The European Rail Facilities Portal
As of today, the common web European Rail Facilities Portal is online: https://railfacilitiesportal.eu/
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.
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). The Portal 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 allows operators of rail service facilities to meet their legal obligations under Directive 2012/34/EU and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2177 (the latter comes into effect on 1 June 2019) in a business and user-friendly fashion. Operators of rail facilities can register free of charge and upload a description of their facilities and of the services provided in them.
The Portal has been developed under a contract signed by the European Commission, but its operation belongs to railway stakeholders. They are responsible for uploading and updating the information and for making the best use of its services. The success of the Portal will depend on the quality of information provided through it. Ultimately, it should enable a very much needed boost to rail transport and to intermodality.