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From Ljubljana to Istanbul in just 37 hours


Railways test fast freight transport route between Europe and Asia / Mehdorn: More environment friendly and faster than truck

Ljubljana/Berlin, A test container train is to travel from Europe to Asia in just 37 instead of the roughly 60 hours that were previously needed. The train left Ljubljana for Istanbul on Monday. The state railways of Slovenia (SZ), Croatia (HZ), Serbia (ZS), Bulgaria (BDZ) and Turkey (TCDD) are all involved in this important project, which was supported by members of the DB Group in the capacity of consultants and moderators. In Berlin, Chairman of the DB Management Board and CEO Hartmut Mehdorn stressed the significance of the south-east corridor for European rail freight transport: “This project shows what can be achieved if the railways all pull together. Along the major European corridors, the environment friendly rail mode can offer journey times that no truck can match. Each improvement along the line strengthens the entire network for the benefit of all railways.” In view of its political importance, this rail project was initiated and supported by the Business Advisory Council, the successor organization of the Balkan Stability Pact.

The greatest time savings are achieved by means of closer cooperation between the five railways, streamlined customs clearance procedures, and by deploying a double-headed train with one multi-system and one diesel locomotive from MRCE Dispolok. This eliminates the need for a time-consuming change of locomotives on the non-electrified sections of the route. The overall line is 1577 kilometers long and crosses two different current systems, as well non-electrified and single-track sections. Further construction measures and improved operational procedures will reduce the journey time to 25 hours by the year 2014, making the train twice as fast as a truck, which takes up to 57 hours to travel from Slovenia to Turkey.


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