Euroterminal Sławków

Sławków becomes transit hub between China and Italy

After arranging the direct regular connections between China and Euroterminal Sławków, Polish operator PKP LHS has focused on developing transit opportunities of this intermodal facility and the entire Broad Gauge Line in Poland. The new container train service from Xi’an to Milan via Sławków is the evidence of that.

On Monday, 24 August, Milan welcomed another container train from the Chinese city of Xi’an. On the one hand, this freight service was ordinary like many others running between China and Europe. But on the other hand, it had one unique feature – its route. Usually, most of the trains from China to the European Union run via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, from where containers are distributed throughout Europe, including Italy.

This time the Polish rail freight operators PKP LHS and PKP Cargo Connect together with Xi’an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation Company decided to examine quite a different route. In early August, the container train loaded with medical equipment, which was ordered by the Italian government for combating the coronavirus, departed from Xi’an. On its way to Italy, the train crossed Kazakhstan and Russia as usual, but then it ran via Ukraine, Poland, Czechia and Austria, which was extraordinary. The entire travel time of the first train was 19 days. As PKP Cargo Connect reported to RailFreight, the next trains will arrive in Milan faster, in 13-14 days.

Transhipment in Sławków

Usually, the transhipment operations take place in Małaszewicze on the border between Poland and Belarus. The mentioned container train from Xi’an to Italy was reloaded in Sławków, to be more precise at Euroterminal Sławków. As Poland has the Broad Gauge Line with the same gauge as in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine (1,520 millimetres), the containers were delivered Kazakhstan to Poland without any additional transhipment.

Sławków is a small town in the Silesian Voivodeship with a very convenient location. It is situated in 25 kilometres eastward from Katowice, an important industrial and logistics centre, and in less than 100 kilometres from the Czech border. As a result, the containers could be picked up for delivering throughout Poland and to other countries. PKP Cargo Connect did so and transported these containers by rail from Sławków to Milan.

New connections

According to PKP LHS, the new container trains are on the run to Milan. The company expects that this service will become regular with a frequency of at least once a week. Meanwhile, there could be launched other connections from China to the European destinations by using the existing rail freight connections of Euroterminal Sławków.

Currently, the intermodal facility is connected with the counterparts in Maddaloni, southern Italy (near Neapol), and Schwarzheide, eastern Germany (not far from Dresden). Taking into account the PKP Cargo’s container trains from Poland to Piacenza, it is quite possible to suggest that Sławków could also be linked with this Italian city, which is located in around 70 kilometres from Milan.

Rail freight Summit Poznan

PKP LHS will be represented by Aleksandra Adamska at the RailFreight Summit in Poznan, which takes place on 1, 2 and 3 September. Adamska will take part in the session about route developments in and around Poland. This session takes place on the second day, 2 September.

Here you can have a look at the programme. Although tickets for physical attendance are sold out, you can register here for the live stream.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

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

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