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Mobility and Transport

Corridor description

The Rhine-Alpine Corridor railway, included in the Core Network Corridor (RALP CNC), is over 3,400 Km long and crosses 5 countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

The RALP CNC constitutes one of the busiest freight routes in Europe, connecting the North Sea ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to the Mediterranean basin in Genoa, via Switzerland and some of the major economic centres in the Rhine-Ruhr and the Rhine-Main-Neckar regions and the agglomeration of Milan in northern Italy. It also provides connections to several east-west axes.

The RALP CNC includes the following sections:

  • Genova – Milano – Lugano – Basel
  • Genova – Novara – Brig – Bern – Basel – Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Mainz – Koblenz – Köln
  • Köln – Düsseldorf – Duisburg – Nijmegen/Arnhem – Utrecht – Amsterdam
  • Nijmegen – Rotterdam – Vlissingen
  • Köln – Liège – Bruxelles/Brussel – Gent
  • Liège – Antwerpen – Gent – Zeebrugge

ERTMS deployment on the corridor


There are 3,457.19 km where ERTMS is expected to be deployed in the RALP corridor by 2030; 28% is already in operation with ETCS, 99% is in operation with GSM-R, ETCS is under construction in 27% of the length and GSM-R in 1%. The GSM-R deployment rate is the highest among the CNCs.

If defining the short term deployment as the length to be deployed by 2023 according to the EDP (2,277.71 km), 42% is in operation while 39% is still under construction. The length to be deployed in the short term is over the average (66%), and so is the ETCS deployment rate in the RALP corridor.

ETCS deployment in the lines to be operational by 2023 in the Netherlands has been already finished. In Switzerland, the short-term deployment (2023) is at 96%, with the remaining 4% under construction.

Belgium has 34% of the short-term length to be deployed already operational, but only an additional 8% under construction. On the other hand, Germany and Italy have a low ETCS in operation rate (0% and 24% respectively) but 86% and 62% under construction respectively.

Some sections that were expected to be already operational are delayed in the RALP corridor. The border between Switzerland and Germany in Basel is delayed. On the Italian/Swiss border, the Milano – Chiasso line is delayed from 2018 to 2021.