IRELAND: National railway Iarnród Éireann is undertaking trials with longer freight trains in an effort to boost the competitiveness of rail freight. Subject to the successful conclusion of the tests, the company hopes to commence the regular operation of longer freight trains from Q4 2016.
A trial 440 m long 27-wagon intermodal train ran from Dublin’s North Wall to Claremorris on the night of June 27, as a trial for a planned increase in capacity from 36 TEU to 54 TEU per train. IÉ has also recently operated a test 18-wagon 1 100 tonne train carrying pulpwood, and a 1 310 tonne ballast train was used to test the maximum weight which could be moved.
IÉ carried 96·4 million tonne-km of freight in 2015, and is working with freight forwarders, ports and the Irish Exporters Association to identify new opportunities. Current traffic includes containers from Ballina to Waterford and Dublin ports, pulpwood from Ballina and Westport to Waterford Port and zinc ore from Tara Mines to Dublin Port.