GERMAN Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Russian Railways (RZD) president Mr Vladimir Yakunin and German Rail CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube officially launched a new regular train ferry service between the German Baltic port of Sassnitz and Ust Luga, Russia, on June 8.
The 1222km voyage takes around 38 hours. The vessel used for the service, the Petersburg, is owned by Black Sea Ferries & Investments, in which RZD has 51% stake. At 190m in length and 28m-wide, the Petersburg is said to be the largest double-deck train ferry in the world.
In addition to the 49 wagons on the first trip, the Petersburg carried a Lastochka emu for RZD, 38 which are being built at Siemens' Krefeld plant in northwest Germany. At 3.5m wide the vehicles are too large to be moved on the German railway network, so they are being shipped along the Rhine by barge to Amsterdam, where they are transhipped to a coast vessel for the journey to Sassnitz. The trains are being commissioned at Metallostroy depot in St Petersburg, 110km from Ust Luga.
Sassnitz is the only port in Germany capable of handling 1520mm-gauge wagons, and has a 30km broad-gauge network.
LATIN American Logistics (ALL) officially opened its new 120km line from Alto Araguaia to Itiquira, in Brazil's Mato Grosso state on June 2. The railway will carry large volumes of grain, and agribusiness Seara inaugurated its new grain terminal at Itiquira on the same day.
IRJ at 1520 rail business forum: MR VLADIMIR Yakunin, president of Russian Railways (RZD), has emphasised the continuing need to build and foster relations with Russia's neighbours in Europe and Asia to pave the way for improved freight transport through Russia.
TRANSNET CEO Mr Brian Molefe has warned the South African government of several risks that could hamper the group's Rand 300bn investment programme, which forms the core of the government's infrastructure development plan.