Rail Freight Corridor Orient/East-Med (hereinafter referred to as “RFC OEM”) according to the Regulation links the northern ports of Germany with the Eastern- and South-Eastern parts of Europe via Central-Europe, running until the Greek port of Patras. The requirements deriving from the Regulation RFC OEM have called the most Member States for an international cooperation, namely: Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
According to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 the corridor has been extended by 2018. As a consequence the corridor run between the cities of Bremerhaven / Wilhelmshaven / Rostock / Hamburg – Praha – Vienna / Bratislava – Budapest – Bucureşti Constanţa/Vidin – Sofia –/ Burgas / Svilengrad (Bulgarian-Turkish border) /Promachonas – Thessaloniki – Athína – Patras.
The current length of the corridor is approximately 8700 km. However, the length of the corridor route sections are very different among the involved countries, Austria has the shortest one with about 350 km, and Romania has the longest part, about 2200 km corridor line.
RFC OEM follows mostly the path of ERTMS Corridor E which runs from Dresden to Constanta. The deployment of ERTMS contributes to remedy the lack of technical compatibility, a major obstacle for the development of international rail traffic.
The designation of RFC OEM was also identified on the basis of previously defined European corridor concepts, such as:
the TEN-T priority axis 22, which runs from Nürnberg and Dresden to Constanta and Athens,
RNE corridor 10, which ran from Hamburg to Budapest and RNE corridor 9, which ran from Vienna to Kulata and Constanta as well as to Varna, Burgas and Svilengrad (common line from Vienna to Constanta and to Kulata).
8 different countries, 8 different levels of infrastructure development set up a basis for a constructive cooperation along the corridor, where the customer-oriented attitude is the most important key element of the progress. Therefore, the governance of RFC OEM has utmost importance to harmonise provisions and requirements of rail freight related services. The RFC OEM management believes that there are big potentials for the development of rail freight business on the long term and the corridor could be also a strategic connecting opportunity toward East.
The fact that six of the involved Member States are beneficiaries of EU Cohesion Funds also indicates that RFC OEM differs in its features and infrastructural characteristics from the other RFCs which run more Central and Western parts of Europe where rather the operational measures remain still problematic. At the same time the access to the Cohesion Fund also can be seen in a positive light, enabling the Member States and Infrastructure Managers concerned the possibility to use European funds to modernize the railway infrastructure and adapt it to the needs of today's and tomorrow's freight market.
The South-Eastern European region currently experiences the implementation of CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) funds. The focus lies upon the upgrades and modernisation of rail infrastructure, the proper implementation of the TEN-T minimum measures in particular electrification, the introduction of 740 m train length, 22,5 t axle-load and ERTMS on the entire core network for freight latest by 2030. This will give a boost in capacity, efficiency and competitiveness of freight. The adequate development of intermodal terminals and last-mile infrastructure are also crucial points which have to be tackled as regards of the current bottlenecks of the network.
The parameters of lines and terminals described in the Implementation Plan of Orient/EastMed Corridor can change over time due to infrastructure investments along the corridor. Possible requests or comments received from the Advisory Groups or Applicants of RFC OEM, together with results of the Customer Satisfaction Surveys, will be taken into account by MB member companies when making decisions about necessary developments or alterations, too.
Orient/East-Med Corridor has connections with the following other RFCs: