The Rotterdam-Swissterminal connection became direct to avoid German network nuisance
Since early January 2023, the rail connection between the port of Rotterdam and Frenkendorf (Basel) and Niederglatt (Zürich) has become direct without passing through Neuss in Germany. The service is offered by Schweizerzug, part of Swissterminal AG, and runs three times a week. The change was mainly due to disruptions in the German railway network affecting the service’s timelines.
The shuttle trains are 650 metres long and can carry up to 96 TEUs per trip. “Since its foundation in 2016, Schweizerzug has had Rotterdam as its destination. We are proud that this year, in 2023, our direct train connection to and from the largest seaport in Europe has become a reality”, said Roman Mayer, the CEO of Swissterminal AG.
Construction in German network the motive
Schweizerzug has been serving the route for seven years. What makes a company change its plans on a tested route? Mayer highlighted that continuous construction works in the German railway network and the respective nuisance they cause was the main reason behind the decision to make the shuttle service direct.
‘We used to serve Rotterdam via Neuss, but keeping a good schedule for us and our clients in the past year proved to be quite a challenge”, said Mayer. “This was caused by the large number of rail works in Germany”, he added. Disruptions in container shipping due to the geopolitical shifts of the last year also played a role; however, they were not as prominent as the disruptions in Germany.
Mayer is now convinced that the direct Rhine-Alpine connection between the Swissterminal locations in Switzerland and Rotterdam’s World Gateway terminal will provide the “most stable timetable possible”, which is Swissterminal’s primary objective in this heavily used route which also expects construction works to unfold in the coming years.
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