Turkish private operator Omsan Lojistik has begun transporting new Dacia Duster cars from Europe to Asia via the Marmaray tunnel. ‘During the current pandemic, rail has been a reliable and direct means of transport of increasing importance and will develop into one of the preferred alternatives in our country in the future’, said Managing Director Cömert Varlık. ’I am firmly convinced that the Marmaray route will make significant contributions to Turkish exports and imports.’

Remputmash hopper wagon

Sinara Transport Machines subsidiary Remputmash has produced four prototype Type 19-6940 ballast hopper and distribution wagons with a 25 tonne axleload. The wagons were developed to Russian Railways standards to offer 5 m3 greater capacity than the older VPM-770 design, a 20% increase in productivity and 12% reduction in maintenance costs.

Nippon Express launched a cross-border freight service from Suzhou in China to Hanoi in Vietnam on February 24, saying there is currently a shortages of space on sea transport services, and rail makes possible reliable lead times of eight to 10 days.

The RailPulse telematics joint venture of Norfolk Southern, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming, TrinityRail and Watco has appointed Princeton Consultants to develop its work further. Initial phases will provide hand brake and impact data, with bearing temperature and wheel impact detection sensors to follow. A further objective is to improve visibility of wagon status, location and condition data. ‘We are fully committed to ensuring that RailPulse leverages the best current and emerging technologies to benefit all rail shipping stakeholders’, said Princeton Consultants founder & CEO Steve Sashihara.

Tikhvin timber flat car for Arkhbum

Arkhangelsk Pulp & Paper Mill company Arkhbum has taken delivery of a batch of United Wagon Co Type 13-6852-02 timber wagons with a capacity of 74 tonnes and 122 m3. ‘Last year, we raised our freight rail traffic by 19∙1% year-on-year and expanded our fleet to 2 500 cars’, said Arkhbum CEO Vasily Knyrevich. ‘Our company intends to further develop its fleet mainly with new generation wagons and strengthen co-operation with UWC.’

Following the uncontrolled movement of a Goderich-Exeter Railway train which led to a derailment in Goderich, Ontario, on February 1, Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra has issued two Ministerial Orders under the Railway Safety Act. The first requires railway companies to implement specific procedures that must be followed by drivers to prevent the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment due to an unintended release of the train’s air brakes. The second requires that the industry adds an additional layer of defence to prevent the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment by proposing amendments to the Railway Locomotive Inspection & Safety Rules and the Canadian Rail Operating Rules. The amendments will include improving performance standards for locomotives equipped with roll-away protection, and clarifying the definition of an ‘unattended train’

Uruguay’s SELF has signed a new contract to move 150 000 tonnes of wood a year between stations on the Treinta y Tres – Río Branco route and Peñarol in Montevideo. A contract to move 150 000 tonnes of cement from Treinta y Tres to Peñarol is still being discussed.

GBRf Maritime

GB Railfreight has begun operating an intermodal service from the port of Felixstowe to Maritime Transport’s site at Wakefield Europort. This is GBRf’s seventh intermodal serve to a Maritime facility, and will use a mix of wagon types, including two Eco Triples, two Q8s and 11 IKA Twins to provide flexibility and maximise the number of boxes that can be carried.