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World rail freight news round-up

27 May 2019

The EP Logistics International subsidiary of Energetický a Průmyslový Holding has agreed to acquire a 100% stake in freight operator LOCON Logistik & Consulting for an undisclosed price, subject to regulatory approval. Established in 2002, Berlin-based  LOCON has 30 mostly diesel locos and 150 wagons, and operates intermodal services linking North Sea ports in Germany and the Netherlands with Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It also provides consultancy services and operates infrastructure trains in Germany.

Russian Coal has awarded Freight One a contract to move 2·5 million tonnes/year for three years. ‘Freight One aims to develop long-term relationship with leading Russian businesses’, said Freight One CEO Sergey Karataev. ‘The contract guarantees Russian Coal Co the rolling stock required to perform the declared amounts of transportation, and provides Freight One with a stable customer base.’

CSX Corp has appointed Farrukh A Bezar as Senior Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer with effect from May 29.

UTLC ERA has announced plans to increase container transit through Kazakhstan to 1 million TEU/year in 2020–24. It said the total container transport on China – Europe – China routes reached 102 000 TEU in the first four months of 2019, up 16% year on year, with UTLC ERA shipments up 45% at 85 000. Its trains now cover an average of 1 020 km/day, up 74 km/day compared to last year, and its target is to reach 1 073 km/day this year.

Rail transport organiser RZD Logistics and shipping, port handling and container company FESCO have launched a service for the rapid delivery of goods from Japan to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway. A test container was shipped from the port of Yokohama on May 23 carrying non-hazardous chemical products destined for Wrocław, where it is expected to arrive mid-June. A Japan to Europe journey time of around 19 days is planned, compared to 45 by sea through the Suez Canal.

GB Railfreight has launched a container service from the Port of Felixstowe to the iPort Rail terminal in Doncaster, running five days a week. It is the 16th intermodal service run by GBRf, which now carries a  third of all containerised rail traffic to and from Felixstowe.

Union Pacific announced on May 17 that it had implemented Positive Train Control on a further 931 route-km in the first quarter of 2019, bringing PTC-operated route-km to 21 755 or 80%. PTC was implemented on its routes used by passenger services in 2018.

PKP Cargo has signed 250m złoty loan agreements with Bankiem Polska Kasa Opieki Spółka Akcyjna and Bankiem Gospodarstwa Krajowego to support refinancing and acquisitions. The repayment date is December 20 2024.

CN has appointed Rob Reilly as Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer with effect from July 1, succeeding Mike Cory who is retiring. Michael Foster will be promoted to Executive Vice-President & Chief Information & Technology Officer from June 3.