The Rhine-Danube Corridor or Rail Freight Corridor (RFC) 9 is one of a total of five freight corridors that run through Austria. The corridor is located on the entire western route, which is of great importance from a national, but also from a European perspective. The route length of RFC 9 is around 6,800 kilometres and covers seven countries: France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
The fact that the freight corridor was able to start on time is not a matter of course. "The preparatory work was complex and the negotiations with the member states were very tough for a long time. In the end, however, an agreement was reached," says Managing Director Jean-Marc Hillenberg, Asset Management and Strategic Planning.
In the course of a virtual opening event, a symbolic starting signal, representatives of the European Commission, the ministries and the rail transport companies thanked Hillenberg for the good cooperation and for his important contribution to the successful conclusion of the negotiations. Hillenberg outlined the challenges for the coming years.
Three focus areas
Challenges include reducing border waiting times, better internationally coordinated construction planning, and actively pushing the Timetable Redesign (TTR) program, which enables more customer-friendly route planning with increased capacities for freight traffic.
"The goal of our efforts is to make freight transport more attractive for our customers and thus shift more freight from road to rail. I think I was able to make a modest contribution to this as a small piece of the mosaic. That motivates me for the future," Hillenberg sums up positively.