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InterRail intensifies commitment in China 19.02.2014 20:41

St. Gallen, 20 February 2014. With a record transit time of only nine days between Brest at the Polish-Belorussian border and Erenhot at the border between Mongolia and China, the InterRail Group, a Swiss-based rail freight service provider, has set groundbreaking standards for rail transport along the wide-gauge railway connection between Europe and China. The distance was over 8,000 kilometers; it was covered in a record speed of 900 kilometers per day.

On board the train: 41 high-cube 40’ containers, laden mainly with steel equipment for infrastructure projects in the Chinese hinterland.
“The government of Zhengzhou is putting a lot of effort into developing international railway traffic, especially with Europe, thereby contributing to the exploitation of new development potential for this economically dynamic region. After the government succeeded last year in initiating container block train connections from Zhengzhou to Hamburg, it now aims at establishing such traffic in the opposite direction. We are happy to be involved in this effort, as sustainable and economically efficient container block trains need containers to move in roundtrips”, said Hans Reinhard, President of the Board of InterRail Holding AG, at the departure of the train in Brest on 24 January 2014. A successful example, Reinhard said, in East-West roundtrips is their container block train duo “Ostwind” - “Westwind” between Berlin Grossbeeren and the CIS: “We have built on our longstanding experience with “Ostwind/Westwind” for our new eastbound container traffic to China.”

Since 2012, the InterRail Group has intensified its commitment and activities in operating container block trains between Europe and China. The Group co-operates with partners and local governments in economically growing urban agglomerations of the Chinese hinterland such as Chengdu, Wuhan, and Zhengzhou, as well as with China Railway Corporation and its subsidiaries. RZD, KTZ, and their respective subsidiaries are also close co-operation partners. Thus, in 2014, the new bookings for 45 Chengdu-Lodz container block trains will be operated in the proven collaboration with KTS and RZD Logistika. “With traffic from and to China, we will continue relying on a combination of strong operational partnerships in the countries of the CIS and Mongolia, combined with strong customer contacts in China and Western and Central Europe”, says Howard Lamb, CEO, InterRail Group.

"There is significant demand for reliable transport services cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight, which is why we are extending our service portfolio for rail freight”, Lamb explains the heightened commitment in this sector of the InterRail Group, a long-term Eurasian freight specialist. A decisive criterion for the realization of sustainable Euro-Asian rail freight products is, as Lamb emphasizes, the balance of container flows in both directions. “Here, we still need more innovation. Traditionally, eastbound is regarded as a backhaul trade.” Lamb points out he sees potential in a reliable service with hubs in Brest and at the border stations in Western China: “This could strengthen eastbound traffic and guarantee the cost-efficient roundtrip utilization of containers and rolling stock.”

In order to support the intensified product development for China traffics, the Chinese InterRail delegation office set up in 2008 is at this time being expanded and converted into a locally registered company.

Please direct any enquiries to:

Deborah Mueller, Public Relations and Press Office
InterRail Holding AG, Winkelriedstrasse 19, CH-9000 St. Gallen
Phone: +41 71 227 15 63 / Fax: +41 71 227 15 30, Email: Deborah.Mueller@interrail.ag