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IP/09/833

Brussels, 26 May 2009

Commission conference discusses progress on the Genoa-Rotterdam priority rail axis

Vice-President Tajani met today in Genoa with ministers for transport or their representatives from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy to push forward the priority rail axis between Rotterdam and Genoa. This north-south freight and passenger rail axis, known as the priority axis n°24, connects Lyon/Genoa – Basel – Duisburg – Rotterdam/Antwerp. The rail freight corridor A Rotterdam – Genoa is a major component of the priority axis n°24 and is expected to be one of the first among six major rail freight corridors to be equipped with the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS).

"The full realisation of this rail axis is a very ambitious project as it promotes economic growth and sustainable competitiveness within the internal market. As such, it requires strong political commitment from all the Member States concerned and from our side, the European Commission", said Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Transport.

With freight on the 1400 km long "Rotterdam – Genoa" rail freight axis increasing substantially [1] , this corridor has been given particular attention. A major component of priority axis n°24, it is furthermore planned to be the first European rail freight corridor fully equipped with ERTMS as from 2015 [2] .

"ERTMS is a must for an efficient and integrated rail network in the European Union. On corridor A, exemplary efforts have already been made to respond to this need" commented EU Coordinator for ERTMS, Mr. Karel Vinck. 

The entire priority rail axis will use this experience when applying ERTMS for both conventional and high speed passenger rail transport, which in part uses the same infrastructure as freight.

Today's conference was closed by the signature of two declarations. The first declaration sets long term objectives for priority rail axis n°24. The second one sets out a detailed ERTMS deployment plan along Corridor A and establishes the basis for an ambitious work programme, including noise reduction, optimisation of infrastructure usage and an improvement in the quality of services.



[1] The current yearly traffic of 28 billion tkm is expected to double by 2020.

[2] The section Mattstetten – Rothrist has been equipped with ERTMS since 2004, as well as the Lötschberg Tunnel and the Betuwe route, linking the Port of Rotterdam to the German border,
has been equipped with ERTMS since June 2007

 


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