EUROPE: A trial Amber Train service between the Baltic States left the Estonian port of Muuga on September 13, arriving the following day at Kaunas in Lithuanian where its load of semi-trailers was transferred to 1 435 mm gauge wagons for onward transport to destinations including France and the Netherlands.
The 1 520 mm gauge wagons returned to Muuga with trailers for onward sea transport to Finland.
‘We are taking a test ride — we’ll see how the loading of goods, border operations and the exchanging of documents and data function’, said Raul Toomsalu, Chairman of Estonia’s Operail. ‘This time, we are moving from roads to rails some timber material, peat and construction foam, which we are transporting for our clients to Lithuania.’
Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs & Infrastructure Riina Sikkut said the Amber Train project is particularly important now as trade flows and transport corridors are being reshaped, as it ’provides an additional opportunity to develop freight transport that does not depend on Russia’.
A weekly service is planned for the near future. ‘This will happen as soon as possible, as customers are already expressing their interest’, said Toomsalu.
Once the 1 435 mm gauge Rail Baltica corridor is completed, the Amber Train service would transfer to the new line, eliminating the need to reload in Kaunas.