The ERFLS project with partners from The Netherlands, Germany and Italy aims to launch an innovative European Rail Freight Line System (ERFLS) in combined rail-freight traffic on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor. ERFLS is part of a Global Project and builds further on the results of previous EU funded project CODE 24.

ERFLS aims to improve the accessibility of rail transport and the integration of rail transport in innovative multi-modal transport chains by optimization of both regional and intercontinental freight traffic flows, especially in combined traffic. This is done by introducing freight trains running in frequent “Intercity”-like services with multiple short stops at so-called “Smart-Hubs”.

ERFLS is co-financed by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility.

Project duration: December 2015 – November 2018

Project volume: EUR 1,25 Mio.

Project partners: Province of Gelderland (NL), University of Duisburg-Essen (DE), Municipality of Lahr (DE), SiTI Turin (IT) and Uniontrasporti (IT)

Problems of Rail Infrastructure Today

Problems that hinder rapid growth of rail freight traffic on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor:

  • Point-point relations between railterminals and no frequent line services
  • Lack in infrastructure of intermodal (“smart”) terminals
  • Missing efficient and reliable intermodal connections from these terminals especially to inland waterways and highways for goods traffic
  • A lack of operational (telematics) rules and systems with regular time intervals for line services

Solution: A European Rail Freight Line System

The scope of the ERFLS project is to carry out several implementation studies related to infrastructure, terminals, (intermodal) interconnections, telematics and sustainability issues. These are needed for a better understanding of the factors hindering the growth of rail transport along the corridor and to investigate how the smart hub terminals should best be organized, built and interconnected with each other along the Corridor. The project is the last step before the actual works on ERFLS system can take place in the concerned regions along the Rhine-Alpine Corridor.

The ERFLS system aims to connect the different regions along the Rhine-Alpine Corridor with regular rail freight line services in combined traffic (like containers, swap-bodies and trailers). For this, a system of “smart hubs” for freight transport – comparable to the intercity services for passengers – is envisaged to be adopted along this corridor.


For more information, please contact

Joost Roeterdink
Project Leader
Province of Gelderland



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