FREE STATE OF SAXONY - Managing the last mile in the regions


Corridor Capitalisation Plan (EN)
Corridor Capitalisation Plan (DE)
Elbe Valley 2040 (EN)
Elbe Valley 2040 (DE)

A key element to increase the share of rail freight in the transport market is better access to the railway network for industry and commerce. With this regard, sidings for industrial and commercial areas and public access points to the railway network, such as intermodal terminals and railports, are important prerequisites for transporting goods by rail in a time- and cost-efficient manner.

In the context of the Free State of Saxony, it is important to develop the transport infrastructure in such a way that it provides incentives to shift freight flows from roads to alternative modes of transport. Additionally, besides their transit function, the corridors of the TEN-T network offer favourable framework conditions for participation in international trade flows for the regionally based, import- and export-intensive economy.

Challenges addressed

Investors are increasingly asking about the availability of renewable energies and environmentally friendly modes of transport, driven by requirements and demands of customers (CO2-neutral supply chains). Accordingly, a shift of paradigm in transport policy is necessary, after decades of road-oriented planning and efficiency-oriented “optimising” of railway infrastructure, leading to the reduction of capacity and flexibility in the railway network.

While public passenger transport – as part of services of general interest – enjoys high priority, freight transport and logistics are seen as the subject of private-sector action. In the effect, most industrial and commercial locations are lacking access to the railway network. To change this situation, the Corridor Capitalisation Plan for the Free State of Saxony has examined how spatial planning, as an essential instrument for strategic development on state and regional level, can address this issue.

Process and organisation

The elaboration of the Corridor Capitalisation Plan was based on a comprehensive process of stakeholder involvement from March 2021 until February 2022. During four workshops, all regional planning associations, the Metropolitan Region of Central Germany, the Saxony Economic Development Agency and the Saxon Chambers of Industry and Commerce were involved.

To facilitate the discussion, the rail access of 113 existing and 52 designated locations > 25 ha for industry and commerce in the Free State of Saxony has been analysed in a GIS-based survey. As part of an in-depth analysis, for 43 designated locations the realisation chances of rail access have been investigated. The results of the analysis have been shared and discussed with all regional planning associations.

Results and recommendations

In the result of joint discussion, the following set of measures and actions for better rail access of locations for industry and commerce has been developed:

  1. Systematic provision of information on rail access in commercial property databases,consideration of rail access as essential element of accessibility quality during the determination of locations for industry and commerce,
  2. documentation of disused railway lines in regional plans and identification of pilot projects for the reactivation for rail freight transport,
  3. extension of suitable locations for industry and commerce by spatial corridors for possible (future) access tracks and/or areas for transhipment facilities,
  4. improvement of access to locations for industry and commerce through additional stops for commuter trains.

Access to the railway network should be strengthened e.g. through the extension of existing intermodal terminals, the creation of additional access points with efficient road connection and the upgrade of existing loading points to multifunctional transhipment facilities. In addition to public funding, these activities could be supported through a coordination function (“rail coach”), providing technical assisstance and attracting new providers of intermodal logistics solutions - as practised in the pilot actions realised by the Saxon Inland Ports Upper Elbe.

Needs for cross-border cooperation in the field of corridor capitalisation have been compiled to the “Elbe Valley 2040” paper, focusing on the development of the Elbe waterway, the strengthening of inland ports as logistics locations, the development of sustainable tourism and regular information of the public on the progress of the joint project of the new railway line Dresden-Prague.

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