DB Cargo focuses on Kaliningrad route

Kaliningrad intermodal terminal, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

Two subsidiaries of Deutsche Bahn have turned their look to the Kaliningrad route of China – EU railway corridor. DB Cargo Logistics and DB Cargo Polska intend to develop new train multimodal connections through Kaliningrad seaports or intermodal facilities and promote them among the customers.

DB Cargo Logistics together with Kaliningrad Railway, a regional branch of Russian Railways (RZD), GEFCO Russia and Novik Logistik are considering to launch the new rail services between China and the European Union by using the intermodal terminal in Chernyakhovsk for container transhipment. This facility is owned by Russian company Novik Logistik and it has a convenient location. It is situated on the midway from Lithuanian border to Kaliningrad and connected with the European gauge railway (1,435 millimetres) to the Polish network via the Zheleznodorozhny – Skandawa border crossing. On the Polish side, Skandawa border station is linked to Poznań, an important hub for New Silk Road rail freight connections, and other junctions across Poland.

Alternative route

The new link is able to provide an additional alternative to the existing services. Currently, the container trains going from China to the EU enter Poland using the Mamonovo-Braniewo railway border crossing on the southwest of Kaliningrad Region. Another border crossing will allow the forwarders to avoid traffic congestions and reduce their costs. The new potential service has been discussed by the mentioned parties during the meeting took part last week in Kaliningrad. It is far from the final decision but the companies will promote this solution among their customers.

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Railway border crossings between Kaliningrad Region and Poland
Railway border crossings between Kaliningrad Region and Poland, source: OpenRailwayMap

Price, speed, technology

At the end of October, a similar meeting has been carried out between Kaliningrad Railway and DB Cargo Polska, the DB Cargo’s subsidiary in Poland. The Polish rail freight operator once again emphasised its interest in using the Kaliningrad route. “We will be glad to continue cooperation, while still jointly solving such important issues of freight operations as price, speed and exchange of information technologies,” noted Steffen Bobsien, CEO of DB Cargo Polska.

It is worth to note that Russian Railways together with its partners from Belarus and Lithuania implemented a joint tariff for transit transportation from Belarus to Kaliningrad Region. This was a good option for developing multimodal solutions from China to Europe. “Owing to the close cooperation with our partners in Belarus and Lithuania, we reached significant tariff preferences for the Kaliningrad direction. Today, the price for transit via Kaliningrad has become more attractive,” said Viktor Golomolzin, chairman of Kaliningrad Railway.

Currently, a journey from Kaliningrad to the Chinese border takes 11 days. Russian Railways is working to reduce this figure. Among the latest developments is the Xi’an – Hamburg train that reached Kaliningrad in 9 days. The time shortening was reached due to implementing the electronic consignment notes for freight operations on New Silk Road.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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