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3.4 Green Corridor Projects in Europe

Those who follow the evolution of the EU transport policy cannot escape noticing that the corridor approach gains more and more importance as a response to the new and old challenges that the common transport policy faces in Europe (refer to the Preface for a discussion on these challenges).

• In March 2005, the European Commission and the railway sector agreed on a MoU referring to the implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS—a signalling system that will replace all those currently in use throughout Europe) on six corridors to define a European migration strategy for the deployment of ERTMS (refer to Fig. 3.3).

• In October 2007, The European Commission published its Freight Transport

Logistics Action Plan, which introduced the concept of 'green corridors' as a means to improve the efficiency and sustainability of freight transportation in Europe.

Fig. 3.3 The six ERTMS corridors. Source: RFF (2014)

Fig. 3.4 The nine Rail Freight Corridors. Source: RNE (2014)

• In November 2010, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU Regulation No 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight (EP&C, 2010). This Regulation defines nine initial Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) along which, sufficient priority among freight trains, is given to those crossing at least one border (refer to Fig. 3.4).

• In March 2011, the European Commission in describing its vision of future transport and the corresponding strategy for the next decade, included in the latest White Paper on transport 'multimodal freight corridors' as a means to improve governance and to support pilot projects for innovative and clean transportation services (EC, 2011a).

• In December 2013, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU

Regulation No 1315/2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which introduced the concept of 'core network corridors' as an instrument to facilitate the coordinated implementation of the parts of the TEN-T with the highest strategic importance (EP&C, 2013). The nine TEN-T core network corridors are shown in Fig. 3.5.

At a lower level, the initiatives listed below comprise a selection of the most important among a wide range of corridor applications in Europe:

• In December 2002, Germany, Austria and Italy adopted the Brenner Action Plan aiming at a significant and sustainable increase in intermodal volume along the Brenner corridor, one of the most trafficked international transit corridors,

Fig. 3.5 The nine TEN-T core network corridors. Source: EC (2014)

where—on a length of only 448 km between Munich and Verona—3 countries and thus railway infrastructures and the Alps are being bridged (Mertel & Sondermann, 2007).

• In January 2003, the Ministries of Transport of The Netherlands, Germany,

Switzerland and Italy agreed on a MoU establishing an international working group to develop a comprehensive action plan aiming at bringing about numerous quantitative and qualitative improvements on the rail corridor from Rotterdam to Genoa (Corridor A/IQ-C, 2011). The so-called Corridor A was born (refer also to Sect. 3.2).

Fig. 3.6 The East-West Transport Corridor. Source: Faste´n and Clemedtson (2012)

• In 2006, 42 partners (local, regional and national authorities, universities, harbours and private stakeholders) from Denmark, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden joined forces to strengthen transportation development along the so-called “East-West Transport Corridor—EWTC” through infrastructure improvements, new solutions for business, logistics and cooperation between researchers (refer to Fig. 3.6). The success of EWTC led to the follow up project EWTC II, which aims at transforming the EWTC into a green corridor in line with the EU policy.

• In 2008, the Swedish Green Corridors Initiative (SGCI) was introduced focusing on transportation routes and collaboration among shippers, forwarders, industry and haulers in order to optimize the use of available transportation capacity (Wa˚lhberg et al., 2012). Two green corridors were established by this initiative:

– The Oslo–Randstad corridor that follows one of Northern Europe's most important freight routes (Fig. 3.7). GreCOR, an Interreg IVB project running in the period 2012–2015, aims to: (i) improve knowledge about the logistic needs and conditions along this corridor, and (ii) implement the first green corridor in the North Sea Region (Hansson & Hansson, 2014). The project uses a collaborative approach to enhance co-modality and influence infrastructural development in the region, including the hinterland of the corridor's hubs. Among other results, GreCOR will develop a methodology for assessing the environmental performance of a corridor and a web-based market place for route planning.

Fig. 3.7 The GreCOR corridor. Source: Hansson and Hansson (2014)

– The Bothnian Green Logistic Corridor (BGLC). Twenty-nine partners across five countries—Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany and Poland—were working during 2012–2014 within different fields to develop BGLC (Fig. 3.8) into an efficient, reliable and green transportation corridor, connecting northern Scandinavia's raw materials with the markets in Europe (S€odergren, Sorkina, Kangevall, Hansson, & Malmquist, 2012). Project activities involved: mapping cargo flows and future needs, elimination of bottlenecks, introduction of new intermodal solutions for increased flexibility, examination of the regional and economic effects of corridor development, identification of strategically important nodes, and the design of innovative business models and pilot projects enhancing collaboration between private and public stakeholders.

• In 2009, the Scandria project was introduced, covering the corridor from Region of Halland (Sweden), via Zealand (Denmark) to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin (Germany). During 3 years, 19 partners and 16 associated partners from business, national, regional and local administration, and research institutions fostered green and innovative development between Scandinavia and Eastern Germany.

Fig. 3.8 The BGLC corridor. Source: S€odergren et al. (2012)

The project also cooperated with SoNorA (South-North-Axis corridor in central Europe), extending coverage from Berlin to the Adriatic Sea (Friedrich, 2012).

• In 2009, the TransBaltic project was also introduced covering corridors across the Baltic Sea. The overall objective of this 3-year project was to provide regional level incentives for the creation of a sustainable multimodal transportation system in the Baltic Sea Region, through joint transportation development measures and jointly implemented business concepts (TransBaltic, 2012).

• In 2010, the Midnordic Green Transport Corridor project of NECL (North East Cargo Link) was initiated with the aim to address obstacles along the transportation corridor that stretches through the middle parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland (Fig. 3.9). Other objectives included carrying out pre-investment

Fig. 3.9 The Midnordic transport network. Source: Kokki (2013)

studies, developing transportation solutions, marketing of the corridor on a macro region level and developing an ICT application (portal) in close cooperation with the national transportation authorities and industry over the national borders (Kokki, 2013).

• In 2010, SuperGreen, a Coordination and Support Action co-financed by the EC's

7th Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development (RTD), was launched. The main objective of this 3-year project was to assist in further defining and developing the green corridor concept. Basic information on this project can be found in Annex I to this book. Its central activity was the development of a corridor benchmarking methodology using a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are suitable for monitoring the sustainable development goals of the European Union. The results of this activity will be presented in the following sections of this chapter; the discussion here will be confined to the SuperGreen corridors selected for applying the proposed methodology.

The project compiled an initial list of 60 potential corridors on the basis of the TEN-T priority projects, the pan-European transport network and proposals made by the project's industrial partners. After 2 consolidation rounds, the number of candidate corridors was reduced to 30. A survey was carried out to gather information on these 30 corridors. Based on the information gathered and criteria like corridor length, population affected, freight volume, types of goods transported, number and seriousness of bottlenecks, transport and information technology used,

Table 3.1 The nine SuperGreen corridors



Corridor description




Branch A: Salzburg-Villach-Trieste (Tauern axis)

Branch B: Bologna-Ancona/Bari/Brindisi-Igoumenitsa/Patras-Athens

Finis Terrae


Madrid-Gijon-Saint Nazaire-Paris

Branch A: Madrid-Lisboa




Branch A: Munchen-Friedewald-Nuneaton

Branch B: West Coast Main line



Helsinki-Turku-Stockholm-Oslo-G€oteborg-Malm€o-Copenhagen (Nordic triangle including the Oresund fixed link)—Fehmarnbelt— Milan—Genoa



Motorway of Baltic sea

Branch: St. Petersburg-Moscow-Minsk-Klapeida



Rhine/Meuse-Main-Danube inland waterway axis

Branch A: Betuwe line

Branch B: Frankfurt-Paris

Two Seas



Mare Nostrum


Odessa-Constanta-Bourgas-Istanbul-Piraeus-Gioia Tauro-Cagliari-La Spezia-Marseille-(Barcelona/Valencia)-Sines

Branch A: Algeciras-Valencia-Barcelona-Marseille-Lyon

Silk Way


Shanghai-Le Havre/Rotterdam-Hamburg/Gothenburg-Gdansk-Baltic ports-Russia Branch: Xangtang-Beijing-Mongolia-Russia-BelarusPoland-Hamburg

Source: Salanne et al. (2010)

and assessment of the supply chain management, a pre-selection of 15 corridors was made. A geographic and modal balance was ensured among these pre-selected corridors. The aim at this stage was to select the ones with the highest “greening potential” rate.

Further information was collected on these 15 pre-selected corridors and a deeper analysis was performed taking into consideration land use aspects like the percentage of corridor surface comprising urban and environmentally sensitive areas. The analysis resulted in a recommendation of nine corridors for final selection, which was presented to a stakeholder workshop especially arranged for this purpose. In line with comments received during the workshop, the selected corridors were modified by adding segments that exhibit advanced “greening” characteristics.

These nine corridors were given nicknames and can be depicted in Table 3.1. Figure 3.10 presents this set of corridors in metro format.

In addition to being geographyand mode-wise balanced, the resulting set of

corridors comprised a mix of environmentally advanced ones on one hand, and those exhibiting a high “greening potential” on the other, thus constituting a suitable field

Fig. 3.10 The SuperGreen corridors in metro format. Source: Ilves et al. (2011)

for testing the benchmarking methodology and KPIs.[1] More details on SuperGreen corridor selection can be found at Salanne, R€onkk€o, and Byring (2010).

• In 2011, the Green STRING Corridor project was launched, scheduled to run for 3 years. Its aim was to promote the potential of innovative transportation and logistics solutions for developing a green transportation corridor between the

O¨ resund Region and Hamburg, capitalizing on the benefits of the forthcoming

fixed Fehmarn Belt link. The project identified the conditions and challenges that a green transportation corridor sets for the distribution and logistics strategies of private companies, as well for cross-border planning among public authorities at a local, regional and national level (Stenbæk, Kinhult, & Hæstorp Andersen, 2014) (Fig. 3.11).

Fig. 3.11 The STRING green corridor. Source: Stenbæk et al. (2014)

  • [1] It should be clarified that the selection of these corridors was made only for the purposes of the SuperGreen project and by no means has this implied any direct or indirect endorsement, either by the SuperGreen consortium or by the European Commission, of these corridors vis-'a-vis any other corridor, with respect to any criteria, environmental, economic, or other.
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