DIOMIS: Developing Infrastructure use and Operating Models for Intermodal Shift.

In its 2001 White Paper, the European Commission mentions a 38% rise in the European domestic freight market (all transport modes included) over the next ten years. It predicts a rail freight market share of 15% in the year 2020 and therefore expects the rail mode to play a significant part in the modal shift needed to sustain the mobility, the environment and the competitiveness of the European economy.

This premise led the Combined Transport Group of the UIC, in partnership with the UIRR, to commission a study on the infrastructure capacity reserves of the European rail network which highlighted that, in the current context of infrastructure saturation, in order to realise the modal shift towards rail advocated by the EU in its White Paper, several measures need to be taken. These measures range from investments in rail and terminal infrastructure, technical-operational improvements, to the fostering of the working procedures of all the stakeholders in combined transport rail-road.

With the Diomis study, the partners wanted then to investigated how more efficient management, operating and working procedures may help towards:

  • de-saturation of the rail network
  • de-saturation of intermodal terminals
  • modal shift in favour of rail.

The DIOMIS study was carried out by KombiConsult and K+P Transport Consultants.

Although it is a UIC study, the UIC project team was working alongside experts from the market: the UIRR and Europlatforms.


DIOMIS has the objective of:

  • Achieving the productivity gains underlying the conclusions of the UIC Combined Transport Group (CTG) Capacity Study, published in June 2004, regarding the rate of utilisation of the available Infrastructure in 2015
  • Encouraging new types of cooperation between all stakeholders in Combined Transport (CT) : terminal operators, CT operators, shippers, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, national and European authorities
  • Describing and helping to implement optimal capacity management models at terminal level in order to use the available capacity in an optimal manner
  • Adapting and improving more effective operating practices in terms of railway operation in order to relieve a saturated network and respond to future market requirements
  • Describing the benefits of an international approach towards planning and production, and lay down the basic principles for a common approach towards improvement of intermodal services
  • Learning to grow Rail Freight traffics on a saturated railway infrastructure
  • investigate the wagon problematic which is the third parameter which can hinder capacity and constrain growth.


The project was steered by a Committee composed of experts from: