Railway transportation

published: 03-10-2020

Railways are essential for future proof transport and logistics networks, in terms of efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability. In the EU, the success of TEN-T and railway policy are mutually dependent. Upon its finalization in 2030, the TEN-T core network will provide the physical basis for competitive rail freight services, while the achievement of a Single European Railway Area is to ensure that the full potential of TEN-T infrastructure is realized in practice.

In recent years, the TEN-T network is increasingly affected by intercontinental rail freight links, especially vis-à-vis China and Russia. Railway connections are being vastly expanded in many regions worldwide, including Central Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East. These developments are far-reaching in terms of supply chains, economic development, and even geopolitics.

On a national level, the utility of rail passenger transport is an ever stronger focal point, even as European infrastructure access legislation is gradually taking effect. Also, increased attention is given to the development of international rail passenger connections, driven by the need for climate mitigation and sped-up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our vision
The further development and improvement of railway networks and connections depends on intricate cooperation between sector parties, infrastructure managers, governments and international organizations. Our services are based on unique experience, networks and detailed knowledge and data relating to various markets.

We believe that in-depth railway sector knowledge and understanding of railway systems is essential to assist in boosting railway transport’s competitive position. Effectively reforming and enhancing railway transport, taking into account governmental policies and economic conditions, is vital for achieving global sustainability goals.

Panteia provides consultancy and research services to institutions and authorities, helping our clients with reliable and objective analyses of the economic, legal, organizational, and institutional aspects of traffic, transport, infrastructure and logistics. We lead the market in the area of modelling, forecasting and evaluating international traffic flows.

Consultancy and research
Knowing the sector by heart through decades of experience, Panteia is able to provide combinations of research and consultancy services that help our clients to advance. Our services include:

  • Network analysis
  • Rail market studies
  • Traffic analysis and forecasting
  • Identification of bottlenecks and solutions
  • Policy formation
  • Institutional development and legal reform

Institutional development and policy formation
As a trusted party we were responsible for the stakeholder based projects “Monitoring Progress on the Rotterdam Ministerial Declaration on boosting international rail freight transport” (Dutch and Austrian EU Council presidencies). For the SHIFT2RAIL Joint Undertaking we were responsible for developing a commonly shared KPI framework, involving extensive program management and stakeholder consultation. In the ongoing market development programs “Rail freight transport Netherlands – Poland” and “Rail freight transport Netherlands – China” we act as program coordinator.

Other recent projects include “Technical Assistance for the rail interoperability Issues Logbook” (European Commission, 2020 – date), “Reporting for an EU wide platform for international railway passenger transport” (Dutch ministry of Infrastructure, 2020 – date), “Comparative study into governance of rail interoperability standards (TSIs)” (Dutch ministry of Infrastructure, 2020).

Railway transport data and traffic flows
Other railway related projects, encompassing data collection and data analysis at a 27 Member State level, include the “TENtec” infrastructure analysis, the “Study on the review of existing sources of information / data and support for the preparation of the progress report on the implementation of the TEN-T”, and the “Support study for the impact assessment accompanying the proposal for a Regulation/Directive on streamlining measures for swifter implementation of the projects of common interest for TEN-T.”


Reference projects
A selection of our reference projects:

Technical Assistance for the Rail Interoperability Issues Logbook (lead partner) – European  Commission (2020 – 2021)

Reporting EU wide platform to improve international passenger transport – Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (2020 – 2021)

KPI SHIFT2RAIL / Comprehensive KPI framework for strengthening the European rail sector – SHIFT2RAIL Joint Undertaking (2017-2021)

Comparative study governance rail interoperability standards (TSIs) – Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (2020)

Economic impact & implementation of 740m long freight trains – Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (2020)

Program Manager “Road2Holland” / Partners in International Business rail freight transport Netherlands-China – Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Dutch rail & logistics sector (2019 – ongoing)

Study New Silk Road / rail freight transport Netherlands–China – Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, 2017 – 2018)

Linked by Rail – improving the intermodal rail corridor Netherlands – Poland, including RFC studies – Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Dutch rail & logistics sector (2013 – 2019)

Government-to-Government railway corridor Netherlands–Poland – Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (2011 – 2019)

VERA railway training needs in the light of European harmonization – UIC / CER (2019)

Study for a sustainable and efficient railway network in Romania / comprehensive analysis of the efficiency of the Romanian railway network – Romanian Regulatory Authority ARF (2018 – 2020)

Kosovo track access charges methodology review and asset management plan – EBRD / Kosovo Infrastructure Manager (2018)

Public Service Obligations (PSO) methodology for the Romanian Railways

Intermodal State of Preference / analysis of intermodal transport opportunities, market developments, market barriers, labour market issues and institutional aspects for all Central European countries – EIB / Jaspers (2015)

Smart–Rail / innovative concepts for the European railway market – European Commission (2014 – 2017)

Developing the PSO methodology for Romanian Railways – ARF (2018 – 2019)


2021: the European Year of Rail
The European Year of Rail will highlight the benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transport. A variety of activities will put rail in the spotlight throughout 2021 across the continent, to encourage the use of rail by both citizens and businesses and to contribute to the EU Green Deal goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

In the EU, rail is responsible for less than 0.5% of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it one of the most sustainable forms of passenger and freight transport. Despite its advantages, only about 7% of passengers and 11% of goods travel by rail. The European Year of Rail will create momentum to help increase rail's share of passenger and freight transport.

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