Freight train in Switzerland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New railway link Zurich-Milano from July

The container terminal Niederglatt/Zurich, operated by Swissterminal Group, will have a new direct rail link to Rail Hub Milano in Melzo/Milano with five departures per week from 2 July 2018. In addition, rail freight services between Niederglatt and Frenkendorf will increase to four links per week.

Swissterminal Group reopened its Niederglatt site in the greater area of Zurich in 2017. Since then, it has witnessed a growing demand for additional connections, especially from clients in and around Winterthur, St. Gallen, Chur and Zug. The new services offer shippers a wealth of transport options via ports in the West as well as South, Swissterminal Group pointed out.

Zurich-Milano link

The new connection with Italy is operated by intermodal operator Hannibal, which is part of the Contship Italia
Group. Hannibal will continue to operate between Frenkendorf and Melzo, from which links to Italian sea ports such La Spezia and Genoa and to continental destinations are available.

“This route is an important alternative to bigger ports in the west rather than a replacement, adding to a better risk
management for shippers and forwarders. The importance of having different transport options ready
in case of need has been illustrated by the Rastatt closure in August 2017 and Niederglatt’s
introduction of new service connections meets the need for alternative transport options”, Swissterminal Group explained.

From road to rail

The railway link between Niederglatt and Frenkendorf is a vital connection, as Frenkendorf offers direct rail links to Antwerp and Neuss (Germany). Via Neuss, there are further connections to Rotterdam and Antwerp respectively, either via barge or rail. With the new services the terminal operator estimates that a transport volume equivalent to the capacity of 10,000 goods vehicles can be shifted from road to rail. “And that applies only to the distance between Basel and Zürich!”, explained Roman Mayer, CEO of Swissterminal Group.

The Swissterminal Group said to do its best to maintain neutral and fair competitive conditions for the
Swiss market also in the future. “This is not only necessary with reference to the market economy. A
decentralised terminal organisation is also an important element in ensuring supply chains all over
Switzerland. In this connection it is extremely important for us to be able to offer redundant services to
our customers. This applies not only to international transport chains and various options for ports of
lading, but it is also essential with regard to risk management on inland routes in order to reduce our
vulnerability,” Mayer pointed out.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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