FERRMED has presented the Study of Traffic and Modal Shift Optimization in the EU today, Wednesday, at the Lleida Chamber of Commerce.
The study aims to determine the necessary actions to optimize the European Union land freight transport system, in search of the best road-rail combination to achieve the purposes of the European Commission regarding the modal distribution of land freight traffic (30% of railway traffic for distances greater than 300 km).
According to this study, 65% of traffic is concentrated in 18,000 km (Central Backbone) of the EU land freight system. Other 8,500 km are identified as a second priority in peripheral states (Extended Backbone). The study also determines that the investment should be prioritized in these areas to cover the socio-economic and environmental objectives promoted by the "European Green Deal". The major European logistics hubs are also determined, with the Barcelona – Tarragona being the third hub, after the Ruhr and the Milan area.
The study states that 408 new terminals 2,357km of new lines throughout Europe, and the adaptation of the main current lines to the ERTMS, wide cargo gargoyles, long trains and international gauge are need to achieve the necessary land freight traffic by rail.
On the other hand, the study highlights the need to structure a new integrated management system for land freight transport called "FERRMED, Fast, Flexible, Integrated, Rail-Road System of Transport (+FIRRST)", with a innovative criteria to schedule freight trains.
The conclusions of the study also show that the train consumes 7.8 times less energy than road traffic, reducing external costs by a quarter. Likewise, the minimum potential reduction in CO2 emissions amounts to 65 million tons when applying the combined transport proposals proposed by FERRMED.
To make this possible, the net present value (profits minus costs) of all the needed investments are 173 billion euros. 95% are generated in the busiest sections of the EU's expanded basic network (18,000 km).
Study conclusions for the Lleida area
As for the Lleida area, FERRMED’s President Joan Amorós points out that 3 railway terminals will be needed to implement the Study. Those terminals should be located in: Lleida (Torreblanca-Quatrepilans), Bellpuig, and Les Borges Blanques. Amorós also mentioned that the "Barcelona – Lleida – Tarragona" triangle problem must be solved by splitting lines and building the additional terminals required. He also mentioned the need of turning Lleida and its surroundings into a large logistics hub of the Ebro Axis by building new lines and reforming current lines.
Performances in Lleida
FERRMED presented the logistics actions planned for the Lleida area. The First Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Urban Planning of Lleida City Council, Antoni Postius, and Simó Batlle, Deputy Director of Hubs/Railway Terminals of CIMALSA, have exposed the current situation of the Torreblanca – Quatre Pilans Terminal project.
At the event, Jaume Saltó, Chamber of Lleida President, highlighted that the Lleida logistics sector is already working on the business model change that will take place in the coming years. Enric Ticó, president of CIMALSA, Ferran Accensi, fourth vice-president of the Diputació de Lleida and Miquel Pueyo, Lleida mayor, also participated in the event.
Photo: From left to right, Enric Ticó, Jaume Satló, Miquel Pueyo, Montse Bergés, Ferran Accensi and Joan Amorós.