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World rail freight news round-up

26 Nov 2018

BNSF Logistics has expanded its fleet with a TEXX 900 wagon for transporting abnormal loads. The 20-axle shiftable well wagon has a capacity of more than 400 tonnes and can be moved 330 mm up, 280 mm down and 355 mm sideways. ‘The TEXX 900 is one of three similar cars in North America and the only of its kind available for booking outside a private fleet’, said BNSF Logistics President Dan Curtis. ‘We are so proud of our engineers for their relentless work to restore this car to be a lighter, stronger asset.’

The Eurorail Logistics subsidiary of the Romanian Grampet Group recently has expanded its operations in Serbia to include the line from Subotica on the Hungarian border to Surčin near Beograd and from Surčin to Vršac on the Romanian border, using four electric and three diesel locomotives bought second hand. The company entered the Serbian market in May, operating from Jimbolia in Romania to Kikinda and on the Vršac – Pančevo route.

ČD Cargo has become the sole owner of transport and forwarding company ČD Logistics, after purchasing the residual 28% stake from PKP Cargo-owned operator AWT for an undisclosed price. The company will be renamed to ČD Cargo Logistics. ČD Logistics recorded a profit of KC13m on a turnover of KC735m in 2017, with its activities including managing regular intermodal services between Yiwu in China and the ČD-DUSS terminal in Lovosice.

On November 13 2018 first container train was dispatched from Zibo in China’s Shandong Province to Selyatino near Moscow, with an expected journey time of 14 days. RZD Logistics organised the ‘first mile’ road delivery of 36 40 ft containers with consumer goods, machinery and vehicles to Zibo. A regular service is planned.

Work to expand railway facilities at Aqina on Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan was officially launched with a ceremony on November 21.

New Zealand’s Provincial Growth Fund is to provide NZ$40m for KiwiRail to purchase land for an intermodal freight hub near Palmerston North, which would replace the existing Palmerston North Freight Yard which is now surrounded by urban development.

UTLC ERA, Belintertrans-Germany, RZD's Kaliningrad Railway and Kaliningrad Sea Trade Port co-operated to organise a two trial container services using shipping from Rotterdam to the Russian exclave then rail transport via Dostyk to Chengdu in China.

On November 22 the UK’s Rail Freight Group published Rail Freight Outcomes in Rail Review, a position paper setting out what the freight sector would like to see in the comprehensive review of the rail sector which was announced by the government in September. RFG says any new structure must include an incentive framework which encourages and rewards freight growth; a strong central function with authority over timetabling and access; a national system of freight charges based on current principles; the right legal, commercial and regulatory levers to deliver freight needs; and the flexibility to meet the changing needs of freight customers.

FERRMED's second Eurasian Connectivity & Industrial Cooperation Forum was held in Brussels on November 21, to discuss enhancing of EU and trans–Eurasian freight corridors and the  prioritisation of projects using business-oriented, socioeconomic criteria.