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Intermodal operator Kombiverkehr KG will integrate the newly built MegaHub Terminal in Hanover Lehrte into its national and international networks early next year. The Frankfurt-based company has announced that it will operate the first trains through the MegaHub in April 2021. The German terminal was put in use this summer and stands out for the rapid transfer of transport units between trains.
The terminals in Ludwigshafen, Lübeck, Kiel, Hamburg, Munich and Duisburg on the German side and Malmö on the Swedish side are to be linked to the terminal in Hannover-Lehrte at the start of April 2021. With terminal operations having begun with road-to-rail transshipment in the first phase and rail-to-rail transshipment at weekends in the second phase, Kombiverkehr KG is opening up the possibility of daily transfers from rail to rail for all users of the facility.
Hub for all units
The modern and innovative rapid transshipment facility will serve as a hub for semi-trailers, swap bodies and containers between incoming and outgoing trains. The trains arriving in Hanover will be carrying a wide and varied mix of transport units for multiple destination terminals. Following immediate sorting, the outgoing trains will then leave the terminal for specific destinations, i.e. only with transport units for a single destination terminal, from where they can reach other terminals on the gateway network in international transport.
The new services will deliver the benefits of a national and an extended international network to the Hanover economic region, which Kombiverkehr has so far connected to Verona with a direct train service. Transport units from the region around Hanover which are delivered by road via the truck gate can be booked for all trains shown on the timetable. That means Hanover will be connected directly not only with the destination terminals available then, but also numerous terminals in Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, various Balkan states, Turkey and the Scandinavian countries, for instance.
Kombiverkehr KG has a 16.67 per cent stake in the operating company of the terminal, alongside Deutsche Umschlaggesellschaft Schiene-Straße (DUSS). After around two years of construction work, the facility started freight transfers between truck and train in June 2020. Among the installations erected on the some 120,000 square metres of the grounds of the former Lehrte shunting yard since the turf-cutting ceremony in May 2018 are six transshipment platforms, each roughly 700 metres in length, and three gantry cranes.
“With the scheduled commencement of our trains next year, we are meeting our promise of making active use of the high-tech MegaHub facility, the only one of its kind in Europe, for the enhancement of intermodal transport right from the start. The link with the MegaHub brings us closer to the goal of offering efficient intermodal trains for locations that do not offer sufficient capacities for block trains at the moment,” says Armin Riedl, Managing Director of Kombiverkehr KG.
The rapid transshipment facility also means that new connections which had not previously been included in the product range can now be added to the Kombiverkehr network. One such example is the connection between Duisburg and Malmö.
This article first appeared on www.railfreight.com
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