Brenner Pass - the lowest mountain crossing in the Eastern Alpine chain
The Brenner corridor is a very important connection for rail freight transport. Because of its transit traffic problems, the Alpine crossing has been a constant source of political debate for years - and not just in Austria. Tempers have been flaring on all sides - from Italian politicians to the Bavarian Ministry of Transport. But here’s the problem: As far as transalpine corridors are concerned, the Brenner Pass is still by far the most congested crossing. In 2019, for example, the freight volume passing through the Brenner Pass amounted to 53.8 million tonnes. Of this, 39.9 million tonnes were transported by road*. For local residents, this has resulted in a number of specific problems: Noise pollution, traffic congestion, driving bans and poor air quality. Various media reports have even referred to the issue of "transit terror". On top of this, given that road freight transport in Europe is expected to increase by 30 percent by 2030, it is time to take action.
Transit Relief: rolling road (ROLA)
We at ÖBB Rail Cargo Group are proud to have provided transit relief at the Brenner Pass for many years in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and the region of Tyrol. With the rolling road, freight lorries can cover parts of their journey by rail, while truck drivers can sit back and enjoy a coffee in the comfort of the accompanying passenger carriage. In 2020 alone, 147,340 lorries were transported by rail and road traffic was reduced for the local population. The Rail Cargo Group, an ÖBB freight transport subsidiary, operates the cross-border connection between Wörgl and Trento from the terminal in Wörgl, in addition to the Brenner Pass connection. The connections on the Brenner axis are being increased by another service between Wels and Maribor.
As well as providing much-needed relief for the transit-plagued region of Tyrol, there are also numerous other advantages: The ROLA can transport almost any lorry, is safe and quiet, saves costs (such as toll charges or fuel) and allows transit through Tyrol even when there are road traffic bans.