World rail freight news round-up
On February 24 Catalan regional operator FGC signed an agreement transferring to Spanish infrastructure manager ADIF a 3·6 km single-track section of its 1 000 mm gauge network. This is to form part of a new southern rail connection to the Port of Barcelona and will be rebuilt to accommodate 1 435 mm and 1 668 mm gauge freight trains as well metre gauge.
China Cosco Shipping and GK Lianyungang Port are to invest in upgrading facilities at Kazakh national railway KTZ's freight facilities at Korgas on the China - Kazakhstan border
PKP Cargo and PKP LHS, which manages the 1 520 mm gauge heavy haul line in Poland, have announced their intention to co-operate to bring more freight from Asia to Europe via Sławków Euroterminal.
On February 21 Rail Cargo Group launched a thrice-weekly container train from Rijeka Adriatic Gate to München and Ludwigshafen on behalf of DP World. The operator said this was the first direct freight service from Croatia to Germany.
Norfolk Southern has opened a $9·5m locomotive maintenance and repair depot at its 47th Street intermodal facility in Chicago, eliminating the requirement for locos needing extensive works to be sent elsewhere. Four locomotives can be worked on undercover at one time.
On February 20 the national railways of Kazakhstan and Vietnam signed a memorandum for co-operation to transport containers from Vietnam via China to Eurasian Economic Union countries and potentially to Europe.
LDZ Logistika plans to participate in a trial container service from Mumbai to Riga this year. Sea transport would be used from Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, with road haulage across the border to Azerbaijan then rail transport to Latvia. An end-to-end journey time of 15 days is envisaged.
BNSF has said that its services helped to support new or expanded business developments at 115 locations across its network during 2016, supporting a variety of commodities including agriculture, chemicals, consumer products, ethanol, fertiliser, industrial products and petroleum.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan's national railways have agreed discounted tariffs for the transport of Kazakh grain and flour and goods in refrigerated 45 ft containers, and well as Uzbek fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products on transit routes via of Kazakhstan. An agreement has also been signed on electronic exchange of freight data.