Konkola Copper Mines has commissioned a rail weighbridge at its Nchanga Plant at Chingola, which Zambia Railways Acting Regional Manager, Intermine, Emmanuel Mwango, said would eliminate double handling of cargo for weighing. ‘KCM has spent about US$95 000 on this investment, and I am pleased to mention that the use of rail transport will save the company US$500 000 per year’, said KCM Chief Financial Officer Giridhar Venkatesen on December 18. ‘Zambia Railways will be assured of cargo from KCM and income of US$2m per year.’

Mercitalia Rail announced on December 17 that it had acquired PKP Cargo’s 50% stake in POL-Rail, which the Italian and Polish national operators founded in 1995 to develop freight traffic between the two countries and in Eastern Europe more generally. The deal includes POL-Rail’s Romanian subsidiary Rom Rail.

On December 17 the supervisory board of DB Cargo appointed Pierre Timmermans as member for Sales & Marketing with effect from April 1 2019, succeeding Raimund Stüer who left by mutual agreement on November 30. Timmermans’ previous roles have included CEO of Czech freight operator AWT and CEO of the PSA International container port group. DB Cargo Polska CEO Marek Staszek will move to the management board of the parent company on February 1, replacing Michael Anslinger, currently member of the management board for Production, who will take on new responsibilities with the DB group.

Russian operator Freight One has announced plans to build a 182m rouble wagon maintenance facility at Zarinskaya in the Altai region for opening in 2021.

The national railways of Georgia and Latvia have signed a memorandum of understanding to share information on tariffs and market intelligence to help develop rail-based multimodal transport connecting Scandinavia to Central Asia and China via Georgia. The ZUBR container service connects the Baltic States with the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhne, from where cargo can be shipped to Georgia.

Chair Andrew F Reardon has notified Canadian Pacific Railway that he will be retiring from the board with effect from the annual general meeting on May 7 2019. Isabelle Courville has been designated by the board as its next Chair.

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €9m scheme to encourage iron slabs to be moved by rail rather than road in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. The scheme running until 2021 provides a subsidy to logistics companies performing the whole service, including unloading and transhipment, with the objective of reducing prices. The support companies can receive is based on the reduction in the external costs of pollution, noise, congestion and accidents achieved by using rail rather than road transport.