• Home
  • News
  • Kaunas Intermodal Terminal opened to commercial traffic on the Rail Baltica railway
  • 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 December 3

18:26 Hydrographic Company set to establish Center of Engineering and Technical Expertise
18:07 ABP Humber complete oil spill incident management exercise
17:52 Wärtsilä OPTI-DP Engagement Tool supporting the marine industry to configure optimised propulsion arrangements for DP vessels
17:45 Ocean Network Express conducts a joint crisis management drill with Seaspan Corporation
17:40 Transport Strategy of Russia until 2030 with forecast until 2035 published on official portal
17:22 MSC adds Hamburg to its feeder service „Baltic Loop 3“
17:02 Vyborg Shipyard launches KMT01 trawler named Kara Sea
16:32 South African minister visits Port of Rotterdam to discuss hydrogen exports
16:05 PD Ports contracts Konecranes to convert four RTGs to electric
15:31 Four Jones Act CTVs built to ABS Class to support U.S. offshore wind development
15:17 ABS, NYK, MTI and WinGD team-up to verify design with modeling and simulation
14:03 Jurong Port joins the Castor Initiative
13:30 ABS awards sustainability notations to two Harvey Gulf vessels
13:04 Kapitan Dranitsyn and Admiral Makarov icebreakers reinforced icebreaker group on NSR
12:57 Royal IHC delivers key components for “R.B. Weeks” to Weeks Marine
12:42 Icebreaker assistance season begins in White Sea waters
12:17 Sailing practice of 2021 on Mir sailing ship successfully completed
11:21 NCSP Group's consolidated revenue for 9M’2021 rose by 9.3%
10:53 Foreign contractors can be involved to build LNG-powered icebreakers for Arctic
10:38 MABUX: Bunker prices may demonstrate multidirectional changes with tendency to grow on Dec 3
10:29 The Korean Register publishes guidance for containers loading on bulk carriers
10:20 MSU-1 to perform reconstruction of Gorodetsky hydrosystem locks
09:57 Annual repair dredging in Gulf of Ob from 2023 estimated at 5 million cbm
09:35 Crude oil prices rise on OPEC+ decision to keep oil output increase in January
09:18 Baltic Dry Index as of December 2

2021 December 2

18:36 NRP buys handysize drybulk carrier
18:06 2M Alliance’s Far East liner service „AE 7/Condor“ calls at Hamburg again
17:54 Icebreaker assistance season starts in Big Port St. Petersburg on December 7
17:36 Vitol is first customer to approve completely digital inspection of cargo tanks
17:15 BIMCO launches new contract for employment of security escort vessels
16:45 GTT will design the tanks of four new LNG carriers ordered by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to operate in Arctic waters
16:25 MOL announces delivery of next-generation coal carrier 'EeneX' series
16:05 PSA & ONE launch environmentally friendly barge service at Jurong Island Terminal
15:42 “K” Line conducts trial use of marine biofuel for decarbonization on car carrier
15:38 Wärtsilä wins order to supply cargo handling system for second LNG bunker vessel being built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding
15:23 Verifavia launches industry’s first real-time carbon intensity indicator dashboard
14:55 Two more LK-60 icebreakers needed for regular year-round navigation on Northern Sea Route
14:28 Equinor and SSE reach financial close on the third phase of the world's biggest offshore wind farm
14:04 Nuclear-powered icebreaker Sibir to commence operation in Kara Sea in early January 2022 – Vyacheslav Ruksha
13:42 MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 48, 2021
13:02 European shipowners call for further action in the Gulf of Guinea
12:40 Rolls-Royce to supply eight mtu engines for new Svitzer tugs in Brazil
12:01 Throughput of Azov port in 11M’2021 climbed by 1% YoY
12:00 NORDEN simplifies business unit structure
11:36 Norway’s Eksfin tops NOK 10bn in offshore wind financing as Dogger Bank C reaches financial close
11:34 Annual throughput of Severnaya Zvezda project on Taimyr peninsula to exceed 7 million tonnes from 2026
11:10 MABUX: Uncertainty on Global bunker market to continue on Dec 02
10:00 Digital Twin Conference 2022 to be held virtually on 11-12 May 2022
09:33 Crude oil prices are rising in expectation of OPEC+ meeting
09:19 Baltic Dry Index as of December 1

2021 December 1

19:15 PortNews to hold Ship Repair, Modernization and Components Conference on 20 September 2022 in Saint-Petersburg
18:31 DP World celebrates 2,000 members of the Digital Freight Alliance
18:07 CMA CGM and Shell perform first Bio-LNG bunkering operation in Rotterdam
17:42 8 new fuel-efficient ships to join the X-Press Feeders fleet
17:26 Danish Smyril Lines Cargo starts second service between Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Rotterdam
17:06 Port of Antwerp invests in digitalisation of radar infrastructure
16:47 Western Australia and Port of Rotterdam to collaborate on renewable hydrogen
16:05 IMO moves ahead on GHG emissions, Black Carbon and marine litter
15:50 Diana Shipping announces completion of OceanPal spin-off
15:41 RF Federation Council approves Federal Law on Ratification of Nairobi Convention