The Baltic tangent
Head of the Project from TSI:
Igor Kabashkin, Dr. hab.sc.ing., Prof.,
Irina Yatskiv, Dr..sc.ing., Prof.
The Baltic Tangent (BT) is defined as the strengthening of the sum of all tangents to the primary transport networks as a basis for the development of a strong economic corridor through the geographical defined area in the regions of DK, S, LV/ES and Russia.
The regions concerned by the BT economic corridor concept has a population and growth potential of considerable size and should be seen as a great asset in the EU aspiration to enhance preconditions for the BSR developing into a prosperous region in EU. An improved transport infrastructure will mean that companies in the BSR and Russia will benefit from improved economy in transports to and from relevant ports. The BT project relates directly to key aspects of the BSR development set up by the EU concerning sustainable economic growth and cohesion. The BT project is focusing on the importance of land and maritime transport infrastructure improvement as a mean to the benefit of the competitiveness in the BT area. The project derives from the fact, that industries in the area - to a large extent - are dependent on long access routes of different quality to the primary transport networks (TEN-T). This causes a main competitive disadvantage in relation to competitors with easy access to the main transport networks both on land and sea, which in worst case can lead to a stagnant and in some cases a downward tendency to economic growth.
Therefore the BT project emphasizes interdependent actions, which are needed to develop a strategy for economic growth in periphery regions by integrating and combining spatial planning/ programming and new transport solutions by enhancing the secondary transport networks and merging them into the TEN-T. The vision is implemented by the BT project, which is divided into four Work Packages with the following expected outcome:
WP 1: Spatial planning in the BT - where the strategic focus is on spatial programming & planning as framework conditions for development of infrastructure in the BT promoting sustainable growth.
WP 2: New transport strategies in the BT - where the strategic focus is on development of transport and logistics solutions enhancing the conditions for sustainable business growth in the BT area.
WP 3: Communication and Institution-building in the BT - where the strategic focus is on the development of the BT to an economic corridor through improved communication links.
WP 4: Dissemination and Training in the BT - where the strategic focus is on training and on dissemination of project results.
The activities in the WPs will be carried out jointly and integrated by all project partners resulting in an overall analysis, building the first real step into an improved and sustainable strategy for ensuring economic growth within the BT area.
Research Project RAILSERV is funded within the frame of 5-th Framework Programme by European Commission DG TREN (contract nr. 1999-TN.10025).
The goals of RAILSERV are:
- to define results and recommendations from research projects as well as demonstration and pilot activities which will further the process of revitalising rail freight business
- to recommend activities, including new proposals, for implementation
Basis and means for achieving results
The basis for achieving the RAILSERV goals are the following activities:
- EU research: papers and directives
- International developments and innovations including relevant national R&D activities
- Best practise - EU, other advanced European countries, USA and progressive companies
And the means are:
- Assistance from TREN
- Co-operation with relevant international organisations and associations (UIC, UNIFE, EIA, Community of European Railways, AEIF, UIRR, Freight Leaders Club)
- Stakeholders of the programme - clients, railway and logistic operators, rail related industry
- Expertise of the Consortium experts, Consultative Council and Cluster experts
The cluster work
The work itself is carried out in clusters. Four of these have been established:
- Support to improving the business environment of freight rail operators in the international market
- Utilisation of the added value to rail freight business from development of the trans-European freight rail network
- Support interoperability on networks and services
- Support to the development of a single market for railway equipment including rolling stock
The basic tasks of each of these current four clusters are to fulfil the objectives mentioned above for the Thematic Network as a whole; namely, identify and seek consensus on new activities related to ongoing work, demonstration or pilot projects, and contribute to social and environmental objectives.
The main work of RAILSERV will be carried out in clusters. Four such cluster have been set up:
- Cluster 1. Support to improving the business environment of freight rail operators in the international market
- Cluster 2. Utilisation of the added value to rail freight business from development of the trans-European freight rail network
- Cluster 3. Support interoperability on networks and services
- Cluster 4. Support to the development of a single market for railway equipment including rolling stock
Experts from Transport and Telecommunication Institute participate in investigations of Cluster 3.
Cluster 3 Activity Sheet
Cluster 3. SUPPORT INTEROPERABILITY OF NETWORKS AND SERVICES
- To define results and recommendations from research projects and from pilot and demonstration activities which will support the development of rail freight services dependent on the uninterrupted movement of freight trains (in the first stage with minimum delays at border crossings and hubs)
- To recommend necessary activities, including new proposals, for implementation.
To minimise delays and improve reliability on the network by:
- Improving the organisation of international services
- IT and paperless work
- Implementing ERTMS
- Harmonising standards
- Supporting the development of human resources (e.g. through mechanisms such as fellowships and grants) and social policy (e.g. employment support to SMEs)
- Examining opportunities to revive and promote rail as an environmentally friendly and safe transport mode
- Harmonisation of standards and technical directives (e.g. Community directive on interoperability of the trans-European high speed rail system that is now being implemented)
- Border crossing procedures - reduce delays and begin planning for non-stop services
- Information technology (IT) innovations (e.g. paperless freight documentation)
- Signalling and command/control systems
- Billing and tracking systems
- Timetable integration
- Telecommunication systems
- Cost management
- Concrete actions to be taken by the parties involved in rail freight services.
- Needs for further research in a number of fields that will enhance rail freight services.
- Potential demonstration projects in which the ideas generated by the network will be evaluated and verified