DIRECTOR of DB Cargo Dr Eberhard Sinnecker and his Dutch counterpart Ed Smulders unveiled on September 16 in Duisburg the name Railion for the future merged rail freight company known until now as Rail Cargo Europe. The name will apply from January 1 2000, when the merger becomes effective. Owned 94% by DB AG and 6% by NS NV, Railion will have headquarters in Mainz; working languages will be German, Dutch and English.

Sinnecker said that ’Railion aims to be more than a rail transport company’, reflecting a decision to move into logistics and customer services. Two subsidaries will handle operations and technical issues: DB Cargo AG and Utrecht-based Railion Benelux, which will also handle marketing in the Netherlands.

Frontier formalities are to be simplified, and through working of crews and locomotives has already begun, allowing a day to be cut from certain schedules between Dutch cities or ports and selected German destinations.

Reflecting its future international market, DB Cargo announced on September 1 that it had exercised a DM500m option with Siemens and Krauss-Maffei for 100 multi-system freight locomotives based on the Class 152 Co-Co design. To be delivered by 2005, the Class 189s will have a continuous rating of 6400 kW, be fitted for ETCS, have GPS equipment and GSM-R systems for obtaining maintenance data by radio.

  • DB Cargo has meanwhile signed a co-operation deal with AKN Eisenbahn AG under which the local railway will provide trip workings in part of the Hamburg area.