Efficient Cross Corridor Organisation

For the members, and with the members, the Efficient Cross Corridor Organisation advocates stakeholder interests in the harmonisation of European Rail Freight Corridors (RFC), whose aim is to facilitate rail freight across Europe and mitigate any arising throughput or capacity disruptions. We constantly advocate the implementation of productivity enhancements, and we address adverse practices at the multiple decision levels. We use direct operational input from almost all RUs operating on EU corridors.

The Rail Freight Corridors are the only international structure that addresses international rail freight issues on an operational level. ECCO provides them with the united input of the Railway Undertakings. As a cross-corridor RU platform, ECCO is used to promote the RFF message amongst other Railway Undertakings, Infrastructure Managers, Member States and the EU Commission.

ECCO consists of the 11 Speakers of Railway Advisory Groups of 11 EU Rail Freight Corridors. The Speaker post is filled by a freight RU operating on the corridor and the scope of the group is the following:

  • Coordinates advocacy for harmonisation processes on RFCs and proper implementation of RFC regulations
  • Represents united points of view from railway undertakings operating on RFCs/member of Railway Advisory Group
  • Provides representation in the only international structure that addresses international rail freight issues on an operational level
  • Enables promotion of RFF goals and projects with IMs, Member States and DG Move
  • Keeps up to date the International Contingency Management handbook for RUs

ECCO activities are financed on project basis and each company that has a speaker or deputy speaker is asked to share the financial cost of the project.

UIC IRS on Rail Freight Forward Contingency Management handbook

In 2019, UIC published the Contingency Management handbook for Railway Undertakings. This handbook was committed to by the Rail Freight Forward coalition (RFF), as mentioned in its vision paper "30 by 2030". It outlines harmonised international contingency measures whenever major disruptions happen on the European Railway network. In 2020, UIC standardised the handbook into an International Railway Solution. As such, it is available for free via the UIC web shop.

The Handbook describes how Railway Undertakings should cooperate with each other and with Infrastructure Managers. It closely aligns with the Contingency Management Handbook of Infrastructure Managers. Furthermore, it outlines scenarios of resource pooling between Undertakings in order to best manage large incidents, and the regulatory mitigation measures that would be needed to make that possible. These measures will allow the rail sector to maximise use of infrastructure capacity during a major international disruption. Such an incident can, both in duration and scale, jeopardise major trade flows and risk undermining customer confidence in rail’s resilience as a transport mode.

The Handbook has been endorsed by BLS Cargo, CFL Cargo, DB Cargo AG, the ERFA Board -representing its 30 members, Fret SNCF, Lineas, RCG and SBB Cargo. All other Undertakings have been invited to join this effort to improve the resilience of European Rail Freight.

The handbook was developed by the UIC ECCO group, which unites Railway Advisory Group Speakers and the ERFA representative of the European Rail Freight Corridor Network.

UIC Contact
For any further information please contact: Joost Overdijkink

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Wednesday 11 May 2022