Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Transport infrastructure in Central- and Eastern Europe

Developing transportation infrastructure makes differences between Central- and Eastern Europe and other emerging manufacturing locations of the world.


 EU motorways map 2011

The European Union has a vision about the cross-European transportation, called Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The goal of TEN-T developments (funded by EU) is to make the EU internal market more competitive and to speed up the market access. The developments of member states fit into this framwork, including the low-cost CEE Region.

The motorways developments in these countries are in different stages: the Hungarian and the Czech motorways can be regarded as a mature or extended networks, achieving 1,000+ kms line. The Slovakian and Romanian motorways are under construction.

Notice, there are various motorway toll (road fee) for cars and trucks in many CEE countries.


 EU high-speed railways map 2011

The Central- and Eastern European motorway network is underdeveloped compared to the Western European networks, but the CEE railway network is in much better status. The extended railway network was built in the last century, and large-scale EU programmes are running to rebuilt and develop it. The European Union prefer railway transportation, because environmentally it seems to be cleaner. However, the Eastern European rail cargo companies are often not so reliable and not flexible enough, that's why the road transportation has significantly bigger share.

Manufacturing sites and business parks have often a railway access, the typical construction cost of 1 km (0.62 miles) industrial rail is roughly 1 million euros. 

River transportation

To be honest, the river transport is regarded as an exotic solution in European transportation system. The Rhine-Main-Danube Channel is the main water way inside the EU. Some Danube ports have very serious logistics potential, but the river transportation itself is deeply underdeveloped in CEE.

EU efforts

Maybe you realized that EU policies have a fundamental impact on the future of CEE transport infastructure. Here is a short video about EU's debates and visions of transportation:

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