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ÖBB freight transport: focus on Far East transport route

Rail Cargo Group expands multilateral relationships; New rail link via Caucasus has enormous freight potential; Rail Cargo Group and Kazakh subsidiary KTZ Express sign memorandum of understanding (MoU)

The Rail Cargo Group – the freight transport division of ÖBB – continues to pursue its strategy of internationalisation and expanding its Asian services. During the visit to Kazakhstan organised by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO), in which the Rail Cargo Group also participated, close collaboration was established with representatives from the worlds of politics and business. Among other things, the platform was used for discussions on cooperation in the field of rail freight transport. A declaration of intent to that effect was signed between RCG and KTZ Express, the Kazakh railway subsidiary. In addition, RCG is intensifying cooperation with the organisation TITR – Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

Kazakhstan as a link between China and Europe

By pushing ahead with new connections, RCG is not only expanding its multilateral relationships in a focused manner but also offering a unique rail link to Asia. A sustainable rail link is being implemented from China via Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and on via Slovakia to and from the European hubs. This is impressive not only for the quality transport services but also for the shorter transport route and time savings for our customers. KTZ Express organises the operator services from the China/Kazakhstan border at Khorgos/Altynkol as far as the Ukranian/Slovakian border at Chop/Dobra. RCG will take over at Dobra and handle traffic to and from European destinations.  

New routes for increased capacity

In addition, RCG and KTZ Express are jointly developing a strong offering on the Southern Silk Road and thus providing a completely new rail link to Asia, far from the busy routes already in use by numerous rail logistics companies. Increasing volumes across the Poland/Belarus border at Malaszewicze/Brest, for example, have seen maximum capacity reached. This repeatedly leads to bottlenecks, making the implementation of additional routes an absolute necessity. RCG has already successfully implemented regular services via Ukraine and Slovakia, and today offers two weekly connections from China to Budapest and one per week from China to Duisburg. These round trips will now be switched to the route via Khorgos.

The route from China via Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and on to Central Europe is a real alternative and has enormous potential. Not only are containers transported – trailer transports are also in high demand. The aim is to offer this on the route in future.