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The EU Commission has the ambition to increase the modal share of rail freight transport to 30% by 2030 as one of the best solutions for decarbonizing the transport sector in Europe.
Rail freight transport has a growing importance in the political agendas of EU regions as it rises manifold challenges related to transport emission reduction, environmental protection and energy consumption.
Rail freight is particularly well placed to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported fuels, due to its high energy efficiency and major reliance on electric energy. Rail freight can support Europe’s competitiveness if the right framework conditions are set in place.
Many public authorities have played, and will play, a key role in developing measures and actions aimed to increase the rail freight modal share (19% average percentage in EU) contributing to drastically reduce the negative impact of freight transport, through innovation and a more balanced transport mix.
Developing an efficient rail freight transport system has nevertheless become an increasingly complex task for policy makers, which deals with infrastructural development, spatial and transport planning, and governance consolidation. In addition, policy makers involved in this field are requested to push digital and green innovation in the rail freight supply chain and the consolidation of positive working conditions, equal opportunities and the protection of health and safety of rail freight workers.
In particular, the present EU scenario for rail freight transport calls for public actions such as:

  • Improving the rail transport infrastructure removing the existing bottlenecks (i.e the lack of capacity of the main railway lines and in the main intermodal hubs)
  • increasing the railway connection between ports and hinterlands to foster the creation of an integrated network of ports and intermodal hubs;
  • Improving connections among rail-road terminals and increasing the number of multimodal logistic platforms, connected to the railway network
  • Supporting the modal shift from road to sustainable railway services through dedicated financial supporting schemes;
  • Improving rail freight transport planning in CE Regions;
  • increasing technological innovation on rail freight supply chain to improve safety and efficiency;
  • fostering public-private cooperation and stakeholders’ coordination to design policies and solutions implementation for rail transport sector

The REIF Shift to regional rail – Award aims at sharing best practices and at providing an opportunity for communication and knowledge exchange among regions and local contexts all over the EU regarding policies to support rail and intermodal freight transport.
The focus of the award is on best practices concerning public actions, measures and policies, which have been implemented or which are under implementation by Regional government and which produced outstanding results and achievements in promoting rail freight transport.

All the regional policies that could help shift freight from road to rail can be candidate to REIF Shift to regional rail – Award, this means that policies can range from infrastructural improvements to incentive policies for modal shift to education and communication campaigns related the importance of rail freight sector.
The award is promoted by the Institute for Transport and Logistics (ITL) through the REIF Project, funded under the Interreg Central Europe Programme

The award will be assigned on the basis of four basic criteria:

  • Comprehensiveness of policy actions – The extent to which the regions have developed a system of policies aimed at rebalancing modal share.
  • Commitment to future actions – The extent to which the regions have planned the development or enhancement of its regional rail freight transport modal share.
  • Business model & Public – private cooperation – The extent to which the regions are engaged in dialogue and cooperation with public and private stakeholders to define policies.
  • Transferability of actions – The extent to which the actions delivered can inspire and inform actions in other European regions.


Given the overall goal of Central Europe programme, and the ratio of the REIF project to improve policy capabilities to support rail freight transport, REIF Shift to regional rail – Award is open to public authorities and bodies governed by public law (according to Directive 2004/18/EC) in the eligible area of Central Europe programme which covers the whole territory of the European Union with its 27 Member States – including insular and outermost areas.

The REIF Shift to regional rail – Award is structured in two categories:

  1. EU REGIONS or other PUBLIC BODIES: applicants to this category can apply because they have approved measures and policies focusing on rail-intermodal transport in Eu territory.
  2. Technical Agency – Policy advisor of EU Regions: applicants to this category can apply thanks to the development of studies, analysis and policies support provided to public bodies, focused on rail-intermodal transport in EU territory.

Winners will be recognized as examples of excellence for inspiring other regions and local contexts and stimulating further development of rail freight transport.

One winner for each category will be awarded.

The award ceremony will take place online due to the covid restrictions at the planned forthcoming REIF Transfer conference in Bologna (Italy) in February 2022.


The evaluation is carried out by the REIF Award Commission. It is composed by technical experts in the freight rail transport from the following REIF partner organisations: Regione Emilia-Romagna (IT), Institute for Transport and Logistics Foundation (IT), Thuringian Ministry for Infrastructure and Agriculture (DE), and Intermodal Transport Cluster (HR).

The REIF Award Commission will qualitatively assess on a scale, which range from 1 to 5 the quality of all submitted applications for both categories according the criteria mentioned above.

TIMING & Application Form

To participate at the REIF Shift to regional rail – Award applicants are requested to fill in the on-line form available below exclusively in English. Considering that the commission is composed by Organizations from different Countries we can’t accept applications in other languages.
Please also indicate or upload in the last part of the on-line form any supporting documents (always in English language) that you providing with the application.

Please fill in all the sections of the application in English (applications in other languages will not be considered) and send it by e-mail with all necessary additional materials to: reif@fondazioneitl.org

Applications can be sent not later than 15th December 2021 h. 23.59 CET (Central European Time)
Applications received after the deadline are not accepted.

No paper version of the application is needed.
For more information write an e-mail to reif@fondazioneitl.org


The REIF Shift to regional rail – Award does not consist of any type of monetary prize and does not want to give any type of economic advantages to the applicants and winners. It is a no-profit initiative. No financial or contractual obligations will arise for the REIF partners by the application to the award.

Fill in the Application form 

Application form

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