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InnoTrans 2020 moved to new date

INNOTRANS: Organiser Messe Berlin has rescheduled the InnoTrans 2020 trade fair, the biggest event in the rail industry calendar.The Messe Berlin venue has more than 3 km of outdoor tracks for rail vehicles to be displayed.InnoTrans 2020 was to have been held on September 22-25. However, as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the Berlin senate issued a decree on April 21 banning events with more than 5 000 people from being held in the city before [...]

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Eurasian freight market is still developing

Up to 2 million TEU could be moving by rail across the Eurasian landbridge corridors by 2030, according to a study commissioned by the International Union of Railways. Although rapid growth rates have slowed in recent years, the study reports that market players are seeking to identify a range of ‘niche’ products that are particularly well suited to rail transport. This could include fresh fruit and vegetables as well as expensive bulk products that are sensitive to humidity.Produced in [...]

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ALLRAIL calls for action to save new passenger train operators

EUROPE: The coronavirus pandemic is ‘annihilating’ the business cases of many independent passenger operators, and without urgent action the first bankruptcies could be seen this month, the ALLRAIL association of new entrants to the rail market has warned. On April 9 ALLRAIL said the ‘understandable’ decision to cut services during the pandemic had reduced passenger numbers by more than 90%, particularly where intra-EU borders have closed. As a result, its members faced a loss of income of more than €1bn [...]

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Coronavirus impact on railways

On Monday, 16 March, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced that the Commission proposed to implement temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days). The measure is being discussed today. It is worth to note that the final decision has not been finalised yet. Shift2Rail fully operational The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking has reported that it is fully operational but it will continue its operations in a new way. “All colleagues in non-critical functions will telework until [...]

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New route on Middle Corridor China to Europe

The Middle Corridor between China and Europe will have a new multimodal route. It will run via Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan instead of Kazakhstan. After crossing the Caspian Sea with a ferry, the new service will use the Baku – Tbilisi – Kars railway in the Caucasian region and the Marmaray Tunnel in Turkey. The first container train between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan is expected to be tested in the first quarter of this year In early November 2019, the first [...]

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China uses New Silk Road to get political influence

In Europe sometimes there is a lack of understanding that the One Belt One Road initiative is actually a political business case, asserts professor and China expert Rob de Wijk. “For the Chinese, it is not only about the logistic or economic advantages of the project, but primarily the political influence that it delivers in other parts of the world. De Wijk was one of the speakers during last week’s Port of Rotterdam Debate, which was organised by Nieuwsblad Transport, [...]

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Syria plans to join New Silk Road

After eight years of bloody civil war, the government of the Syrian Arab Republic wants to reconstruct the country’s infrastructure and recover its economy. One of the possible solutions could be cooperation with China. The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad even declared the intention to join the Belt and Road Initiative as well as New Silk Road transport routes There are mutual interests: it is beneficial to China, Syria and all the countries on this route. We have started this year [...]

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Eurasian containers replace coal as freight market changes

GERMANY: The Coal Island facility at the inland Port of Duisburg is to be replaced by a rail, river and road intermodal terminal in a change which operator Duisport said reflects a ‘sharp decline’ in the coal market but ‘booming’ trade with China.The Duisburg Gateway Terminal is expected to become a key European hub for Eurasian rail traffic when it opens in 2022. Duisport said 30% of rail freight between China and Europe already passes through Duisburg, and the [...]

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Freight hub master plan unveiled

NEW ZEALAND: A master plan for a rail and road freight hub near Palmerston North was unveiled by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones on November 26.The proposed facility would replace an existing yard which is now surrounded by urban development.It would include a container terminal, warehousing, handling facilities for bulk goods and forest products and a KiwiRail maintenance site. It would be designed to handle trains up to 1 500 m long, a 60% increase on [...]

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Africa’s first high speed line covers its costs

MOROCCO: Speaking at a press conference on November 20, Moroccan NationalRailways Director General Mohamed Rabie Khlie told media representatives that thehigh speed Al Boraq service launched by King Mohamed VI and French PresidentEmmanuel Macron on November 15 2018 had carried 2·5 million passengers in the ninemonths from January to October. The number of trips is expected to reach 3 million in thefirst full calendar year in December, equivalent to about 8 250 passengers a day.Al [...]

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