New state-of-the art terminal to boost Hungary-Ukraine rail freight

A state-of-the-art terminal is in the pipeline on the border between Hungary and Ukraine. It should become the new gateway of the New Silk Road, encouraging rail freight traffic on the route Hungary-Ukraine-Russia. If everything is up and running, it should be able to handle a million TEUs per year.

The border point Zahony-Chop is open for traffic between Europe and Asia, but currently the volumes predominantly run via Poland. The route via Ukraine is a reliable alternative, and Hungary wants to tap into the opportunities. Anticipating an expansion of railway connections along this route, it is eying a facility that lives up to its international potential.

Wide and normal gauge

The terminal is located in Fényeslitke, Hungary. One of its advantages is that it facilitates both wide and normal gauge railway tracks. The terminal’s wide gauge service is provided on the Chop-Záhony-Komoró route. Normal gauge service is provided directly by the Fényeslitke train station, explains the owner of the terminal East-West Zrt.

With an area of 85 ha in size, the terminal has a storage capacity of 10,000 TEUs of loaded and/or empty containers at a time. It will also be able to store 500 TEU of refrigerated containers. Moreover, it is SEVESO compliant, so it will be possible to reload and store a significant amount of gas containers and containers with dangerous goods. At the time of handover, 15,000m² of leasable storage space will be available.

Modernisation

The current terminal on the border has been criticised, for its lack of modern facilities and equipment. The new terminal is set to change the tide. Its operating software will be able to connect with customers online in real-time, monitoring and tracking the position of containers in transit as well, the company explains.

Moreover, the terminal has two crane areas with crane tracks of 850 metres, suitable for serving full length trains. The cranes lifting load capacity is 60 Mt. During the first phase each crane track will have one crane, which can be upgraded later to two cranes per track. The cranes will also be capable of handling 45” containers and cranable semi-trailers.

At the wide gauge entry point of the terminal, an X-ray gate and an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) gate for the containers will be installed. Both at wide and normal gauge connection points, a digital rolling scale will be installed. The terminal can handle up to 4 full-length trains at a time.

Handover

The available free space allows for further construction of 300,000 m2 warehouse and/or assembly or manufacturing plant according to demand, explains Janos Talosi, CEO of East-West Zrt. “It is possible to build warehouses with an internal height up to 30 metre. We are ready to build the necessary buildings for the customers in case of a long-term lease agreement.”

The planned handover and commencement of the test run is 30 September 2021. The terminal is expected to be fully operational within 90 days from the start of the trial run.

Transit Ukraine

The transit through Ukraine benefits especially countries in Central and Southeast Europe. The way from China to Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkan countries, and even Italy via Ukraine is shorter and according to some also cheaper.

Ukrainian Railway operates a developed network of container trains in the country with an established and well-connected hinterland. More than 55 per cent of exported and imported containers in Ukraine are moved by rail.

Are you curious to find out what the terminal will look like? Watch the video.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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