The European Commission announced that the European Rail Facilities Portal (railfacilitiesportal.eu) is online, which has been developed under a contract signed by the EC, but its operation belongs to railway stakeholder.
The Portal is a common, user-friendly and market-oriented GIS-based portal, mapping and providing key information on the rail service facilities (train stations, intermodal terminals, marshalling yards, refuelling facilities, etc.) and last-mile infrastructure (e.g. public and private sidings) all over Europe.
It also provides information on the availability of rail-related services (e.g. locomotive repair and maintenance, refuelling, customs clearance). It allows rail customers and operators to search for specific types of rail facilities or services by using exhaustive pre-defined categories that filter the information for you, such as types of equipment, types of loading units accepted at the facility, types of cargo, etc. It is possible to search on a particular geographical area using the map zoom-in tool, by typing in a postcode, by filtering facilities located on any of the Rail Freight Corridors and more.
The Portal is part of the continuous effort of the Commission to boost the rail sector by opening transport markets and incentivising competition. The Portal contributes to the creation a level playing field, as it allows for an easy and quick access to information about rail facilities and rail-related services. The lack of such information so far has been identified as a significant barrier to the efficient planning of rail services, in particular cross-borders freight services.
Operators of rail facilities can register free of charge and upload a description of their facilities and of the services provided in them.
A consortium built of HaCon, IBS, SGKV, Triona, UIC and UIRR has been appointed by DG MOVE to develop such a portal and elaborate governance strategies for a future permanent operation. The Rail Facilities Portal shall offer service facility operators a comfortable opportunity to publish information about their facilities in order to comply with the relevant EU regulations and to promote their facilities and services.
At the same time, shippers, rail operators and other rail logistics companies shall get a single source of information that allows them to identify relevant facilities for the planning and optimisation of their transport chains.