Image: Port of Rotterdam/GVT

New corridor Rotterdam-Rzepin starts this month

From the end of September, a new intermodal connection will run between the port of Rotterdam and Poland. Three times a week, a train will connect the Dutch port to the city of Rzepin, near the border with Germany. This was announced by the port of Rotterdam at the RailFreight Summit 2021 in Lodz, Poland last week.

The Polish city of Rzepin was already connected to the Netherlands with the rail freight service to Tilburg, but this is a direct line to and from the port of Rotterdam, explained Erik Nieuwenhuis from Rail Terminal Rzepin, a partner of GVT. The journey takes 14 hours, and all container types can be loaded on the train. Traction will be provided by Partner in Rail.

Non-cranable trailers

A noteworthy feature of the new service is the fact that also non-cranable trailers can be loaded on the train. This is with the help of the VEGA-VTG solution, a vertical loading technique. This technology was successfully applied in Tilburg in June 2020, and will now do the job on the route between Rotterdam and Rzepin.

The concept relies on a basket, which is placed on the ground in the terminal. The truck rides over the basket and drops the trailer once it is in the right position. The truck then leaves and the basket is lifted on the wagon, for which it is a perfect fit. “After a year of operations, we can only say it has been a success. We have seen no damage to the units, and we are happy to apply the same technique on this route now”, commented Nieuwenhuis.

C.Ro Ports

The new service will run from C.Ro Ports terminal in the Botlek, Rotterdam, explained Gilbert Bal from the port of Rotterdam during his presentation in Lodz. From this terminal, trains will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From Rrzepin, the journey will start on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

In January this year, there was an initial trial with the vega platforms in the port of Rotterdam, for cargo headed to Rzepin. At that time, it concerned five units that were available three times a week on the UK-Poland route. Now that demand has proven to be sufficient, the route has been established officially, with Partner in Rail taking the lead.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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