Safe as wooden houses for Rail Cargo Group
The Rail Cargo Group (RCG) is launching a new rail freight service transporting timber panels used to make wooden houses between Austria, Sweden and Norway. The agreement with Stora Enso, one of Scandinavia’s biggest renewable materials providers, cements RCG’s position as central Europe’s largest timber transporter.
Around a billion cubic metres of wood lies in Austria’s forests, making them the perfect source of raw material for Stora Enso’s Austrian division, which then utilises the services of RCG – the Austrian freight arm of national carrier OBB – for moving the wood first to Sweden via Germany, and then onto Norway.
Specially-designed containers wagons enable RCG to accommodate both roundwood and cut timber, which are the basis for houses and buildings. Long synonymous with the Scandinavian construction market, wood is increasingly becoming the material of choice for many building firms across Europe. Its sustainability and conservation means it offers the ideal endorsement for companies seeking to push home their renewable credentials.
RCG has taken over the transportation of cross-laminated timber (CLT) for Stora Enso, which is currently delivered to entire small towns in the far reaches of Scandinavia. RCG has established an expert team specialising in the wood sector, and they have designed and organised a comprehensive solution which involves loading the trains at Stora Enso’s two Austrian production plants at Lower Austria’s Ybbs / Danube and Bad St. Leonhard in Carinthia, before moving it to Oslo and Trondheim in Norway.
On-board electronic tracking and tracing enables current status reports, and the close monitoring of the cargo for the entire duration of the journey, approximately 2,900 kilometres to Oslo and 3,600 kilometres to Trondheim in the far north. Each wagon carries nearly one entire building, comprising around 100 m³ of CLT solid wood panels. The packages, which weigh up to 25 tonnes each are packed in protective film to protect them from the weather.
It’s not the only good news for the Rail Cargo Group, which has also just renewed a long-term logistics agreement with global technology specialist voestalpine. The three-year deal extension will see RCG transport more than eight million tonnes of raw materials and finished products each year to voestalpine’s Austrian sites in Linz and Leoben/Donawitz, and carry outgoing transports of finished goods from the Linz plant.
Under the agreement, RCG will continue to invest in the optimisation of the transport system, collaborating with voestalpine’s materials experts on wagon design and construction, and on the development of new European industrial standards for the rail sector. RCG will also move greater volumes for voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffung GmbH and voestalpine’s logistics subsidiary Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ), furthering the modal shift from road to rail.