New intermodal routes of LG Cargo and PKP Cargo (according to the information of LG Cargo, PKP Cargo и CargoBeamer)
On 14 May 2020 the first ever transportation of semitrailers in a freight train on the route Germany – Poland – Lithuania was organised by the Lithuanian Railways (LG Cargo1) and Polish State Railways (PKP Cargo) using CargoBeamer technology (for more details about this technology please see OSJD Bulletin number 1-2019, pp. 26-31).
Two days earlier, the train departed from the terminal Kaldenkirchen, located near the border of Germany and the Netherlands. The train delivered 22 semitrailers to Lithuania for eight transport and logistics companies: Girteka, Vlantana, Hoptrans, A. Gri- cius’s, DSV, Arcese, Solotrans and Nokver. At the terminal in Šeštokai (Lithuania), they were again loaded onto the trucks to be delivered to final consumers. Thus, a new land intermodal route was launched, connecting the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Lithuania.
The semitrailers were loaded onto special flat wagons with CargoBeamer technology. The CargoBeamer system was developed as far back as in the late 90s. The specific innovation feature of the system is that it provides a transshipment of containers onto the flat wagons without using the cranes. Thanks to the use of this technology, handling of a 36-wagon train takes only 10-15 minutes, instead of several hours during normal unloading. Moreover, the process of loading and unloading on the same train can be performed simultaneously.
According to Egidijus Lazauskas, Director General of LG Cargo, “this pilot transportation of semi-trailers symbolizes a turning point in the freight transportation market, where cooperation between several modes of transport guarantees the fast and reliable delivery of goods for all participants in the supply chain. However, the greatest achievement of such transportation is environmental friendliness and reduction of negative impact of heavy vehicles on the environment. We hope that the new practical solution will strengthen the advantages of each type of transport: the cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness of railway transport for long-distance traffic, as well as the flexibility of road transport for the delivery of goods by the “door- to-door” principle.
The Polish operator PKP Cargo also opened a new service from the terminal in Małaszewicze to Tilburg (The Netherlands), located near the port of Rotterdam. The traction of the trains is provided by the Siemens Vectron locomotives with the admission for operation on the German and Dutch railways, so they can run without replacing locomotives, which significantly reduces the travel time.
In addition, this year PKP Cargo launches regular connections Gdansk – Warsaw, Gdansk – Poznan and Gdansk – Gliwice B Kontenerowa. The trains “Connect Operator” will depart several times a week on schedule. The planned travel time between Gdansk and Warsaw/Poznan is 8 hours, and from Gdansk to Gliwice - 15 hours.
In late April, the German operator Helrom launched a new piggyback connection between the port of Duisport (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) with a frequency of six days a week. The platforms with Megaswingtechnology are used on the route, which has made it possible to transport both road trains, semi-trailers and containers.
The Duisport-Vienna service laid the foundation for creating a whole network of routes: by 2026 Helrom plans to launch 50 more routes. This network is expected to extend from Stockholm in the North to Rotterdam in the West, Perpignan (France) in the South and the Bulgarian-Turkish border in the East.