CargoBeamer: non-stop transalpine trains and terminal expansion
The Kaldenkirchen-Domodossola rail link, a staple in CargoBeamer’s European network, has received an upgrade that will sound like music to the ears of the company’s customers. The route is now served by 17 weekly roundtrips, or four daily departures in each direction, making it probably the most frequent intermodal connection in the transalpine axis. Simultaneously, the completion of expansion works at the Domodossola terminal enables the increase of train capacity.
Running with this frequency since the end of August, the Kaldenkirchen-Domodossola route is now officially CargoBeamer’s best-developed product. “The new schedule of 17 weekly rotations reflects our ambition and commitment to the transalpine corridor”, commented Nicolas Albrecht, the company’s CEO. The roundtrip increase coincided with the closure of the Brenner Base tunnel, from which CargoBeamer came out unscathed since the company uses the Lötschberg Base Tunnel to cross the Alps. The proposal of the Swiss Federal Council to double the specific tunnel may also create further growth opportunities in the future.
Terminal expansion first
What could happen if and when the Lötschberg Base Tunnel doubles is a discussion for the future. At present, CargoBeamer has taken some other steps to help improve its transalpine route’s capacity. Specifically, in the first days of September, the company completed the first expansion stage of its terminal in Domodossola. The terminal can now receive five train pairs daily instead of two in the past. This happened by extending the three railway tracks to almost 700 metres, providing space for reachstacker loading and shunting.
At the same time, the terminal now has more space to accommodate semi-trailers after the creation of additional parking areas. Domodossola might have increased its capacity; however, operations will be assisted by the Domo2 terminal operated by DB Cargo, which will continue processing some of the company’s trains. According to CargoBeamer, the next step is establishing its own horizontal transhipment technology to the terminal and “turning it into an intermodal hub”.