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World rail freight news round-up

08 Jul 2019

ČD Cargo has begun taking delivery of 80 Zacns 88 m3 tank wagons ordered from Tatravagónka Poprad.

Volvo, automotive logistics company ARS Altmann and Intermodal Container Logistics have begun delivering cars from China to Gent in Belgium by rail. Several round trips per week are planned, carrying 40 000 vehicles per year in 40 ft containers between Poland and China and on covered double-deck car wagons in the EU.

Polish infrastructure manager PKP PLK has signed three contracts with a total value of €610m for Torpol and Intercor to upgrade 70 km of rail infrastructure in the Port of Gdańsk and for Budimex to undertake works at the Port of Gdynia where 115 km track will be modernised and the access route electrified.

With the purchase Green Cargo’s 50% stake, Finland’s VR Group has acquired full ownership of SeaRail, which provides terminal and material handling services at the Tako board mill in Tampere. ‘SeaRail ensures that Tako receives raw materials for use efficiently and that finished products leaving the factory are loaded onto trains appropriately for further delivery around the world’, said VR Transpoint’s Senior Vice President Martti Koskinen on July 2. ‘With this transaction, we can deepen even further an important customer relationship.’

Nurminen Logistics plans to run a block train between Helsinki and Hefei in China every second week during the second half of 2019.

RZD Logistics subsidiary FELB has launched a weekly container service between Yantai in China and Seliatino in Russia’s Moscow region. The first service with 42 containers was dispatched on June 28, and was expected to take 16-18 days travelling via Mongolia. The operator said transport would cost from US$1 850 for a 40 ft container. ‘Yantai station is convenient for consolidating cargo from all over Shandong province, one of the most industrialised in China, and it is also successfully connected to the sea terminal, with which we also plan to group and ship to Russia and Europe from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region’, said Sales Director Olga Stepanova.

DSV is now offering daily services carrying road trailers between the UK and Italy with a transit time of five to eight working days, travelling by sea from Hull or Tilbury and then by rail from Zeebrugge. The follows the success of a similar service between the UK and Spain.

The Russian government has published a presidential decree to allow RZD customers to transit sanctioned goods through Russia if they are protected with electronic seals and trackers.

SNCF subsidiary Forwardis is to roll out Ramco Systems’ cloud and mobile-based Logistics Suite software to replace in-house applications.

GB Railfreight has operated a test train to a site at Link Park Heathrow, north of London's Heathrow Airport, which Ashville Aggregates plans to use to receive construction materials from the Midlands. The site was last used as a railhead in 2013, and has been rehabilitated by Intramodality. 'The reopening is a clear sign of increasing demand for rail freight services as business look for reliable and more sustainable ways to move freight', said GBRf  Managing Director John Smith. 'With each train carrying the equivalent of 60 lorry loads while emitting at quarter of the emissions of equivalent road transport, rail freight has an increasingly important role to play. With major new infrastructure projects planned to happen close by, including the Heathrow third runway, the site offers a potentially useful rail head to transport material to the area and potentially spoil away.'