Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)


The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is a set of rail, road, air and water transport networks in the European Union. They provide integrated and intermodal long-distance high-speed routes across the continent by taking away border obstacles and removing gaps in the network that hinder cross-border traffic. This ‘flagship’ project of the EU Transport Policy aims at developing European transport infrastructure to deliver a genuine Single European Transport Area (SERA). 

The TEN-T network for rail (amongst other modes) is governed by Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. TEN-T is divided into two layers: 

  1. a core-network of routes which should be finished by 2030, and
  2. a comprehensive network which should be implemented by 2050. 

On 14th of December 2021, the European Commission presented a comprehensive proposal for revised TEN-T Guidelines. The proposal introduces a new intermediary network layer to be finalised by 2040. The aim is to advance the completion of major parts of the comprehensive network and the concept of European Transport Corridors, which merges the RFC corridors with the TEN-T corridors. It also proposed more ambitious technical and operational requirements for rail infrastructure. 

On 22nd July 2022, following the military aggression of Ukraine by Russia, the EC published an amended proposal to extend the TEN-T network to Ukraine and Moldova while removing connections to Russia and Belarus. It also proposed to harmonise the different track gauges to the European standard

On 5th December 2022 the Council adopted its general approach on the TEN-T.

EIM in action

  • EIM welcomes the political ambition of the European Commission regarding the TEN-T and rail infrastructure.
  • EIM advocates to cater for increasing the EU financial framework proportionally to the new investment requirements.
  • EIM closely follows the revision process and provides in-depth analysis for its members.
  • EIM had multiple exchanges with its members on the impact of the revision of the Regulation

EIM actions in 2022

  • EIM produced several in-depth analyses for the members.
  • EIM developed amendments for the EP TRAN.
  • EIM promoted its position vis à vis all relevant stakeholders (EC, EP, sector, members)

Outlook 2023

  • EIM will continue to closely follow the revision process and liaise with all relevant stakeholders.
  • The European Parliament is expected to adopt its report in Q2 2023. Interinstitutional negotiations should start soon to reach a final agreement on the text before the European elections in Q2 2024.

Regulation (EU) 1315/2013 on Guidelines on the development of TEN-T


Rail Freight Corridors (RFC’s)

Facts & context

The Rail Freight Corridors (RFCs) have been designed to promote the transport of freight by rail. Regulation 913/2010 on the establishment of a European rail network for competitive freight fosters i) cooperation between the different stakeholders, including Member States and rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs); ii) coordination in terms of capacity offers; iii) traffic management; iv) infrastructure maintenance and development work and conditions of use of the infrastructure; v) harmonisation of processes and rules; and vi) development of the infrastructure and the related coordination in terms of investments. The development of each RFC is monitored through an annual performance report and an annual customer satisfaction survey. In Q4 2022, the EC is expected to publish a recast of the Regulation within the context of the revision of the TEN-T Guidelines. 

EIM in action

  • EIM participated in the various platforms promoting and improving RFCs; 
  • EIM supported the principle that RFCs contribute to the decarbonisation of transport by facilitating a modal shift for freight from road to rail. This goal has become even more relevant within the context of the EU Green Deal published in 2019 and the “EU Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility” published in 2020. The latter targets an increase of 50% of rail freight by 2030 and of 100% by 2050. 
  • Infrastructure managers will need to cater for the growing volumes of freight on track, which will require more investment in physical and digital assets. 
  • The revision of the TEN-T Guidelines is also impacting the way that RFCs are organised: the TEN-T core corridors and rail freight corridors will be fully aligned and renamed ‘European Transport Corridors’. The governance structure between the two systems will also become more aligned over time. 

EIM actions in 2022

  • EIM closely followed all initiatives of the European Commission to revise the RFCs; 
  • EIM participated in the numerous public consultations of the EU related to RFCs and the revision of the Regulation;
  • EIM participated to all meetings of the Sector Statement Group (SSG). 

Outlook 2023

  • EIM will continue to fully and actively participate in the EU revision process of Regulation 913/2010;
  • EIM will participate in the EU impact assessment, the targeted interviews and the questionnaires related to the revision of the Regulation.

Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 European rail network for competitive freight