Pier Eringa in Latvia. Photo: ProRail

ProRail: ‘From Dutch to Baltic port in 22 hours’

Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail and block train operator Baltic Rail, subsidiary of Rail World Group, want to shorten transit times of rail freight traffic between the Dutch and Baltic ports. The 1,800 kilometre journey should be made in 22 hours, said Pier Eringa, CEO of ProRail.

The Netherlands and the Baltic states are connected via the North Sea-Baltic corridor, one of the TEN-T corridors making up the core network of Europe. The North Sea-Baltic corridor consists of 5,947 kilometre of railways, 4,029 kilometre of roads and 2,186 kilometre of inland waterways. It connects the ports of the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea with ports of the North Sea, situated in Northern Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Boost of rail freight

The two parties have agreed to work together on a further boost of rail freight traffic, the CEO said in Latvia, where he is accompanying the Dutch King Willem-Alexander on an official state visit. On the particular corridor, capacity is to be improved by reducing the large variety of systems and installing harmonised European techniques, ProRail explained.

Moreover, new and improved links will be implemented between ports in both regions. For example, several sections of railway on the line Amsterdam-Utrecht-Arnhem-Hannover-Berlin will be upgraded. In the Baltic states, Rail Baltica is by far the largest project, aiming to establish a European standard gauge railway connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Poland.

“Stimulating rail freight traffic is a top priority at ProRail. We see that the modal share of rail is increasing, this is a positive sign. After all, rail is one of the most sustainable transport modes. Most trains are electric, due to which CO2 emissions are low compared to for example trucks or vessels”, said Eringa.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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