Rail Cargo Group brings Benelux and Turkey closer with shorter transit times
Rail Cargo Group’s latest addition to its TransFER network is a connection between Genk in Belgium and Curtici in Romania. The new link offers a direct and regular link between one of Europe’s most significant economic centres and Europe’s fastest-growing transport hub for 2022. However, and most importantly, it provides direct access to Turkey by combining with the existing Curtici-Istanbul rail freight connection.
RCG’s new Genk-Curtici service will have an intermodal profile “for containers (20 to 45 feet), swap bodies and cranable semi-trailers including dangerous goods.” It will run three times per week, and its route will go through various European hubs. For instance, apart from the Benelux, the Genk-Curtici link will pass through the Ruhr area in Germany and other locations like Linz, Vienna and Budapest.
Shorter transit the key
The Curtici-Istanbul service has been in place since June 2021. It started as a project to connect Central Europe directly with Turkey, attempting to seize the transport momentum of the South-Eastern European country and use Budapest and Brno as the hubs to distribute cargo to European destinations.
Cargo from the Benelux used to find its way to Romania and Turkey by combining shorter and regional services with trains from Central Europe to Curtici and then Istanbul. Now, with the new dedicated solution, the Benelux market will have a direct gateway to Turkey with an effect on transit times that will reduce by a day, according to RCG.
Curtici and Romania
Turkey’s importance as a market and a Silk Road gateway for RCG has been analysed before. It is Curtici and Romania grasping the attention in this case. The Austria-based company explained how “Curtici is increasingly becoming a freight transport hub for local volumes from Romania and Turkey towards the Benelux and Ruhr regions.”
The Romanian town, right next to the border with Hungary, uses the Trade Trans Terminal to connect with other important European hubs. Apart from Brno, Budapest and Istanbul, the town also connects with Cologne, Duisburg and Herne in Germany. The service to and from Cologne is offered by TX Logistics, while LKW Walter is responsible for Duisburg and Herne.
But Romania as a whole has undoubtedly developed and transformed transport-wise from March 2022 onwards. The war in Ukraine and the race for alternative Eurasian routes put the Balkan country on the transport maps with a new reinforced and crucial position. Romania expects many rail-related investments, with companies like DP World building new terminals and rail infrastructure improved substantially.