Rhine-Alpine News

Rhine-Alpine Talks “Cross-Border Cooperation on Transport”

Regional cross-border train Düsseldorf – Arnhem ©Abellio

During the Third Rhine-Alpine Talks last Friday, held by the EGTC Rhine-Alpine, more than 50 viewers debated “Cross-Border Cooperation on Transport”. Click below on the titles of the presentations to view or download them.

Hans-Peter Vetsch, General Secretary of the Gotthard Committee, presented “Cross-border continuation of the Gotthard and Ceneri Basetunnel”. With the opening of the Ceneri base tunnel, the total rail capacity across the Swiss Alps will be 370 freight trains per day. Unfortunately, on the German side, the combined capacity of routes for years to come will remain in the magnitude of 260 trains per day, and the Milan area has bottlenecks, too. Additional capacity is therefore sought on bypass routes.

Pascal Boijmans, European Commission, DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit D2, reported on “The future of Interreg – Cohesion policy 2021-2027.” The total Interreg budget in the coming period is almost 8 billion Euros, mostly for cross-border cooperation. Opportunities of INTERREG for transport are mainly in removing political and administrative obstacles, improved cross-border regional and local mobility, and financial assistance to tackle technical barriers for improved mobility across borders, such as lacking interoperability or short missing sections of cross-border infrastructure.

Coen Mekers, Province of Gelderland, in his presentation “Focus points of cross-border connections and regions on the Rhine-Alpine corridor” gave a comprehensive overview of the missing links, the quality of the cross-border infrastructure, and the solutions which are achieved along the Rhine-Alpine corridor.

Peter M.J. Pol, Strategic Planner, City of The Hague, and Secretary of the Metrex SURE Eurodelta Network, presented “Eurodelta: A Functional Urban Area (Megaregion) on a Transnational Scale.” He showed an urbanized region of almost 50 million inhabitants, spreading from northern Belgium and southern Netherlands to the Ruhr area in Germany.

Werner Schreiner, Delegate of the Prime-Minister for cross-border Cooperation, State Chancellery of Rhineland – Palatinate, showed the “Flagship Project French – German – Public – Transport.” The international region has managed to established a network of regional cross-border trains.

Martin Guillermo-Ramírez, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions, concluded the session with an appeal to national institutions to realize the need for international infrastructure.

PS: The next Rhine-Alpine Talks on Friday 6 November will be about “Smart Mobility for Passenger Transport.”

Further news:

Gelderland intermodal terminal

The Dutch province of Gelderland plans a new intermodal rail terminal. It is intended to link the regional economy to the rail network of the Rhine-Alpine corridor and beyond. Plans have now been published. Find general info about the terminal here.

Direct train Rotterdam – China

The first direct freight train to China was put together at Rail Service Center Rotterdam. ©Danny Cornelissen

A full-length container train to China has left the port of Rotterdam some days ago, with baby milk powder for China. The milk powder reached Rotterdam from Ireland by short sea shipping. The forwarder had suggested the rail link of the “new silk road” to the western Chinese city of Xi An to shorten travel times. The first part of the journey is along the Rhine-Alpine corridor. Further unit trains of Irish milk powder are planned for the coming months. Here is the whole news.