RUSSIA: Regular intermodal services are to be introduced to link Moscow with various German cities, following the formal launch of the Trans-Eurasia Logistics joint venture on March 6. A memorandum of understanding had been signed in July 2007, and the project has now been approved by the competition authorities.

To be headquartered in Berlin, the joint venture brings together Deutsche Bahn AG and RZD, plus partners Polzug, Kombiverkehr and Transcontainer. The first target is to simplify container operations on the route and make rail more competitive, according to the head of DB's intermodal business Dr Sebastian Jürgens. Feeder services from German and Polish customers will be 'bundled' at Brest into block trains for the hauls to and from Russia, he explained.

Trans-Eurasia Logistics will form a 'very good basis for extension of traffic flows to China', according to DB Board Member, Transport & Logistik Dr Norbert Bensel. He confirmed that DB and RZD are planning to form a trilateral joint venture with Chinese Railways to develop landbridge services to and from the Far East.