Rhine-Alpine News

BLS ordered 25 freight engines for corridor traffic

Photo (cc/Heitersberg): BLS “Vectron” type engine

Bern: Swiss rail operator BLS Cargo recently ordered 25 additional electric freight locomotives of the Siemens “Vectron” type, bringing its “Vectron” fleet to 40 units. All new engines will be equipped for Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. BLS Cargo expects to increase its traffic along the Rhine-Alpine corridor especially to and from Belgium (Antwerp). The engines are due for delivery from 2020 to 2025.

BLS Cargo mainly operates long distance freight trains in transit over the “Lötschberg”, one of the two main transalpine routes across Switzerland. The route in its central part is owned by BLS Cargo’s majority shareholder, the regional rail operator BLS AG.

Read the news here (external link German language).

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Market study for Gelderland Rail Terminal

The Province of Gelderland, located centrally in the Netherlands and at the Rhine-Alpine corridor around the city of Arnhem, plans a rail freight terminal to encourage modal shift. These days, it has published the local market study. The study elaborated upon desired functionalities from the point of view of the regional economic actors.

Read the news here (external link, Dutch language).

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Rail Bridge for improved Betuwe link at Port of Rotterdam

Illustration: Port of Rotterdam’s rendering of the new rail bridge

Rotterdam: Last week, in Rotterdam port a rail bridge was put into place within construction work of the “Theemswegtracé”. This is a new 4 km long rail link which will provide a solution to the problems associated with the Calandbrug bridge near Rozenburg. That old steel vertical lift bridge for rail, road and slow traffic in the Rotterdam port area is the connecting link for the Betuwe Route to the hinterland. For ocean shipping, the vertical lift bridge provides access to the Brittanniëhaven. In 2020, the Calandbrug reaches the end of its technical lifespan. At the same time, the port expects a capacity bottleneck for rail traffic, due not only to the expected growth in rail transport, but also from ocean shipping traffic to and from the Brittanniëhaven. The new route is expected to open next year.

Read about the rail link and the bridge construction (external links).

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On another note, the Port of Rotterdam announced last week that the number of arriving ships appeared constant and is “not (yet)” showing an impact of the Corona crisis.