UTLC railway service between Dostyk and Brest. Photo: UTLC

XL-trains on track in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus

The first extra-large container train was seen on route from Dostyk in Kazakhstan to Brest in Belarus last month. The ‘XL-train’ started its journey on the 28th of August, carrying eighty conventional railcars and 88 40ft containers at an average speed of 1,100 kilometers a day. The standard length of container trains shuttling on the main transit route between these countries is 57 conventional railcars.

The service was launched by United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC) in cooperation with the national railway companies Russian Railways, Belarusian Railway and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, after the parties signed a joint protocol on the 21th of August.

Meeting demand

On a five-day journey, the large train crossed through Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, which together form an important stretch on the Eurasian land bridge connecting China and Europe. In view of the growing demand for transportation between China and Europe and in order to improve throughput on this transit route, transport had to be made more efficient and competitive. Operating extra-large container trains an excellent foundation to achieve this objective, said UTLC.

This month, another ten eighty-railcar trains are scheduled to make the journey. UTLC is planning to implement the same technology in all its railway services.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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