25. Mai 201608:43Hinterland

More freight shipments by rail on Hamburg’s seaport-hinterland services – Port of Hamburg’s growing rail share

Hamburg is Europe‘s leading rail port, offering shippers generally more than 1,100 weekly block train links with transhipment to and from intermodal terminals in Germany and elsewhere. “During the first quarter, 11.6 million tons of freight was transported by rail into or out of the Port of Hamburg. That is an increase of 1.3 percent. Against the background of the 2.5 percent fall in total throughput, it represents a further advance in the rail share in the Port of Hamburg’s modal split, which was about 45.8 percent for 2015 as a whole. “The fact that Easter fell in March caused a slightly weaker result for rail in the overall quarterly balance. Limited freight train connections over the holidays caused lower volumes of freight to be transported to and from the port. At 585,000 TEU (down by 2.8 percent), the total figure for containers transported by rail during the first quarter was therefore lower than in the comparable quarter of the previous year. Quarterly returns for port throughput and port traffic therefore always need to be seen in context,” explained Ingo Egloff, CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing. Hamburg’s cargo handling terminals are preparing for further growth in rail container traffic. One example is at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder, where HHLA is continuing to expand the largest rail container terminal in Europe. By the end of this, handling capacity at this facility directly adjacent to Container Terminal Altenwerder, and therefore guaranteeing the shortest distances between loading/unloading of trains and ships, will have been boosted by 140,000 TEU to 930,000 TEU. Ingo Egloff is convinced that against the background of the forthcoming extension of the truck toll to all federal main roads, rail will become even more attractive as the mode of transport for long-haul freight.
Bernhard Schmid, Port Representative at DB Netz gave an overview of planned rail projects in North Germany at the quarterly press briefing. A range of measures are currently being planned and implemented in the north to expand the existing rail infrastructure, with the aim of providing additional capacity for freight traffic. “With the upgrading of the rail network in the north, the ever increasing port traffic should be managed effectively and the transport nodal points of Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover relieved. The planned measures are urgently required, to manage the forecast increase in seaport hinterland traffic of 42 percent to 152 billion ton-kilometres in 2030,” says Schmid. Among the projects are a range of measures at the Hamburg nodal point, the major Hamburg/Bremen-Hanover project, the Alpha–E and the development of the eastern corridor to relieve the north-south routes. Significant measures on this relief route for the Port of Hamburg are the double-track upgrading between Uelzen and Stendal, as well as the electrification of the line between Hof, Marktredwitz and Regensburg. Since 2012, DB Deutsche Bahn has been investigating nine alternative solutions to the planned ‘Y Route’, as of 2015 involving the Rail North Dialogue Forum and the general public. “With Alpha–E, Rail North Dialogue Forum has chosen a solution that will remove bottlenecks, offering a worthwhile transportation and economic alternative, taking ecological considerations into account,” says Frank Limprecht, Head of Major Northern Projects at DB Netz. “This will facilitate both upgrading existing lines and a more concentrated succession of trains.”

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