28/10/2009 - Tiger project launch - Press Release


N e w s   R e l e a s e












Winter Edition 2009/2010 – Issue N. 18

The full 10 pages Newsletter is available on the F&L website



Franco Castagnetti, NEWOPERA Aisbl President and F&L Vice President, made a presentation at the annual General meeting in Brussels on 19th and 20th November 2009 on NEWOPERA and TIGER EU Commission funded projects in which F&L is involved. An update on these two projects is reported on page7 of this newsletter.


Harald Bortolotti, director of LKW Walter,  concluded the days presentations by inviting the participants to come and discuss the up date on the industry at the next F&L General meeting in Vienna, on 6 and 7 May 2010.



An inside update on the NEWOPERA AND TIGER PROJECTS


F&L is  directly  or  indirectly leading   two major European financed projects.

NEWOPERA (Operating Project for European Rail Axes)  is a  European research project  for  Rail freight  dedicated  lines, launched  by F&L for  providing  long term solutions of cargo mobility in Europe.

TIGER (Transit via Innovative Gateway concept solving European-intermodal Rail needs) is a European full operating project implementing in the market place some of the NEWOPERA findings, concepts and discoveries focused on port decongestion and containers inland distribution by Rail. TIGER has been launched by NEWOPERA  of which F&L is a founding member.


Leading shippers, manufacturing industries, logistics service providers, transport companies, Intermodal operators, integrators and distributors, shipping lines, Ports,  and also road operators, are  demanding  a new approach to the rail business different from  the one we have come to know.


Despite the existing economic recession the most important trade pattern are not likely to change in the near future. The traffic volumes which are  generated by the Far East, China and South East Asia constitute the backbone of commercial interchange with Europe. In addition the overland traffic to and from the East of Europe following the EU Enlargement continues to grow. The giant container vessels already delivered and/or still in construction having capacities in excess of 10.000 TEUs are progressively deployed on the maritime trade lanes. These will call at a fewer number of ports where a higher number of CTS movements are handled. TIGER project is addressing this dimension.


The citizens pressures towards the environmental issues such as traffic congestion, pollution, accidents and climate change are growing. The quality of life improvement is becoming a central issue in every decision-making both at European and local Government level. A more sustainable mobility is necessary. Modal shift from road towards Rail is thought to be a necessary development.


Rail freight however, despite a lot of efforts by European authorities, Governments and operators, has not been capable of attracting new market share. This is due to a number of factors amongst which the lack of competitiveness and inadequate service profile are the major contributors.  A profound modernization of the rail economy based on lower costs and the  restructuring of the service offerings are necessary. In order to achieve these two major objectives, the capacity generation obtained either by increased productivity or by new investments in infrastructures, becomes paramount. These tasks are possible by acting on three complementary dimensions:


  • Infrastructure investments to reduce bottlenecks already in execution.
  • Productivity increase by operating longer heavier and faster trains on existing lines.
  • New technologies applied both to equipments and management systems.

These issues have been and are  the very essence of NEWOPERA  project.


It is quite obvious that the economic downturn has eliminated most of the congestion which was plaguing the European infrastructural system, including road, rail, terminals and ports. Such unexpected situation must be taken as an opportunity for modernizing the European freight mobility in general. Europe cannot afford the risk to find itself in a worse congested position than before, when the traffic levels are back to normal.


This recessionary period of time must be used for optimizing the freight system productivity by extracting from each available transport mode its overall best performance. Mega hubs and freight villages are being built in strategic nodal points of Europe where integration of maritime, overland, transport and logistics activities are concentrated. Rail traffic industrialization between these Mega hubs is achieved using longer heavier and faster trains, generating the conditions for reducing Rail freight operating costs and improving the service performance. Urban hubs built in the vicinity of densely populated areas provide the platform for last mile distribution of consumers products to the final users.

Both NEWOPERA  and TIGER  are contributing  towards the solutions of these issues. Both projects have been capable of  mobilizing substantial investments  in Mega Hubs,  equipments, terminal infrastructures, technology management systems and training of human resources  leading to  a more  sustainable  and   competitive long term cargo mobility in Europe. The  ultimate  results are benefiting   the competitiveness of  European industries, a more efficient  freight mobility and   the quality of life of the Citizens. These are  major  F&L long term objectives.


Source: Franco Castagnetti, President of NEWOPERA Aisbl




Logistics consortium bids on rail to face increasing transport demands around Europe’s main ports


Brussels, 22th October 2009 – The launch of the TIGER project - Transit via Innovative Gateway concepts solving European - intermodal Rail needs – marks the beginning of a large-scale collaboration between logistics companies, port authorities, and railway operators to build co-modal freight logistic chains linking the main ports of Europe.


The TIGER consortium will investigate ways to overcome road congestion in and around Europe’s biggest ports by building intermodal freight logistic chains. These chains shall connect European inland destinations efficiently and in a timely fashion, leading to a more sustainable mobility. The main challenge is to cope with an increased demand for effective transport solutions while at the same time reducing the overall carbon footprint of European freight mobility.


Franco Castagnetti, coordinator of the EU co-funded TIGER and the preceding NewOpera project, stated on the occasion of the kick-off meeting which took place in Genoa on  October 22nd and 23rd: “The main objectives are to keep the traffic moving through the European ports, increasing rail freight’s market share and improving the rail network productivity. The challenge of reducing the negative effects of  climate change, which is the biggest of our times, can be met while the European economy is still endowed with one of the best performing freight transport networks worldwide.”


Costs and construction timing for new infrastructures are major constraints for finding the optimal transport solution at any given location. It is estimated that for any infrastructure investments  it  will take  at least  a decade or more to produce their  beneficial effects. Therefore, the TIGER PROJECT is dedicated to increase productivity on existing infrastructures  by extending in an industrial way  the   Seaports quayside  into  hinterland  dry ports or mega hubs wherever possible.  Technology and management  systems innovations together with local factors such as the geographical locations,  ports characteristics, existing  rail connections into major traffic  basins, available  mega hubs and freight villages linked to major European Rail  corridors, natural barriers, and environmental protection  are all  relevant  ingredients of  this project. The final objective  is  to produce better services at  lower costs.

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