JANUARY 12 saw the departure from København of the first block train to use the Nordic Freight Freeways. Carrying traffic from exporters in Denmark, Norway and Sweden bound for Milano, the trial train was chartered by Aargau-based Hangartner AG, which provided the swap bodies. Traction and wagons were arranged by DSB Gods, with locos and crews hired from other railways. DSB also bought the path from the ScanWays+ one-stop shop run by Banestyrelsen.

The train used the Nordic freeway from København to Hamburg, and then ran via Fulda to join the Rotterdam - Basel - Gioia Tauro freeway for the final leg into Milano. According to Hangartner’s Nordic representative Bjørn Guldager, the end-to end transit time for the 1800 km run ’about matched the best currently on the market’.

Depending upon the feedback from the trial run, Hangartner is looking at the possibility of launching a regular weekly or bi-weekly service between Scandinavia and Italy. However, Guldager could not say whether such a service would be run in the same way as the test train.