The European Rail Freight Association has 'strongly welcomed' the adoption of EU rules providing consultation and co-ordination obligations for infrastructure managers, aimed at minimising disruptions to services.

Keswick Enterprises Group announced on November 17 that it had reached an agreement to sell its Tibbett Logistics subsidiary in Romania to the Amsterdam-based Yusen Logistics (Europe) subsidiary of Japan's Yusen Logistics Co. Ltd for an undisclosed price. Subject to Romanian regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

More than 300 delegates attended the FERRMED association of freight companies' Silk Road Railway Network conference in Brussels on November 8. FERRMED called for selective investment in locations where benefits would be seen most rapidly, with priority given to a ‘Great EU Trans-Eurasian Trunk Corridor‘ between China and Europe.

JSV Logistic has begun work to convert a former paper mill at Mirando de Ebro in Spain into a logistics centre incorporating a rail freight terminal covering 80 000 m2 and equipped with three tracks. As well as the construction of 750 m of track, the first phase of the redevelopment programme costing €4m will see 20 000 m2 prepared for container handling.

On November 13 Trenes Argentinos Cargas began movements of mineral water for Aguas Misioneras on the 1 435 mm gauge Urquiza network, from Garupá in Misiones to Zárate in the province of Buenos Aires. The contract includes use of a 1 500 m2 covered facility in Zárate for unloading pallets of bottled water.

The Norwegian and Finnish transport ministries have commissioned a feasibility study for a rail link from Rovaniemi to Kirkenes or Tromsø, to be completed by 2019. Linking with Arctic coastal shipping routes opened up by global warming, the line could potentially serve the oil and gas, fishing, forestry and tourist industries.

Uruguayan state railway AFE is working to establish regular international freight services using the connection with the 1 435 mm gauge Urquiza network in Argentina that runs along the top of the Salto Grande dam. According to AFE President Wilfredo Rodríguez, there is potential to carry containers by rail from the port of Montevideo to destinations in Argentina and Paraguay.

The European Rail Freight Association held its annual strategy workshop in Brussels last week. ERFA said the topics discussed included the ‘unfriendly business environment for rail freight' and the ‘weak state‘ of the industry, the dominance of incumbents in many EU countries, the lack of ‘crucial and complete data‘, and the poor performance of international corridors.