Ghent,  Monday 18th of September 2017


IDLab, Ghent University, iGent Toren, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 15, 9052 Gent, Belgium


  • 12.30 am – 1.15 pm: Walking sandwich lunch
  • 1.15 pm - 1.45 pm: Welcome by the host
  • 1.45 pm – 2.30 pm: Break-out session 1 + discussion
    • Governance and organization (Leslokaal 1.1)
    • Environment (VGZ 1.1)
  • 2.30 pm – 3.15 pm: Break-out session 2 + discussion
    • Regulatory analysis (VGZ 1.1)
    • Operational analysis (Leslokaal 1.1)
  • 3.15 pm – 4 pm: Break-out session 3 + discussion
    • Economic impact (Leslokaal 1.1)
    • Environmental impact (VGZ 1.1)
  • 4 pm – ...: Closing plenary + Networking drink


Break-out sessions:

Operational corridor and hub development

By modelling the maangerial problem using mathematical programming and optimization techniques,the potential efficiency of intermodal rail transport in Belgium is highlighted. The objective is to give more insight on the decision-making process of the different stakeholders in the intermodal transportchain. Two main views are adopted: domestic scale, where only national flows within Belgium are considered, and European scale, whereBelgium is regardedas a main start/endpoint of the flows. For the belgian case, also the flow behavior between road and intermodal transport are identified. An economic perspective (minimization of operational costs) is compared to two environmental perspectives (minimization of CO2emissions and air pollution external costs). An intermediate policy which focuses on operational costs by including road taxes is also analyzed.

Economic impact

Direct and indirect economic effects are measured by means of a national input-output analysis and a micro-economic analysis on added value and employment. For the direct effects, three indicators are calculated on company level: (i) added value per FTE, (ii) Added value per production unit and (iii) added value range. For the indirect effects, the land transport sector is split into rail freight transport activities and remaining land transport activites. As such, the multiplier effects of rail freight transport on the belgian economy can be estimated. These results are reflected against the best-case (scenario 1) and worst-case (scenario 2) explorations within this project.


The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been chosen to analyse the environmental impact of rail freight transport. Moreover, a comparison between the environmental impacts related to rail freight transport, inland waterways transport and road transport has been performed. The LCA methodology allows modelling in a quantitative and multi-criteria way the environmental impacts of all relevant pollutant emissions and energy and material consumptions in numerous midpoint environmental impact categories, such as climate change, resource depletion, acidification, human toxicity or ecotoxicity for example.


A detailed study on the levers for policy makers to increase the market size in a context of free competition and the policy path that can be drawn for the identified scenarios.  Also the current level of liberalization and the risk of market concentration by 2030 is analyzed. The new regulation framework and levers for Belgian and European policy-makers to influence the rail freight market are analyzed. This is done by a qualitative approach of the rail regulation in Europe and Belgium which is improved by a benchmark analysis through a selected number of European countries to provide an overview of the main challenges for rail in terms of regulation and practices. For the market concentration a new framework and tools to test the risk of concentration and slow development in the Belgian rail freight market are analyzed.

Governance and organization

For each of the constructed scenarios the required level of policy-level and administrative integration is identified, as well the current status of both forms of integration of the reference situation. Policy-level integration refers to the extent to which political actors try to create greater coherence in decision-making for issues that transcend the boundaries of established policy fields, and which do not correspond to the institutional responsibilities of individual departments. Administrative integration, then, denotes the extent to which involved administrative actors (together with private or privatized companies, civil society organizations, etc.) streamline practices and activities in the policy implementation phase.

Best regards,
The BRAIN-TRAINS consortium