THE first 10 China-Europe freight trains passed through a new gauge transfer terminal at Dostyk, Kazakhstan, over the weekend of June 5-6. With a current throughput capacity of 100,000 TEU, the terminal is expected to offer a major boost to trans-Eurasian bulk intermodal rail freight flows.

The terminal is located on a 150ha site, 6km west of Dostyk station and in close proximity to the Dostyk-Alashankou border crossing. As well as gauge transfer between 1435mm and 1520mm-gauge tracks and the formation of block intermodal freight trains, the facility supports freight handling, storage and repair. Development was carried out by Dostyk TransTerminal and the site is owned by PTC Cargo.

The facility has two 1435mm and two 1520mm-gauge tracks with capacity for 60 conventional wagons, while two Konecranes reach stackers with capacity for 46 tonnes are facilitating the transfer process. A third crane is expected to enter service in October.

There are four stages of development for the site. Work is now underway on the second phase, and the plans envision transforming the site into a multifunctional business development with industrial and dry port zones alongside the transhipment terminal, which will have capacity for 700,000 TEU.

“We see great demand from shippers,” says PTC Cargo CEO, Mr Shyngys Tuleushin. “For China-Europe there was an increase in container traffic by more than 60% in 2020 compared with 2019. Since the beginning of 2021, this trend continues, and we see an increase in demand for routes to Europe and Central Asia. This suggests that many clients have reoriented to container transportation from other routes such as sea.”