Finland’s first dry port Kouvola RRT goes live
The sole rail and road terminal on Finnish soil was commissioned and is ready to commence operations. Construction of the Kouvola RRT concluded in late 2022, and currently, the terminal is ready to claim its logistical position in Finland and Europe. Its strongest assets? Kilometre-long tracks, a unique location and a plan to operate as an inland port.
“Kouvola RRT is part of the development of the European TEN-T core transport network and the only rail and road terminal in Finland belonging to the network. With the new terminal, Kouvola is Finland’s most efficient loading and unloading place for freight trains”, explained Kouvola RRT.
The terminal covers a 42-hectare area and has two board gauge tracks, each 1,100 metres long. Apart from being the longest in Finland, with an axle weight of 25 tons, the tracks are also suitable for electric locomotives, while they facilitate the loading of trains without the need to split them.
Additionally, Kouvola RRT locates in a logistics area with a long tradition and solid presence in the Finnish market. “The road and railway networks are united in Kouvola: the city has rail connections in all directions and main road network connections in six directions. Kouvola is the most central place in Finland regarding rail transport and a thoroughfare for freight traffic, making it comparable to Finland’s major ports and airports — Vuosaari, HaminaKotka, Turku and Naantali — and to the airports of Helsinki and Turku,” said the terminal’s representatives.
An open-access dry port
The city of Kouvola was directly involved in the terminal’s construction since it covered the planning and investment. However, from now on, RailGate Finland Ltd. will be the operator and the company responsible for further investments in the location. It is essential, though, to mention that the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency owns the terminal’s loading tracks.
“Kouvola RRT is the first dry port in Finland, and RailGate Finland will manage it as a port company. The terminal will bring rail connections and port services close to inland industrial operators, allowing ones without their own rail connection to transport goods by rail. It will operate on an open access model, meaning that it’s open for all kinds of operators”, said the terminal.
Domestic focus but with international outreach
The Kouvola RRT had big plans on its table regarding the role it could have in both international and domestic traffic. For instance, since it is located next to the border with Russia and operates with the same track gauge (1520mm), it could become a hub allowing flawless traffic between the two countries. From Russia, it could also reach China and make Kouvola an intermodal hub of the New Silk Road.
However, some things went differently than planned, given the current geopolitical situation and traffic stoppage between Finland and Russia. Still, there are possibilities. “In the prevailing global situation, Kouvola RRT responds to the change in goods flows and can function as an extension for harbours. For example, wood transport within Finland and the need for storage space have increased. Even the established flows of goods have and will see changes”, underlined terminal representatives.
That being said, Kouvola RRT could become a major intermodal consolidation hub for volumes exiting and entering Finland. With domestic industrial production booming, the terminal could become the place where export volumes are bundled on the way to the ports. Respectively, on the way back, sea volumes could find their way to Kouvola RRT and then get forwarded to the rest of the country.
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