• 2021 July 21 10:46

    Kaunas Intermodal Terminal opened to commercial traffic on the Rail Baltica railway

    Image source: Lituania's Ministry of Transport and Communications

    On July 19, the first train from the Netherlands loaded with containers and semi-trailers, which arrived at the terminal by the European standard-gauge railway was met at Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT). Therefore, KIT has become the most easternmost point of the European railway system, which, after the completion of all works and formalities on the Rail Baltica railway section Kaunas-Palemonas, can be reached by European standard rolling stock. 

    “The opening of the Kaunas intermodal terminal for commercial traffic is  essential step in the Rail Baltica project in the transition from construction to transport operations. At the same time, this step will significantly improve the connections with Europe for freight carriers and expand the opportunities for sustainable transport in the Baltic region”, – Marius Skuodis, the Minister for Transport and Communications, said at the official ceremony of welcoming the first train on the European track.

    The official welcoming ceremony of the first train at KIT was attended by the Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, the Minister for Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis, as well as representatives of the institutions and organizations implementing the Rail Baltica project, partners and other guests of honour.

    LTG Chief Executive Officer Mantas Bartuška emphasized that the connection of the KIT terminal with the European-gauge railway is not only an economic achievement for Lithuania, but also another element in the consistent implementation of the Green Deal objectives.

    "Rail traffic has been recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly means of transport. The EU has officially stated that in order to reduce CO2 emissions, freight must be transported by train or ship over a distance of more than 300 km, and road vehicles should function as the 'last mile' transport. The connection of the European-gauge railway to the KIT opens up additional opportunities for the development of ecological railway transport, thus reducing the CO2 emissions of trailers and freeing up motorways,” says M. Bartuška.

    The development of commercial transport by Rail Baltica is not only an economic but also an environmental benefit, as the development of commercial transport by rail and the gradual transition to a sustainable circular economy will significantly reduce environmental pollution making it a contribution to the EU's Green Deal strategy.

    According to Karolis Sankovskis, Chief Executive Officer of LTG Infra, a company in charge of the implementation of the construction works for the Rail Baltica project in Lithuania, the construction of the European track to KIT is not only a new opportunity for the terminal and businesses, but also an important stage in the implementation of the Rail Baltica project.

    "We have been working for several years for the first freight train to arrive at KIT today on the EU standard tracks. I will certainly not exaggerate to say that reconstruction of the Kaunas railway node and its adaptation to the needs of Rail Baltica was one of the most complex recent railway infrastructure projects in Lithuania,” said K. Sankovski.

    to the head of LTG Infra, it is important that the project of such complexity was implemented despite not only the engineering and technical challenges, but also the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am pleased with the professionalism of colleagues. Undoubtedly the experience gained with this project will facilitate further construction of the Rail Baltica in line with the commitments. I strongly call for active participation for the entrepreneurs of Lithuania as well as the rest of the Baltic region and abroad in public tenders that have a strong tendency to increase in number,” said K.Sankovski

    He noted that this project is 85% funded by the EU Structural Funds. The continued support of the EU institutions for the project shows that Rail Baltica is more than a railway infrastructure - it is an economic corridor that promotes regional connections.

    “The opening of the commercial route on European standard gauge railway will allow to capitalize on the section between the Polish-Lithuanian border and start initial freight shipments even before the full Rail Baltica Global Project infrastructure is developed. This will allow us to start developing the initial business case for the long-term development of freight logistics along the full Rail Baltica corridor,” said Agnis Driksna, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of RB Rail AS, the joint venture of the Rail Baltica. “This is an important day for the Baltic states and a concrete proof of the achievements possible under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility”.

    Spring of 2019 was the starting point for modernization of the Kaunas Railway Node to adjust it to the needs of the Rail Baltica and ensure compliance with the Global Project technical and operations parameters. During the modernization project, a European standard railway was built through Kaunas to Palemonas, the historic Kaunas railway tunnel was modernized, four tunnels were installed, where cars and pedestrians could cross the railway safely, the city infrastructure next to the railway was arranged, and additional noise protection measures were installed.

    A 2 km dual 1435/1520 mm gauge railway track was built in the Kaunas railway tunnel and its entrances. 3.6 km existing 1520 mm gauge track was reconstructed, and 9 km of new 1435 mm gauge track was built.

    "KIT is becoming an important gateway to Europe, opening up new opportunities for combined freight transport - freight can be reloaded from wide gauge to European and vice versa, as well as from trailers to rail and vice versa," said K. Sankovski, CEO of LTG Infra. 

    According to him, one of the most important features of KIT is that the terminal is prepared to load not only containers or other types of freight, but also truck trailers. Every year, 24 million tons of freight are transported by road via Polish-Lithuanian border. It is a huge potential for the use of KIT and EU-gauge resulting in increased traffic safety and lower emissions.

2021 July 30

18:22 MEYER WERFT gets new order for a residential yacht
18:10 NYK Line announces delivery of the new LNG carrier Diamond Gas Victoria
17:59 Nutrien and EXMAR partner in building a vessel powered by low-carbon ammonia
17:06 Port of Rotterdam with partners sign an agreement to a joint study for commercial-scale hydrogen imports
16:21 Rhenus plans to acquire the Polish freight forwarding and logistics company C. Hartwig
15:42 Free-to-download report on the status of O&G storage and transshipment industry in Russia
15:21 Half of Dutch hydrogen projects are located in Rotterdam
14:49 Sredne Nevsky Shipyard lays down passenger ship of Project A45-90.2 named Victor Astafyev
14:20 Bollinger Shipyards celebrates commissioning of fast response cutters Henry, Hazard and Hatch in Apra Harbor, Guam
13:58 Balakovsky Shipyard launches hydrographic boat of Project Е35.Г, Yury Osokin, for Northern Sea Route
13:15 Maersk pioneers first block train for Decathlon from Vietnam to France
12:53 Warships of Iran, India and Pakistan navies left Kronstadt after participating in the Main Naval Parade
12:34 12th Dredging & Land Reclamation Asia Summit to be held on September 27-30
12:15 Konecranes wins first customer for EPA-approved new diesel-to-hybrid conversion technology
11:49 Changes in Finnlines’ Management: Marco Palmu appointed as Head of Passenger Services
11:26 Handling of dry bulk cargo in Azov-Black Sea Basin expected to grow by 2035
11:20 MAN Energy Solutions and ANDRITZ Hydro agree on hydrogen cooperation
11:03 Broad scope of Wärtsilä solutions selected for OHT’s next-generation wind turbine installation vessel
10:57 Russian cargoes leave neighboring countries’ ports for domestic terminals
10:21 ONE launches Marine Safety and Quality Campaign 2021
10:15 New container terminal for 2,000 TEU put into operation in Novorossiysk
09:38 Nevsky Shipyard welcomes students for summer internship
09:20 Baltic Dry Index as of July 29
09:09 Crude oil market sees downward price correction after a two-day long growth

2021 July 29

18:26 GTT appoints its new Chief Financial Officer
18:06 PGNiG terminates Port Arthur LNG agreement
17:54 FESCO, RZD Logistics and Nurminen Logistics launch regular intermodal service from Asia-Pacific countries to Finland via CPV
17:36 PGNiG Group expands its fleet of gas tankers
17:16 The Hebridean Princess returns to ABP’s Port of Cardiff
16:58 Okskaya Shipyard to build five tugboats of Project NE025 for Marine Rescue Service
16:42 Ever Given arrives to the port of Rotterdam
16:34 PGNiG to purchase more LNG from Venture Global LNG
16:17 Kalmar to deliver 12 straddle carriers to long-term partner Medcenter Container Terminal in Italy
15:56 New BIMCO/ICS Seafarer Workforce Report warns of serious potential officer shortage
15:11 Railway traffic launched through the second Baikal tunnel
14:48 Rosmorport's Petropavlovsk Branch takes part in exercises on maritime search and rescue of people
13:59 The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore forms Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
13:15 Hydrographic Company to hold auction for construction of Arc7 hydrographic ship
12:37 Baltiysk ferry meets ISM Code requirements
12:13 Sembcorp Marine bags 24 Workplace Safety and Health Awards
11:46 Ongoing travel restrictions continue to impact Tallink Grupp financial results in Q2 2021
11:08 MARAD awards vessel acquisition management contract to Crowley
10:43 Rosmorport’s tugboats assisted sailing boat Pallada mooring in Egvekinot and Provideniya ports
10:08 Thun Tankers announces the launching of product tanker Thun Empower
10:00 British Ports Association welcomes the resumption of international cruise in England
09:35 Baltic Dry Index as of July 28
09:18 SCHOTTEL to deliver a total of ten rudder propellers and two transverse thrusters to Sanmar Shipyards
09:09 Crude oil prices rise on reduction of US reserves
08:00 Verifavia shipping highlights widespread confusion over EEXI technical parameters
07:55 Drewry launches shipmanager Steering Group to power vessel opex benchmarking

2021 July 28

18:20 NOVATEK announces consolidated IFRS results for Q2 and H1 of 2021
18:01 New BIMCO/ICS Seafarer Workforce Report warns of serious potential officer shortage
17:09 PSA & ONE team up to enhance sustainability and reduce maritime environmental footprint
16:28 ECSA and ETF welcome WHO decision to prioritise seafarers’ vaccination
16:03 Rosmorrechflot supports the International Conference “Development of Icebreaking and Support Fleet”
15:42 ERMA FIRST adds world’s smallest ballast water treatment system to product range
15:18 DCT Gdańsk and the Port of Gdańsk enter a new era of container handling on the Baltic Sea
14:51 Oleg Shakhmardanov appointed as head of FSBI Moscow Canal
14:10 MAN wins the world-first order for methanol engine within container segment
13:56 Amursky Shipyard should enter the APR markets – Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin