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Enhancement of spatial and transport planning capacities in the promotion of the accessibility of the rail freight transport network and regional development

The EU project "Rail4Regions" is designed to help promote environmentally friendly rail transport by giving rural areas better access to the rail network. To this end, twelve participants are working together from all member states of the Interreg Central Europe program. 

Project background

While many European and national authorities are focussing on investing along rail freight corridors, there are no comprehensive solutions for local and regional rail networks. "Rail4Regions" aims to close this gap and is looking for ways to increase the volume of goods transported by rail through improved network connections. By recommissioning branch lines and sidings and expanding loading points, accessibility to the rail network can be increased.

Our project consortium pools the expertise of authorities, railway service providers and universities. Over the course of three years, twelve research institutes, regional administrations, infrastructure operators and transport service providers from Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia will be working together to develop innovative, practical and transferable solutions throughout Europe to improve spatial development across the continent.

Goals of the research project:

As international partners, we are committed to jointly developing highly scalable solutions that improve the connectivity of regions to European transport corridors, promote regional development and enable environmentally friendly transport in rural and peripheral areas. As a result, those involved in transport and spatial planning should be provided with comprehensive planning tools to develop rail freight transport using sidings, reused secondary and feeder lines, improved loading infrastructure and measures to promote single wagon transport.

You can also find up-to-date information on our project webseite or LinkedIn.

Project management

Prof. Dr. Matthias Gather

Project team

Ole Woesner

Project duration

February 2023until January 2026



Interreg B is financed by EU structural funds to promote cooperation between national, regional and municipal stakeholders in business, academia and administration across transnational cooperation areas. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports the objective of integrated territorial development in the areas of spatial planning, CO2 reduction, environmental protection and transport.