to these gateways to the markets in China and the the far-east, Africa and the Americas is paramount for further economic growth.
Association for European Transport