RCG’s special train transports container homes in earthquake-hit Turkey

Image: ÖBB/Marek Knopp

Rail Cargo Group and Austrian construction company STRABAG set up a 220-tonne train to transport thirty container homes to southeastern Turkey. The container homes will be used to temporarily house families affected by February’s destructive earthquake. Simultaneously, the train also transports other supplies like furniture and hygiene products.

Turkish State Railways will also participate in the project. The train that left Bratislava will transit through Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria before reaching Turkey. Turkish Railways will take over the operation from the Turkish-Bulgarian border until the municipality of Gölbaşı in southeastern Turkey.

“After the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, it was immediately clear that we had to help”, says Klemens Haselsteiner, CEO of STRABAG. RCG contributed to the idea of setting up a temporary container village in the affected region but also provided a quick solution for transporting relief supplies.

Situation in Adıyaman, southeastern Turkey. Image: © STRABAG.

Destroyed infrastructure a challenge

One of the main reasons for launching such a service was the wrecked infrastructure in the earthquake-hit region. According to Imre Kovács, a Rail Cargo Group board member, “the infrastructure there has been severely damaged”. As a result, it is very challenging to send aid provisions and arrange the relevant supply chains.

Railway infrastructure has not been as affected, and humanitarian aid trains have been running there since the first days after the catastrophe. That is why rail was the best candidate to transport STRABAG’s container homes. Nevertheless, flooding occurring in the region could pose an obstacle that rail could not overcome.

Housing for thirty families

The strong earthquake was not the only natural disaster hitting southeastern Turkey. During the last few days, heavy rain and flooding have made the situation all the more critical. Consequently, the container homes that will arrive in Turkey will be of utmost importance in helping thirty families find shelter for the time being.

The container houses will be ready to accommodate people two weeks after they arrive in the region, while two STRABAG employees will coordinate and accompany their installation and connection to the local infrastructure.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Chief Editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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