European Gateway Services and TX Logistik are to increase Rotterdam-Bayern Express services from five to six departures per week in both directions from February 7. Cargo which has arrived at Rotterdam on a deep sea vessel is available in München the day after the train departs, and can be with customers anywhere in southern Germany and northwest Austria on the third day. The operators say this saves two days compared to import routes via northern German ports, and means German exports can be dispatched to a port closer to the sailing time of the ship.
The British Army and its transport contractor Leidos sent a tank through the Channel Tunnel for the first time on the night of January 17-18, as part of an exercise to test the use of rail for the rapid deployment of equipment which is awkward to transport. The Challenger 2 tank, two Warrior combat vehicles, a Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle, a CRARRV armoured repair & recovery vehicle and two 20 ft containers arrived at Cheriton by road and were loaded onto flat wagons for the trip through the tunnel, returning to the UK 4 h later.
OmniTRAX’s Decatur Central Railroad has begun operation, on what was formerly the northern portion of the Decatur Junction Railway Co. Its 25 km route runs southwest from Cisco to Decatur, Illinois, where it interchanges with Canadian National.
Technische Universität Darmstadt, the Port of Rotterdam and Contargo are undertaking the HiRo project to assess the decision-making processes used by freight forwarders looking to send intermodal traffic between southwest Germany and ports between Hamburg and Le Havre.
On January 25 RZD International and RZD Logistics announced the signing of a memorandum for co-operation in foreign rail markets. They plan to establish a joint venture in Greece, as a basis for entering the freight market there and in neighbouring countries. RZD Logistics is also planning to offer container logistic services between Greek ports and EU countries in co-operation with shipping lines.
On January 18 Ukrainian Railways called tenders for 3 000 open wagons, with the estimated 3bn hryvna cost to be covered by a government credit. In an effort to increase competition, procurement has been split into four lots of 250 wagons each and four lots of 500 wagons. An EBRD loan has been secured for the purchase of a further 2 890 wagons, and UZ plans to produce 3 000 open wagons at three of its own plants.
KTZ Express has sent a pilot batch of Kazakh grain to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam via the Chinese Port of Lianyungang. The grain was sent in containers to simplify handling at the break-of-gauge at Dostyk station and in the ports.
RM Rail has delivered 350 Type 15-1288-02 ammonia tank wagons to Russian chemical company KuibyshevAzot. The use of high-strength steel has made it possible to reduce the thickness of the tank walls, contributing to a 17% increase in capacity to 87 m3 compared to older designs. ‘The increased volume and a number of structural improvements significantly increase operational efficiency’, said RM Rail Marketing Director Alexander Kulikov.
On January 25 Pakistan State Oil signed an agreement for Pakistan Railways to transport fuel to the Jamshoro power plant, and to receive demurrage payments for wagons which are being used to store oil. Around 38% of PSO’s oil traffic is now handled by PR, up from 4% in three years.