Does 838-metre-long test train reflect the future of rail freight transport? 10/06/22

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Does 838-metre-long test train reflect the future of rail freight transport?

TX Logistik carried out two test services with an 838-metre-long train between Malmö and Frövi in Sweden. The rail operator carried out the pilot services in collaboration with its customer, the Coop-de retail chain and with the Swedish transport infrastructure authority Trafikverket.

"An expansion to 838 metres would significantly increase transport capacity and make rail freight even more efficient and attractive for shippers," says Lars Winther Sørensen, Managing Director of TX Logistik AB.

Recently, the first test runs with the 838-metre-long train took place. The train covered a distance of 500 kilometers, loaded with 48 trailers with food for Coop. In addition, during the tests, the train ran with a four-axle locomotive and reached speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. That's much faster than comparable tests in other countries, according to TX Logistik.

Not the first long train in Sweden

TX Logistik's 838-metre-long train sounds impressive, especially in the context of European rail freight transport, which has stricter restrictions when it comes to train lengths. However, it is not the first train of more than 800 meters to run on Swedish tracks.

This time last year, DB Cargo, DB Netze, Trafikverket and Banedenmark, the Danish infrastructure manager, worked together to test an 835-metre-long train between Maschen in Germany and Malmö in Sweden. The train ran through Denmark and over the Øresund Bridge that connects the country with Sweden. This can be considered a historical event, as this was the first time such a long train crossed this bridge.

In general, the maximum train length in Sweden is 630 meters. An important exception is the Ore Line between Luleå and Narvik, where freight trains can be 750 meters long.

Sustainable partner

As for Coop, the customer of the service, it is not striking that this company was involved in such a test. Coop has been transporting its products by rail in Sweden for some time and has been doing so since 2009. Since 2012, Coop has been working with TX Logistik on the route between Bro, near Stockholm, and Malmö. Two years ago, the weekly return trips of this service doubled from ten to twenty.

"Today, 30 percent of our transports are handled by rail," emphasizes Peter Rosendahl, transport manager at Coop Logistik. However, the company wants to include even more rail services in its supply chain and that is why it participated in the specific project. "We hope to be able to extend our train lengths soon," says Rosendahl.


Author: Jos Sterk