German ports and rail come together to decongest roads

Source: RailFreight
Date: 25th August 2023

Three ports and a rail freight company: can this be the right recipe to decongest roads in the North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) region, in western Germany?

Duisport, the port of Dortmund, DeltaPort, and private rail freight operator Kreisbahn Siegen-Wittgenstein (KSW) think so. They are starting a project, renamed LOG4NRW, to decongest roads from truck traffic by boosting freight transport via rail and waterways. The first trains are expected to start running in the fourth quarter of 2023.

It will be the first time that the terminals in Duisburg, Voerde-Emmelsum, Dortmund, and Kreuztal will all be connected by a common rail system, as Duisport mentioned. Despite being initiated by private entities, the NRW’s government is still present. The region’s Minister for Environment, Nature Protection, and Transport was in fact chosen as patron of the project. As Duisport claimed, the LOG4NRW initiative should remove around 27,000 lorries from the roads in the areas.

LOG4NRW to increase both international and domestic rail connectivity
One of the main innovations of LOG4NRW, according to Duisport, is that the KSW terminal in Kreuztal does not currently have a rail connection to Dortmund, Duisburg, or Voerde-Emmelsum. This means that, from these hubs, goods are then moved on the road to be transported further in the hinterlands of the Rhine-Ruhr region, one of the largest German metropolitan regions, with over ten million inhabitants.

Moreover, the new project aims at improving rail connections with hubs outside of Germany as well. For example, as Duisport underlined, the terminals in Duisburg and Voerde-Ellemsum are connected to the so-called ARA ports (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp). This initiative will consequently extend these rail connections to the other terminals involved in LOG4NRW. Traction of the new trains will be provided by Duisport Rail and Dortmunder Eisenbahn.

The synergies between ports, terminals, and rail infrastructure have recently been under the spotlight, especially in Europe, where ports are increasingly investing in improving rail connectivity.

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