First container train rolled into the timber terminal in Malungsfor 16/08/21

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Another milestone for the timber terminal when a container train arrived in Malungsfors. It is a return trip from Japan. Photo: Berit Djuse

When the big world came to little Malungsfors - milestone for the timber terminal


A splash from the great oceans of the world traveled on the Västerdalsbanan line last Saturday. Then, for the first time ever, a container train rolled into the timber terminal in Malungsfors. The containers come from Japan's largest shipping company, One ocean network express.

- That's wonderful. I feel like a child on Christmas Eve today, says Joakim Limberg, sales manager at Fiskarheden trävaru AB.

A happy Joakim Limberg. Photo: Berit Djuse

Most of Fiskarheden's products are exported, as much as 90 percent. The first delivery that will be sent on the Västerdal line is to Japan, but Algeria and Egypt account for the largest purchases of wood products, about 45–55 percent. No wonder Fiskarheden wants to drive the straight track to Gothenburg instead of by truck to Gävle harbor. As Siljan News previously wrote, there will be a soft start with container transport before everything is transported by train to Gothenburg

- We have worked with this project for three years. These are major environmental benefits for the forest industry, even if they are not major economic benefits, says Joakim Limberg.

Christer Hammare from Rättvik likes to photograph railways and trains. A new book about the Inlandsbanan has recently been published, it contains many of his pictures. Photo: Berit Djuse

The historic event, with 16 carriages and 32 containers, which arrived at half past nine on Saturday, was photographed by Christer Hammare from Rättvik.

Are you a train nerd who traveled so far for this?

- It is difficult to deny. It's not that far here, I've been following the chain since they started with the test loading at Malung's railway yard.

It was 2014 and a first test for Fiskarheden if it was possible to send wood products from Malung. However, it did not turn out so well, so they invested in Malungsfors instead.

Train driver Hans Pursche shone like a sun after the three-and-a-half-hour train journey. Photo: Berit Djuse

Train driver Hans Pursche, employed by Hector rail, drove the train from Borlänge. He took over the train from CFL Cargoo which ran the train from Gothenburg. He has a habit of working on the Västerdalsbanan and was already involved in the early 1990s when he drove a motor car for BK trains. Now he drives a train to the timber terminal every two weeks. There is no major difference between running chip trains and container trains, but it is still something new.

- It is fun to run container trains here, states Hans Pursche.

The first container that was unloaded was made by the truck driver Anders Jansson. Photo: Berit Djuse

The staff was on site early. While waiting for the historic train, they sat around the coffee table and talked about trains. The task of the entire workforce will be to learn new routines.

- It will be fun to try new things. We will test load on and off to check how long it takes, says Jonas Persson.

- It is a general rehearsal, it will be fun, says Daniel Gustafsson.

What do you think about the development of the timber terminal?

- It's funny that it took off with container transport. It was not thought that anything would happen, says Daniel Gustafsson.

While waiting for the train, it fits well with a cup of coffee for Anders Jansson, Håkan Algotsson, Daniel Gustafsson, Jonas Persson and Christoffer Engberg. Photo: Berit Djuse

Lennart Renheim, an employee at Västerdala terminal and railway tracks, agrees with the choir that it is good for the timber terminal.

- It feels great, there will be more to do here. There have been too few trains. He continues:

- We learn to train, everything is new to us, we learn to start at some end.

Now new tasks await Lennart Renheim and his colleagues. Photo: Berit Djuse

Now the staff gets new tasks. Among other things, they will load the containers with the help of the new load plate. Today, a truck driver comes from Fiskarheden to give the staff instructions on how to load efficiently.

- He will show how it is set in the right order so it will be easy to unload. The Japanese have quite high demands, says Lennart Renheim.

At three o'clock on Saturday, a chip train also arrived at the terminal, another historic event when two train sets met in Malungsfors. After the meeting, the pink train returned to Gothenburg, with empty carriages.

The containers' long journey from Japan is over. Now they will be at the terminal for a few weeks. Photo: Berit Djuse

Week 34, a Japanese TV team arrives to film at the timber terminal.

- They like us think this is cool, says Joakim Limberg.

That week, everything should sit. Then an empty container should be lifted off and then a fully loaded one lifted on. On Saturday 28 August, the first delivery of wood products will leave the timber terminal. Two months later, the cargo arrives in Japan.