Izmir to Toshkent train (Photo: UTY)

An inaugural freight service from Izmir in Turkey arrived at Toshkent in Uzbekistan on December 3. The transit time on the 4 500 km route via Iran and Turkmenistan was 25 days. The launch of the service was agreed at meeting of the Organization of Turkic States, with the initial monthly operation planned to increase to twice a month in the future.

On December 5 the Council of the EU’s Transport, Telecommunications & Energy Council agreed a general approach for the draft regulation on the Trans-European Transport Network. The Council said the ‘ambitious goals’ for infrastructure development should help make rail transport more competitive. The text calls for gradual migration towards 1 435 mm gauge on the TEN-T core and extended network, and better connectivity with Ukraine and Moldova.

South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail has begun contracting and capacity allocation to enable emerging manganese miners to send output by rail to the ports of Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Saldanha when current long-term contracts come to an end in April 2023. TFR hopes to increase the current number of emerging miners that have access to rail and port capacity from four to 11, increasing emerging miner allocation from 2 to 4 mtpa, a 25% share of available capacity.

SCI Verkehr has published its Freight Wagons Global Market Trends 2022 study. This provides a view of the global market for freight wagons by region, analysis of current fleets, an overview of the most important drivers for procurement and modernisation and forecasts of new procurement and after-sales volumes until 2026.

Turkmenistan and Russia are to form a joint group on transport, transit and logistics with the aim of increasing the volume of bilateral and transit freight traffic.