Freek van Arkel

EU project for ‘real time’ sharing of freight train ETAs

Nederland, Rotterdam, 2011 Foto; Freek van Arkel/Hollandse Hoogte

The Royal Dutch Transport association (KNV), which represents rail freight employers, is to lead a Europe-wide project on the real-time exchange of data on the arrival times of freight trains.

It will work with intermodal body the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR) to provide a platform for the electronic exchange of information about the Estimated Arrival Times (ETAs) for all transport partners involved in a rail freight journey.

‘Great importance’

Hupac (Switzerland), Kombiverkehr (Germany), Lineas Intermodal (Belgium), Cemat (Italy) and the Rail Cargo Group (Austria) are among the rail freight firms taking part. The KNV (‘Koninklijk Nederlands Vervoer’) says the availability of reliable information about the arrival times of intermodal container trains is of ‘great importance’, as it enables the entire supply chain, and in particular the connecting road partners, to be more efficient.

Agreements on the exchange of data for tracking and tracing trains were established at the 2016 TEN-T (Trans-European Network) Day, which took place in Rotterdam under the Dutch European Union Presidency. Following the conference there was a declaration by all of the EU’s respective transport ministers and industry stakeholders to cooperate further on the continued development of the nine European rail freight corridors.


The ETA exchange programme, which has been given the working title of Eleta, is a practical follow-up from the Rotterdam TEN-T day, and is part of a series of initiatives by EU member states and the European Union itself to promote the electronic exchange of information between rail sector stakeholders. With a budget of 2.8 million Euros, Eleta will be implemented in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, France and Spain. The nine freight corridors are the backbone of the trans-European transport network, connecting ports with Europe’s industrial heartlands. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is also working closely with EU member states to strengthen the corridors’ infrastructure within The Netherlands.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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