Following a two-year review by UK infrastructure manager Network Rail and freight operators, 4 702 unused train paths per week have been released to provide capacity for other services. The spare paths are the result of the decline in coal and steel traffic, as well as better timetabling and more efficient operations including running fewer but longer and fuller trains. 1 000 of the removed paths have been safeguarded for future strategic freight growth.
TX Logistik has taken delivery of first two of 10 Siemens Vectron locomotives being leased from Alpha Trains under a full servicing and maintenance contract announced in April 2016.
Freight consolidator Baltic Consol Line has launched a less-than-container-load rail service from Estonia to Poland. From May 1 it will also add an extra four weekly LCL departures from Chengdu, taking its China – Europe services to nine per week.
CN and Duluth Cargo Connect are to establish a rail-served container handling facility at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. 'Opening CN's newest intermodal location here in Duluth instantly connects our region to containerised imports and exports via CN's rail network, avoiding the congestion in large urban intermodal facilities', said Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. 'Our truck traffic has grown exponentially in recent years, and now we've partnered with CN to bring a whole new mode of efficient transportation services to the Twin Ports.'
Having introduced a weekly service including a less-than-container-load option from Guangzhou to the Vorsino terminal near Moscow, with a transit time of 14 to 16 days, Far East Land Bridge is now seeking to establish more routes from southern China to locations in Europe.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association announced on April 5 that it had filed a petition for review in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, challenging the Surface Transportation Board's dismissal of AFPM’s April 2016 complaint against a surcharge imposed by BNSF on DOT-111 tanks wagons carrying crude oil. ‘DOT, not the railroads, is tasked by Congress to establish tank car standards, so BNSF is overstepping its authority by penalising shippers of oil for using the federally authorised DOT-111 tank cars’, claimed AFPM President & CEO Chet Thompson. ‘DOT has approved and deemed the cars safe for use, and a rail company can't supplant the government's decision.’
The United Transport & Logistics Co joint venture of the national railways of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan carried 30 600 TEU on the Dostyk – Brest corridor in the first three months of 2017, up from 12 800 TEU in the same period in 2016. The increase was partly due to the launch of regular shipments in partnership with DB Cargo Russia which dispatched 239 westbound and 126 eastbound trains in the first quarter.
Rail Cargo Group hauled almost 2·5 million tonnes of sugar beets to Agrana’s factories in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania during this year’s campaign.
A sod-turning ceremony marked the start of construction of Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance’s Moorebank Logistics Park on April 6. ‘The benefits of this project will assist in supply chain efficiency by reducing the cost to business for transporting goods’, said Danny Broad, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association. ‘It will also create more integrated road and rail connections and make for quicker flow of goods by enabling rail to be the connecter between Port Botany and south-west Sydney.’
DB Cargo UK, Euro Cargo Rail and Fret SNCF have transported a Belmond British Pullman luxury heritage coach from the UK to Clermont-Ferrand in France for overhaul. ‘An historic coach like Phoenix has never been taken through the Channel Tunnel before and at first it seemed that it might be virtually impossible to take a parlour car dating back to 1927 through such modern infrastructure ‘, said Richard Corser, Account Manager for Charters, Special Trains and Resource Hires at DB Cargo UK. The coach was hauled as part of a regular intermodal service.