2 08 2022

Standardizing track gauge within Europe

In order to reduce the restrictions on rail transport between countries, the European Commission has decided to introduce a track width of 1435 mm for all Member States in Europe.


The EU policy for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) aims at building an effective, EU-wide and multimodal transport network across the EU. It includes railways, inland waterways, short sea shipping routes and roads connected to cities, sea and inland ports, airports and terminals.

War in Ukraine

The EU wants to change the existing amendment proposal for the new TEN-T Regulation, which was submitted last December. It proposes to extend four TEN-T transport corridors to major transport hubs in Ukraine and Moldova. The war underlined the importance of supply chains and food security, which has put rail in the spotlight. The problems at the border with Ukraine have also made it clear that the lack of interoperability of the rail network makes the EU vulnerable.

Countries with different track gauges

Within the European Union, Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain have to draw up a plan to be part of the nine existing corridors of the trans-European transport network with a European standard of 1435 mm.

Expansion of the European network

The European Commission has proposed to extend the North Sea-Baltic Corridor to the port city of Mariopol. The Baltic Sea – Adriatic Sea Corridor and Rhine Danube Corridor should both extend from the Slovakia-Ukraine border to Lviv. The Baltic-Black Sea/Aegean Corridor runs from Romanian Bucharest to the port city of Odessa via Moldova.

Current situation rail transport Silk Road to China

Rail transport between Europe and China continues unabated. The current transit time to and from China is only 14 – 19 days. According to a fixed timetable, freight trains run daily from Tilburg to destinations throughout Europe and China. MOL Logistics has a product specialist for transport by rail. Ask here about the options for this environmentally friendly alternative.

Sources: NT.nl, Railfreight.com, ec.europ.eu Photo: European Commission

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