Siemens has trained staff at the Schienenfahrzeugbau Wittenberge workshop to undertaken maintenance and 30 000 km and 150 000 km inspections of Vectron AC and Smartron locomotives. SFW’s parent company Eisenbahngesellschaft Potsdam took delivery of four Smartron locos in June. ‘With this step, we are prepared for the new technologies and prepared for the future‘, said SFW Managing Director Oliver Wiechmann.

A trial transhipment of iron ore pellets between 1 520 and 1 435 mm gauge open wagons has been undertaken at Korgas on the border between Kazakhstan and China. Until now services have used the Dostyk crossing. Kazakh railway KTZ said the use of the Korgas route rather than the Dostyk border crossing which it has previously used for the traffic would enable it to increase exports and optimise traffic flows, with two trains to be transhipped every day.

RZD Logistics has launched a freight service from Yantai in China to Duisburg in Germany via Mongolia. The first train carrying household goods, car parts and electronic components set off on July 26 and arrived on August 14. A route from Jinan to Budapest is to follow.

A delegation from Kazakhstan’s KTZ recently visited Russia’s South Ural Railway to discuss prospects for the growth of transit container traffic between western China and Europe. An average of 17 trains each way per day pass through the Kartaly border crossing, where joint processing of trains has reduced dwell times for international freight trains from 300 to 150 min. Further efforts are to be made to reduce delays to services. ‘When the trains run on a clear schedule, this greatly affects the efficiency of transportation’, said Kanat Almagambetov, First Deputy Chairman of KTZ. ‘We will do everything in our power to ensure that the China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus – Europe route develops steadily.’

Laos and Thailand have launched a daily freight service across the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, with a capacity of up to 20 containers.