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World rail freight news round-up

11 Dec 2017

China Railway Express Co has launched a parcels delivery service using space on Fuxing high speed trainsets operating on the Beijing – Shanghai Passenger-Dedicated Line.

Alstom's Belfort site has completed work on the first of 30 Akiem BB36000 locomotives which are to receive mid-life overhauls under two contracts. 'This first success confirms our desire to develop the maintenance activities of the Belfort site through an increase in activities and skills and to turn the Belfort site into a European centre of reference for locomotive maintenance', said Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom in France.

Slovak infrastructure manager ŽSR has called tenders for a 30-year contract to operate the Žilina-Teplička intermodal transport terminal, which must be available to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis. The terminal, which opened in August 2015 is equipped with two 750 m long tracks served by two portal cranes with a capacity of 46 tonnes.

GB Railfreight has 'objected strongly' to proposals in the UK Office of Rail & Road’s consultation on charges to recover fixed network costs, saying they show 'a lack of understanding of freight and end user contracts and the ability of Freight Operating Companies to absorb any mark-up or pass-through'. GBRf's response calls for long-term charging certainty; sustainability of existing contracts based on the ability to guarantee access for freight to the network; potential for further rail freight growth by identifying latent network capacity; and investment linked to incentives.

The European Commission has approved under state aid rules an €9m Italian subsidy scheme designed to support the shift of freight traffic from road on the Italian section of the Brenner corridor. The level of support operators receive is based on the reduction in the external costs such as pollution, noise, congestion and accidents achieved by rail compared to road transport.

The iPort Rail intermodal freight hub in Doncaster in northern England is expected to open in January. Developer Verido says the independently-operated  secure container facility with 24/7 access will be within 7 h of all UK deep water ports. It will have one 800 m reception siding, two 400 m handling sidings and a headshunt and refuge siding, serving up to six trains per day.

Lineas now offers daily rail services between the C.RO Ports, P&O Ferries and Cosco Shipping terminals at the Port of Zeebrugge and destinations on the Green Xpress network. 'The new link addresses the demand from many customers and the port', said Sam Bruynseels, Managing Director, Lineas Intermodal. 'We have noted that our Green Xpress Network appeals to the market. We hope that with this offer we can convince Zeebrugge logistics service providers who do not yet use rail. The rail solution to a wide and growing offer of European destinations is at least as attractive and more reliable than road transport.'

GB Railfreight has taken delivery of the first of 41 hopper wagons built by Greenbrier’s Wagony Swidnica business which it is leasing from Nacco to support a contract to haul silica sand from King’s Lynn to Yorkshire.