A joint Russian-Latvian joint working group on railways which was formed in 2008 met for the first time in four years on August 2. The national railways agrees to continue to co-operate to increase the volume of freight from India and China, and to try to attract cross-border passenger traffic. ‘It is very important for us that Russian Railways accepted our invitation to meet and discuss co-operation in the field of freight transport development, as in the past few years we have seen a decline in freight turnover’, said LDZ President Edvins Berzins. ‘We hope that today's working negotiations will contribute to improving co-operation and cargo growth.

Reading & Northern Railroad is to participate in the delivery of about 320 000 tonnes of coal from the USA to Ukraine by the end of the year, supplying 100+ wagon block trains that Norfolk Southern will haul from Reading, Pennsylvania to the CNX Terminal in Baltimore, Maryland. ‘Our years of investment in coal cars and our branch line rail system pays off with our ability to turn on a dime and handle the movement of 30+ unit trains in five months’, said Reading & Northern CEO Andrew Muller Jr.

RailRunner’s European subsidiary operated its first daily trains in each direction between Braunschweig and Bratislava overnight on July 31. Pocket wagons and Mega Trailers, swapbodies and containers are being used to enable the company to use onboard telematics to collect data ahead of the planned European launch of its own road-rail system, for which it now hopes to obtain approval during 2019.

United Transport & Logistics Co and Belintertrans-Germany have introduced an additional Europe – China route, with containers being transhipped from 1 435 to 1 520 mm gauge at Bruzhi in Belarus, near the border crossing from Kuźnica in Poland. Traffic on this route is predicted to reach 30 trains/month.

RZD Logistics has begun using double-layered air bags to secure loads in wagons and containers, avoiding the cost and weight of rigid packing crates. ‘This technology is not new in the world, but in Russia it has not yet become widespread’, said Viktor Bortsov, director for the development of small consignments, adding that it was expected to be popular with the shippers of goods such as household appliances and electronics.

DP World London Gateway has expressed support for the Barking Riverside extension of the London Overground network in east London, noting that the planned remodelling of the Ripple Lane freight sidings which is associated with the project would enhance the ability to integrate freight services into the passenger timetable, add operational flexibility and increase capacity.

Russian Railways‘ Armenian operating business South Caucasus Railway has begun transporting aluminium from Russia to Yerevan for foil producer Rusal-Armenal.