Port of Amsterdam connected to the BetuwerouteAs of this week the Port of Amsterdam will be connected to the Betuweroute, a dedicated cargo rail track towards Germany and into Europe. This means the port has managed to efficiently expand its railway connections to the hinterland. This week the railway connection to the Betuweroute near Meteren/Geldermalsen, which is intended for the city of Amsterdam, has been taken into operation. It is a significant milestone in strengthening the position of the Amsterdam port in the European hinterland and indeed allows the city of Amsterdam to benefit from the rising interest in rail as a sustainable transport alternative.
Cees Tommel and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, managing directors at Keyrail, “Keyrail’s volume strategy is this: we want as many trains as possible to be hitting the Betuweroute. The Amsterdam port being connected to this route is a wonderful contribution. Today the Betuweroute is serving both the Port of Rotterdam as well as the Port of Amsterdam.”
The opening of the arches near Meteren is a lovely example of Keyrail and Prorail working closely together. Both rail operators along with their contractors have invested great efforts to take this rail section into operation. Also, timetables have been tuned allowing goods trains to reach Germany without having to make a stop on the way.
Port of Amsterdam’s president and CEO Dertje Meijer, “The Port of Amsterdam as a shareholder of Keyrail is delighted with the hinterland’s improved accessibility by rail. With our bulk the Amsterdam port provides a large volume of cargo to Germany. Rail is a wonderful modality compared to road transport and a great supplement to inland navigation. The direct connection to the Betuweroute is a significant and strategic supplement to the exquisite accessibility of the Amsterdam port by means of inland navigation and road transport. But otherwise, the connection near Meteren does not stand alone. For instance, the Port of Amsterdam, with a view to the future, has been investing in a new rail connection to the Afrikahaven and in improving the harbour complex’s connection to the Dutch railway network.”
Amsterdam has a key role in meeting German buyers’ need for pit coal. Closing mines in Germany means the manufacturing industry and the energy sector as well will be experiencing a rising need to import pit coal from overseas. Today Amsterdam, thanks to its good location and superb transhipment facilities, has built a prominent role in this.
Managing director Hans Fijlstra at Overslag Bedrijf Amsterdam (OBA) says the following, “Having our own connection to the Betuweroute means we can actually substantiate our competitive position, which has always been OBA’s ambition.” The first train using the arches near Meteren was a DB Schenker train destined for Plochingen in Germany. The train was pulled by two modern electrical locomotives able to serve on both the combined railway network and also on the Betuweroute. The train consisted of 48 four-axled freighters with a total weight of 4,400 tons. Coal trains are considered the heaviest trains in the Netherlands.
Recently the number of trains using the Betuweroute has increased considerably. By the end of 2010 about 350 freighters will be hitting the Betuweroute on a weekly basis.
Port of Amsterdam will be connected to the Betuweroute, a dedicated cargo rail track towards Germany and into Europe.
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