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Revitalisation of Inner-Urban Freight Rail Hubs - UrbFRail

Bangård med tåg och stadsiluett i bakgrunden av bilden

During the past 30 years, inner-urban freight rail transport dramatically lost importance partly due to de-industrialization. With the growing need to reduce carbon emissions in transport, these areas is getting into focus again with the aim to shift goods from road to rail and to make lastmile transport more sustainable.

The development of inner-urban freight rail hubs is a complex issue, as a number of requirements have to be met, such as related to infrastructure, spatial planning, economic feasibility as well as financing and governance. Political decisions that may involve substantial public investments, require to be well prepared development concept and process. With inner-urban freight rail transport having been out of the focus for the last 30 years, planners seek to build knowledge and understanding how inner-freight transport can become efficient and useful in a modern context. 

This challenge is addressed by the UrbFRail, a project that is developing a set of tools that will enable spatial and transport planners to select suitable areas for freight rail hubs and to foster the irrevitalisation: the urban freight rail screening and the urban freight rail development tool. Both tools will be designed to get applied to similar cases with the possibility to adopt them. By establishing an Urban Rail Freight Learning Platform, planners will be able to access the tool and to use it in their daily work.

The Swedish team's scope includes  investegating three terminals with different practical statuses and prerequisites.

Årsta Combiterminal

  • Existing terminal is just south of the inner city with connection to TEN-T.
  • The owner of the intermodal terminal is Jernhusen.
  • Terminal operator is Bring and Väte Trafik provides switching services for the terminal.
  • The largest rail operator currently using the terminal is Green Cargo.


  • Existing but decommissioned terminal just north of the inner city.
  • Ideal for freight transport at the intersection between Ostkustbanan, Mälarbanan, Värtabanan and just north of Stockholm Central and in the road network between Essingeleden and Norra länken. 
  • Tomteboda railway station is owned by the Swedish Transport Administration.
  • Track hall available, asphalted tracks.

Stockholm Royal Seaport (Norra Djurgådsstaden)

  • Available and unused areas near an unused railway yard in Stockholm Royal Seaport, the new urban development area in the eastern part of the inner city with a direct connection to Värtahamnen.
  • Existing railway yard is under investigation, where the southern parts may possibly be removed in favor of housing if the benefit of these cannot be secured.
  • Today there is no freight traffic to the southern part of the railway yard.
  • A significant amount of goods is beeing shipped to Värtahamnen.

Project partners

The project is at collaboration where the cities of Berlin, Warsawa and Stockholm participates.

Swedish project partners:
KTH, The City of Stockholm and The Swedish Traffic Administration.
Lindholmen Science Park is coordinating the Swedish parties and are responsibel for establishing a network. Lindholmen Science Park is also in charge of workshops and arranging an expert conferens in the end of the project.

Project time

Project manager
Tove Wahlén

Funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region and Trafikverket