Wagon leasing company VTG Rail UK is working with software company 3Squared to develop ProActive Maintenance, a web-based maintenance management system to replace paper-based processes. ‘From tracking wheelset wear to following component failure trends, we hope to be able to streamline our maintenance’, said Sam Hunt, PAM Project Manager at VTG.

According to Kansas City Southern de México President José Zozaya Delano, authorities in the USA and Mexico are considering proposals from freight operators that would move the changeover point for traincrew from the frontier itself to the first yard over the border. This could save up to 30 min at congested border crossings, he suggests.

Receiving the first rail shipment at its Stara Zagora plant for 25 years, casting company Progress AD of Bulgaria has taken delivery of 2 000 tonnes of iron. Undertaken by a private freight operator, rail transport from the port of Burgas avoided 80 lorry movements.

Linde has awarded VTG Rail Logistics a contract to manage the transport of components for the construction of a natural gas processing plant in the Amur region of Russia. With 600 000 tonnes of freight to be moved by 2023, ‘this is one of the largest and most comprehensive projects in the history of our company’, said VTG Rail Logistics Managing Director Günther Ferk.

Hauled by Captrain Italia, the first direct freight service from Mortara in Italy to Chengdu in China departed at 11.50 on November 28, comprising 17 wagons carrying 34 40 ft containers loaded with furniture, machinery and car parts. Routed via Austria, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, the service is being operated by Changjiu Logistics and Chengdu International Railway Services Co Ltd.