At the end of December Aurizon delivered the first coal from MACH Energy’s new Mount Pleasant mine in the Hunter Valley to AGL’s Antiene power station in New South Wales. ‘We have been working collaboratively over the past couple of months to test the loading of trains at the Mount Pleasant mine to ensure this delivery was successful’, said Ed McKeiver, Group Executive of Aurizon’s Coal business. ‘This week’s first service is the start of a new long-term contract that will see Aurizon transport up to eight million tonnes of coal per annum for MACH Energy. Initially we will be railing the coal for domestic electricity use before transitioning to railing to the Port of Newcastle for export markets.’ Target production is of 10·5 million tonnes/year.

Lineas has begun hauling bulk cement from Rombas to Ciments Calcia’s Chelles Distribution Centre, which has not been served by rail for 15 years. Trains run weekly, with 24 wagons. ‘Our partnership is a good example of the way we look into clients’ specific problems and help them develop solutions made to measure’, said Olivier Deprez, Managing Director of Lineas France. ‘The return of trains to Chelles will enable Ciments Calcia to increase their storage capacity in Île-de-France and meet the growing needs of their customers’ building sites in the Greater Paris area. In addition, our flexible, customer-friendly service will contribute to keeping down the number of lorries on the roads.’

Schweizerzug is to increase its service from Frenkendorf near Basel to Antwerpen from two to three round trips per week from Janaury 10, with a daily service from Frenkendorf to Niederglatt near Zürich.

Nippon Express launched a trial China to Europe rail service on December 20, connecting Xi’an and Duisburg in 18 days. Regular weekly services are planned from March.

Bremenports has commissioned DBH Logistics IT to supply a new IT platform for the 193 km rail network serving the port of Bremen, with functions to include planning, scheduling, train movement monitoring and billing. It is expected to go live in 2020.

Energy company and major long-term customer PGE Group has awarded PKP Cargo five contracts with a total value of 666m złoty covering the haulage of a total of 15·2 million tonnes of hard coal and 1·5 million tonnes of limestone to Polish power stations in 2019-21.

Norfolk Southern has appointed Jason A Zampi as Vice-President & Controller, reporting to Cynthia C Earhart, Executive Vice-President Finance & Chief Financial Officer.

Last month Lineas began operating trains between between Ambérieu and Antwerpen for food company Danone.