Rail carrier LTE has tested 740-meter freight trains. The company will continue operating these trains next year.
Main advantages of using longer trains include a boost in productivity, reduction of costs, and increase in volumes. For a modal shift, these are important criteria. Using longer trains will also be more energy efficient.
The current freight train length is 650-690 meters. 740-meter freight train allows using 6 trailers (or 8-12 containers) more per train per direction.
The test is being carried out in collaboration with infrastructure manager ProRail and German counterpart DB Netze. The long trains run in between the regular timetable, both for freight and passenger trains. As some infrastructure may not be ready for longer trains, this can lead to some difficulties on the operation side. More investments and better legislation (as in relation to equal treatment with passenger trains) would bring positive developments.
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