RFC North Sea - Med is operational since 10 November 2013. The corridor is ambitious and leads to major changes as regards international rail freight.
The first major change concerns capacity allocation. As from now on, RFC North Sea - Med offers capacity, in the shape of international pre-arranged paths. Railway undertakings and other applicants are now able to request international freight capacity directly to the corridor in a single operation. The corridor has therefore set up a one-stop shop as unique contact point for capacity allocation.
RFC North Sea - Med also provides all necessary information to use the corridor in the so-called Corridor Information Document (CID). This document is available on this website.
RFC North Sea - Med has drawn up and published in the CID an investment plan: 71 projects or programs which may go live in a ten year horizon, where identified, for a total cost of 6 billion euros. This plan lists all investments foreseen to eliminate the eight bottlenecks identified on the corridor.
An other major change concerns coordination of works. Mid 2013 for the first time on the corridor, infrastructure managers along the corridor got all together to start coordinating the schedule of works. The list of works planned within the next twenty-four months is from now on available on this website.
Traffic management is also concerned by the setting up of the corridor. One of the main changes concerns priority rules, as each infrastructure manager has to make sure it gives sufficient priority to international freight trains.
The reinforcement of cooperation at all levels will enable RFC 2 to meet its targets. In this aim, RFC North Sea - Med created two advisory groups: one composed of railway undertakings interested in the use of the corridor and one composed of the terminals situated on the corridor.
The setting up of RFC North Sea - Med in such an advanced way is certainly one of the main innovations in today's European rail freight sector.