MBOX Terminal Niš receives first train from Rijeka
The much-awaited inauguration of the MBOX intermodal terminal in Niš, Serbia, took place on Thursday, 19 May, with the first train arriving from the port of Rijeka. This is the first regular service for the terminal operated by Adria Rail.
The terminal’s first service will continue regularly with one weekly roundtrip for the time being. Adria Rail added Niš to its Serbian network since it was already running trains to and from Belgrade. Containers arriving in MBOX Terminal Niś will also get forwarded to regional destinations like Kosovo, Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
“It is a super busy period for the terminal with the first train arriving, and many more coming”, said Dejan Nikolic, the terminal’s CEO.
Ports and hubs
The service between Niš and the port of Rijeka is the first of many, stressed Nikolic. The terminal’s short-term planning includes launching more services to and from the Greek port of Thessaloniki. “We expect to set up our dedicated block train service to and from Thessaloniki”, highlighted Nikolic. Thessaloniki is 400 kilometres away from Niš, making the port an ideal destination for quick and high-frequency connections.
Rail links with Turkish ports located in the country’s European part are not excluded from the terminal’s portfolio. However, one of the top priorities currently is establishing intermodal trains between Turkey and Western Europe, using Niś as the Balkan crossroad. “Connecting with countries like Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands is crucial. In this sense, an intermodal link with Budapest is the first step for access in these countries. Since Budapest is a hub, connections with other destinations in Europe will result effortlessly”, said Nikolic.
MBOX Terminal Niš
Niš intermodal terminal covers a surface of seven hectares, accommodating 2,700 containers simultaneously. Its capacity will reach 50,000 TEUs annually, while it will also offer warehousing services. Located in the heart of Serbian industrial production, the terminal can gravitate much regional cargo for exports. Additionally, the fact that it’s very close to the central shunting station of southern Serbia, combined with its rail capacity of three rail trucks, will allow it to handle six to seven trains per day.
The first construction stage of the terminal was finished by the end of August 2021. The first trains were supposed to arrive at the start of November, but some licencing issues postponed the opening to March 2022. From March, the inauguration was moved to May due to the war in Ukraine. The terminal will complete its final construction stage by the end of 2023, and works will focus on building an 18,000 square metres warehousing facility.