The total length of the Rhine - Alpine corridor (RALP) is 3 460 km long, including the Connecting Europe Facility 2 (CEF 2) extension. It 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.
ERTMS deployment on the corridor
The following image shows the state of play and deadlines for the ERTMS deployment in the RALP corridor, considering the dates of the EDP:
Overall, ETCS is operational on 30% of RALP, while GSM-R is operational on 99% of the corridor. According to the EDP, 2 273 km are expected to be operational by 2023. In March 2023, 47% of the RALP length planned in the EDP by 2023 was in operation with ETCS. According to the TEN-T Guidelines, the whole RALP corridor is expected to be equipped by 2030.
The deployment status per Member State where the RALP corridor runs is as follows:
- The lines currently in operation in the Netherlands had been already commissioned when the EDP was published in 2017. All remaining Dutch sections are planned by 2030, both in the EDP and in the Dutch plan, except for Rosendaal – Vlissingen and Utrecht – Zevenaar lines.
- In Belgium, many of the sections are delayed. However, the Belgian authorities still plan the entire Belgian network to be equipped by 2025.
- Although Germany had some sections planned to be in operation according to the EDP by 2021, all German sections planned in the EDP by 2023 will be delayed. According to the German plan, their commissioning is expected between 2024 and 2030. Regarding German sections planned in the EDP beyond 2023, although the entire German network will be equipped by 2040, there are no specific deadlines for some RALP sections in the German plans.
- In Switzerland, the deployment is almost finalized, but no information has been received indicating all of the lines have been commissioned.
In Italy, most of the sections planned in the EDP by 2023 are delayed, but all sections in the corridor are planned by Italian authorities to be equipped by 2026