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Date of the Study


With the acquaintance of the European Commission, FERRMED is beginning work on the “FERRMED Study of traffic and modal shift optimisation in the main corridors of the EU Core Network”), through the FERRMED Multisectoral Working Groups (FMWGs).

The background justifying the undertaking of this study is:

  • The environmental impact of freight transport represents 30% of total emissions of the transport sector.
  • Freight transport by road contributes substantially to congestion, accidents and pollution. In this situation, the shift to rail is a key issue. Compared with road, energy consumption of rail freight is six times lower, as well as six times lower than the external cost of road.
  • If this were not important enough, modal shift to rail is even more important in the light of macroeconomic forecasts. According to the OECD, terrestrial freight transport in Europe will increase by some 30% by 2030, assuming no further financial crises with their devastating repercussions.
  • Taking into account that there has been no increase in the share of rail in overall terrestrial freight traffic in the last 15 years (17.9% in 2005 and 17.3% in 2017), added to the fact that the Trans-European Core Network is very extensive (80,000 Km), moving traffic from road to rail requires the concentration of investments in a selective part of the Core Network, that which has the most traffic.

Aside from the economic advantages (lower transport costs), the environmental benefits are enormous. It would be possible to save more than 40 million tonnes of emissions every year and contain the growth in the number of lorries on the motorways.

The FERRMED study aims to facilitate the prioritisation of action in every EU member state, as well as to be a fundamental tool in the modification of the TEN-T Regulation planned by the European Commission for 2021.

The Study will provide details of traffic flows, both globally and by mode of transport, section by section, of the 9 corridors of the EU Core Network. It will define the measures to be taken to optimise modal distribution in the most congested areas, country by country, and propose the actions to be carried out in the railway network to achieve the objectives of the White Paper of the European Commission (30% of transport of terrestrial goods over distances greater than 300 km shipped by rail or barge by 2030) in the sections of the corridors with the highest traffic, up to 60% of the total traffic of the Core Network.

In addition, in the case of the rail transport mode, the Study will analyse the strategic intermodal terminals (which are part of the busiest agglomerations), the main lines of connection between them, the back-up lines and the main feeder lines. For each section of the lines, it will detail the number of freight and passenger trains, the maximum permissible length of freight trains (which should be 740 m in the first phase and 1500 m in the final phase), the loading gauges allowed, which should be P 400 or GC-C, and the bottlenecks; it will also assess the state of implementation of the ERTMS system. Furthermore, it will identify the innovations in freight rolling stock needed to meet the requirements of so-called “intelligent trains”.

In the Study, freight trains would have the same consideration as ships or ferries that run short sea shipping routes. For long distances, trucks and / or their trailers should be transported by rail.

Study type

FERRMED Global Study

A comprehensive “Global” Study was undertaken to define a high priority rail freight system and
to assess the feasibility of the implementation of FERRMED Standards in the FERRMED Great Axis Network. The
Study targets “to match Freight Supply and Demand during the period 2005 – 2025 in the FERRMED Great Axis
area of influence and to optimize traffic between the different modes of transportation with a view of taking
up to 30-35% of long distance inland traffic by rail by implementing FERRMED Standards and improving the
conditions of capacity, inter-modality and interoperability of the rail in this Great Axis Network”.
The Specific Objectives of the Study are:
• To assess and characterise, in a quantitative and qualitative manner, the demand and supply of different
modes of transport along the Great Axis Area of Influence from 2005 until 2025.
• To undertake a detailed analysis of the rail infrastructures in the Great Axis Rail Network, the major
interconnection branches and the complementary inter-modal terminals, the operational conditions,
the environment, the FERRMED standards and new transport methods in order to match supply with the
• To define precisely the benefits of modernisation of the FERRMED Great Axis Rail Network and to determine
the necessary investments and the forecasted cost-efficiency. The study will analyze the socio-economic and
environmental impact of carrying on (or not) the modernization of the FERRMED Great Axis Network

Study type

Traceability of The Mediterranean Corridor Southern Sector (between Alicante and Algeciras)

Study conducted under the assumption, defended by FERRMED, that the parallel lines (existing or under study) connecting the different nodes involved should be included in the corridors of the "Core Network", even if these "parallel" lines are in some points separated by a few tens of kilometers.

It has also been taken into account that these lines should follow the parameters set by the "Guidelines" proposed by the EC (DG Move), particularly ramps, loading gauges and length of routes.
Given the limitations of the lines "officially" included in the Corridor, the new lines of Monforte del Cid - Murcia, Almendricos - Baza - Guadix and Almeria - Motril - Malaga - Algeciras (along the coast) are proposed.

Conducted by INFRAES and CENIT from basic data in the Global Study.

Ongoing diffusion process.

Study type

FERRMED Locomotive Concept

Date of the Study

It defines the minimum design parameters that EU locomotives should meet in order to implement the FERRMED Standards, particularly long and heavy trains. The tools discussed are: power, pantograph, adhesion, coupling, traction, braking system, interoperability, ergonomics and safety, signage, noise and energy efficiency, among others.
Carried out by Alstom, Faiveley, Vossloh, Col·legi d'Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya, Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Industriales de la Comunidad Valenciana, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the collaboration of APPLUS.

Study type

Estudio Sector Sur

Date of the Study


  • Apartado A: “Informe de FERRMED sobre las actuaciones en el Corredor Mediterráneo. Resumen Ejecutivo”
  • Apartado B: “Plan de acción a corto, medio y largo plazo propuesto por FERRMED”
  • Apartado C: “Análisis de los trazados del Sector Sur del Corredor Mediterráneo propuestos por FERRMED”
  • Apartado D: “Justificación socio-económica de los trazados del Sector Sur del Corredor Mediterráneo propuestos por FERRMED”
  • Apartado E: “Incorporación de Málaga como nodo de la red central transeuropea”



Study type

FERRMED EU Wagon Concept

Date of the Study

It analyzes the current situation of freight wagons, in order to define how future EU wagons should be to meet the technical FERRMED Standards. It defines the parameters of an appropriate design, especially in all related to the platform and concept of force transmission frame, axle load, loading gauge, coupling strength, brake system, power, tele-informatic equipment, tare, load and capacity.

Carried out by Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm (KTH) and Railway Group, Institute of Technology Berlin (TUB).

A summary of both studies was presented in the framework of the 3rd FERRMED Conference, held at the International Logistics (SIL) in Barcelona on May 27th 2010 and in the " FERRMED Freight Locomotive and Wagon Conference" held on 20xx xx September in Berlin, on the occasion of the InnoTrans fair.

Study type