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The potential of alternative rail freight transport corridors between Central Europe and China

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dewan Islam, Dr Tom ZunderORCiD, Ross Jackson


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The paper examines the potential of three rail corridors: Trans-Sib, Central and TRACECA for freight transport between Central Europe and China. The paper applies a qualitative research method including a review of current literature and interviews. The research examines the technical, operational and bureaucratic conditions of the corridors. The research finds that the unreliable transit time, higher cost and damage and theft of cargo are the most pressing barriers to towards offering an efficient and integrated logistics and supply chain service along the corridors. This is due to, amongst others, problematic, multiple border-crossings and the lack of visible cooperation among the countries. The technical and operational barriers include a change of gauge, differing power supply and signalling systems and non-automated and fragmented information systems. The research also finds that the Trans-Sib is the most attractive corridor currently running and shows promise with the active contribution from the Russian government and relevant direct stakeholders such as Russian Railway (RZD). The TRACECA route is the most problematic option due to, among others, numerous border-crossings, infrastructure and rolling stock constraints and other associated problems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Islam DMZ, Zunder TH, Jackson R, Nesterova N, Burgess A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transport Problems

Year: 2013

Volume: 8

Issue: 4

Pages: 45-57

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

ISSN (print): 1896-0596

ISSN (electronic): 2300-861X

Publisher: Wydzial Transportu, Politechnika Slaska