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Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia initiate a new EU rail freight corridor

On 18 March 2016, on behalf of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, the Hungarian Ministry of Transport submitted to the European Commission a letter of intent for the establishment of the new “Amber” rail freight corridor 11. The new railway corridor initiative is intended to facilitate cross-border rail freight between the four countries. The corridor links the Slovenian seaport of Koper and the Polish dry port in Małaszewicze on the Belarusian border, with important industrial centres and intermodal terminals in Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland; it also includes a connection to the border with Serbia.

With this initiative the four countries are expressing their joint commitment to developing international rail freight logistics, fostering trade and business opportunities to the benefit of the economies of the countries involved. All the countries are already involved in several other EU rail freight corridors; together with the Amber Rail freight corridor initiative their positions are strengthened on the north-south axis, which after ongoing and planned infrastructure upgrades will become an increasingly attractive route for international north-south rail freight east of the Alps. The establishment of the new Amber Rail freight corridor will help to develop and implement harmonised solutions for the provision and management of rail freight capacity and shift long-distance road traffic to rail.

The Amber Rail freight corridor 11 will be a new EU rail freight corridor, established after the nine initial rail freight corridors defined in 2010 by EU Regulation 913/2010 concerning a European Rail Network for Competitive Freight. With the submission of the letter of intent to the European Commission, the four countries are taking the lead in closing certain remaining gaps in the network of EU rail freight corridors, increasing the resilience of the network as a whole by providing more route options. The countries and railway infrastructure managers participating in the corridor are committed to developing it as an integral part of the network of rail freight corridors to the benefit of freight train operators, rail logistics companies and shippers.

Regulation (EU) 913/2010 leaves room for expansion of the existing rail freight corridors, which means that the Amber corridor can be extended and further developed by additional line extensions to other Member States in the future. This will be based on market demand and, of course, the mutual consent of the affected Member States.k

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