Railports Carex

EURO CAREX : Cargo Rail Express

Operation › The Rail operators

Advanced discussions with interested rail operators

The CAREX European Shippers Group (GEC CAREX) has launched a competitive dialogue procedure inviting responses from European rail operators interested in providing the future CAREX service. The aim of this consultation process is to invite proposals for the provision of services at affordable, market-realistic prices, and on that basis to appoint one or more operators to undertake the first phase of the service commencing no later then 2015, and to consolidate services provided on the basis of developing appropriate products and services.

Those rail operators expressing interest were invited to a presentation of the Requirement Definition File (Cahier d'Expression des Besoins - CEB) on 7 July 2009. This CEB states in detail that applicant companies must commit to:

  • Putting together a proposal based on the shared interests of future users
  • Including a range of options: the provision of train locomotive power (with and without train maintenance), the acquisition of trains, handling operations, storage and loading/unloading operations in CAREX railports
  • Including timeslots approved by expert consultants employed by the rail infrastructure operators of all those countries involved
  • Addressing the specific technical issues arising as a result of the future intermodal handling of containerised airfreight (meeting IATA standards) and the equipment specifically developed by rolling stock manufacturers
  • Including all information relevant to the performance of the service, continual quality controls, interfaces with customs and security regulations, etc.


The term rail operator must therefore be interpreted in the widest sense: the members of the Carex GEC have made it clear that all proposals must include a quotation for train locomotive power, supported by a number of optional elements.

Proposals were submitted on 31 October 2009, and applicants were interviewed in November 2009.
The proposals submitted are now at the analysis stage, and discussions are ongoing in preparation for the 2010 announcement of which rail operator or European rail operator consortium will be appointed to operate the CAREX service.

What is a rail operator?

By definition, a rail operator is a publicly- or privately-owned company providing the services required to carry goods and/or passengers by rail, and possessing the technical and human resources required to operate train services.

In Europe, an international group of rail operators is defined as cooperation between multiple rail operators based in at least two European Union member states in order to provide goods and/or passenger rail transport services.

In order to offer transport services, rail operators must possess a rail operations licence issued by the national transport ministry concerned, a safety certificate issued by the national authority responsible for rail safety, and infrastructure capacity (slots) allocated by the national rail infrastructure operator (RFF, Infrabel, Eurotunnel, ProRail, etc.).

The Carex project as part of the French government’s "national commitment to rail freight"!

Flux rss

Yanick Paternotte, Member of the French Parliament, Chairman of Roissy Carex and Euro Carex and author of the Parliamentary report «Remettre le fret sur les rails : un défi économique, social et environnemental» (Getting freight back on track: an economic, social and environmental challenge) is ... Read more