The Rhine Danube Corridor railway, included in the Core Network Corridor (RDN CNC), is over 5,800 Km long and crosses 8 countries: Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, France, Hungary, Austria, Romania and Slovakia.
The RDN CNC, with the Main and Danube waterways as its backbone, connects the central regions around Strasbourg and Frankfurt via southern Germany to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and finally the Black Sea, with an essential branch from Munich to Prague, Zilina, Kosice and the Ukrainian border.
This corridor will provide the main east-west link between continental European countries, connecting France and Germany, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria all along the Main and Danube rivers to the Black Sea by improving (high speed) rail and inland waterway interconnections. It includes sections of the former Priority Projects 7, 17, 18 and 22. The parts in Czechia and Slovakia are also covered by Rail Freight Corridor 9.
The RDN CNC includes the following sections:
- Strasbourg – Stuttgart – München – Wels/Linz
- Strasbourg – Mannheim – Frankfurt – Würzburg – Nürnberg – Regensburg – Passau – Wels/Linz
- München/Nürnberg – Praha – Ostrava/Přerov – Žilina – Košice – UA border
- Wels/Linz – Wien – Bratislava – Budapest – Vukovar
- Wien/Bratislava – Budapest – Arad – Braşov/Craiova – Bucureşti – Constanţa – Sulina
ERTMS deployment on the corridor
There are 5,802.49 km where ERTMS is expected to be deployed in the RDN corridor by 2030; 9% is already in operation with ETCS, 52% is in operation with GSM-R, ETCS is under construction in 28% of the length and GSM-R in 16%. It is the lowest ETCS deployment rate considering the long-term deployment (2030).
Defining the short term deployment as the length to be deployed by 2023 according to the EDP (2,071.25 km), 26% is in operation while 63% is under construction. In the short-term (2023), it is also the lowest ETCS deployment rate among the CNCs.
No section is planned to be deployed in France by 2023. None of the sections planned by 2023 have been put into operation in Germany and Hungary. In Hungary, the line from Budapest to Austria and Slovakia is equipped with pre-baseline 2 and is not operational. The line between Budapest and the Romanian border is delayed, and some sections (Békéscsaba-RO border) are not even under construction. The short-term deployment in Romania is 35% of the whole length by 2023.
Austria and Slovakia are in a good position to meet the 2023 deadline regarding the ETCS deployment (respectively 66% and 43% in operation and most of the remaining length under construction). Czechia has a considerable length to be deployed by 2023, i.e. 857 km; 23% is in operation and 77 % is under construction. In Romania, Curtici – Arad is delayed from 2018 to 2020. Additionally, there are delays in the Simeria – Brasov line (from 2018 to 2025) and the Bucharest – Constanta line (from 2018 to 2025).