Tuesday 9 December 2014
Rail Freight / International corridors

Euro Cargo Rail hauls French leg of inaugural service along world’s longest rail freight route, from China to Spain

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IRS (InterRail Services GmbH), together with DB Schenker Rail’s European railway expertise, launched the first direct freight train between China and Spain, constituting the longest route taken by a freight train.

On 18 November a 40-container, 600 metre-long, 1400-tonne cargo train left Yiwu in China to embark on a 13,000 km journey that is expected to end in Madrid on 9 December. Following its departure in Yiwu, the train passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, and is expected to arrive in Madrid-Abroñigal Terminal in Spain after 21 days of travel. Since crossing Malaszewicze on the Polish border, DB Schenker Rail has supplied rail transport services in each country in the shape of DB Schenker Rail Polska and DB Schenker Rail Deutschland.

In France, this first test train is using the French railway network run by DB Schenker Rail’s French subsidiary Euro Cargo Rail (ECR), which is also France’s leading alternative rail freight operator. Starting in Forbach for the journey through France, the train is expected to travel to Irun, where Transfesa, another subsidiary of DB Schenker Rail, will take over to deliver the cargo to Abroñigal Terminal, the largest container terminal in Spain.

During the journey, the locomotives were changed approximately every 800 km and the containers transhipped at three points along the route, more specifically on the borders between Alashankou (China) and Dostyk (Kazakhstan), Brest (Belarus) and Malaszewicze (Poland), and Hendaye (France) and Irun (Spain).

Following this trial, the possibility of running regular cargo services between China and Spain will be studied and could go live as of spring 2015 with two round trips per month. At present, DB Schenker Rail provides regular services between China and Europe, more specifically between Leipzig and Shenyang, Chongqing and Duisburg, and Zhenzhou and Hamburg.

(Source: DB Schenker Rail)

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