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50. Second Paper given at LRN2008
September 16th, 2008
Dewan Islam gave this second paper at the LRN2008

Logistics Requirement for Commercial Rail Freight Services in Europe

This paper was presented at the LRN2008 conference held in Liverpool on 10-12th September by Dewan Islam. This paper is an outcome of WP1 of the RETRACK project funded by the EC under FP6. The authors are: Gerwin Zomer from TNO, The Netherlands and Dewan Islam from Newcastle Univerisity. The Logistics Research Netowrk 2008 Conference Proceedings is edited by Andrew C. Lyons.

Freight transport is crucial for economic competitiveness for any country or region. In Europe overall the freight transport volume has increased substantially, but rail freight has increased insignificantly (9.2%) in contrast to huge increase of road freight (37.9%) over the period 1995-2005. European transport policy focuses on sustainable but competitive transport systems. Even being generally environmentally favourable, rail could not increase its market share due to the failure to deliver key customer requirements: reliability, quality of service, a door-to-door service and cost. With the adoption of new EC ‘Co-modal’ policy, modal shift is no longer a goal in itself. This new policy aims to utilise different modes or combination of modes in the best possible way. Thus there is an urgent need to investigate the rail potential and thus suggest logistics necessity for rail freight services in a commercial, competitive, secure and sustainable fashion.

In line with this policy objective, this paper applied a top-down modelling and a bottom-up analysis approach including a literature review and 21 in-depth interviews among the stakeholders along the rail corridor between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Constanza in Romania. The study finds that the corridor has a significant potential to start a rail freight service in the corridor with a frequency of 2 to 8 times per week with 80 to 100 hours transit time depending on the number of stops.

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