European legislation and context

The Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor was set up on the 10th November 2013 in line with Regulation (EU) 913/2010 (hereinafter Regulation) concerning a European rail network for competitive freight adopted by the European Parliament and the Council and entered into force on 9 November 2010. The Regulation was elaborated with the overall purpose to increase rail freight’s attractiveness and efficiency with special focus on international traffic, so that rail can increase its competitiveness and market share on the European transport market.

Initially, the Regulation foresaw 9 Rail Freight Corridors (RFC), some of them already existing as former ERTMS Corridors. The first 6 RFC became operational at the end of 2013 (among which the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor, formerly Rail Freight Corridor 6) and the remaining 3 at the end of the 2015. Other two RFC, RFC 10 and 11, were added in a later stage by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/177 and (EU) 2018/500, respectively.

Rail Freight Corridors form a European-wide network for competitive freight. This does not only require cooperation between Infrastructure Managers and Allocation Bodies within each corridor, but cooperation between Infrastructure Managers and corridor organisations across RFC.

In 2013, the European Commission adopted other two 2 Regulations:

Regulation (EU) 1315/2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Regulation (EU) 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility

The two regulations are built upon the White Paper entitled “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” (“the White Paper”) which sets ambitious Single European Transport Area objectives. Within this legal framework, a dual-layer trans-European transport network structure was created (Core and Comprehensive). The concept of the Core Network Corridors (CNC) was established, these are multimodal corridors, the rail backbone of which are the above mentioned Rail Freight Corridors. In order to have maximum consistency and synergy between CNC and RFC, the initial RFCs were amended by Regulation 1316/2013. the TEN-T guidelines envisage the completion of the core network by 2030 through the creation of new infrastructure and the substantial upgrading and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure necessary in order to ensure network continuity.

Regulation (EU) 1316/2013 has been repealed by Regulation (EU) 2021/1153 of 7 July 2021 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (the ‘CEF’) for the period of the Multiannual Financial Framework (the “MFF”) 2021-2027.

The general objectives of the CEF are to build, develop, modernise and complete the trans-European networks in the transport, energy and digital sectors and to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the field of renewable energy, taking into account the long-term decarbonisation commitments and the goals of increasing European competitiveness; smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; territorial, social and economic cohesion; and the access to and integration of the internal market, with an emphasis on facilitating the synergies among the transport, energy and digital sectors.

Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor is the result of a strong cooperation among Infrastructure Managers and Allocations Bodies.

All the partners are working to offer to all the authorized applicants a quality service for rail freight transport that is competitive and reliable, that focuses on customers’ needs and expectations.