Press release BoxID: 158228 (Duisburger Hafen AG)
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Channel Tunnel Connects Manchester and Duisburg

New train service started / Five journeys a week / Traffic off the road

(PresseBox) (Manchester/Duisburg, ) Signals on green in the Port of Duisburg: The first container train will today leave Duisburg for Manchester. "The departure marks the first Channel Tunnel shuttle train service which connects Duisburg with Manchester, one of the United Kingdom s most important economic regions" said Erich Staake, Chief Executive Officer of Duisburger Hafen AG. There will initially be five trains a week. The new train operated by English Welsh & Scottish Railway Limited (EWS) will help to reduce CO2 greenhouse gas emissions on both sides of the Channel. In Duisburg the Manchester service will be marketed by duisport agency, a subsidiary of Duisburger Hafen AG.

Plans call for 25,000 TEU to be moved by the new container shuttle train between Duisburg and the United Kingdom during the first year of operation. Currently the container wagons only make up half a freight train. The other half consists of conventional wagons which carry paper and steel. "As volumes build up after market introduction we expect that the initial half train service will be replaced by full container train operation even before 2009," projected Staake.

The train from Manchester will travel through France and Belgium to reach the Duisburg Intermodal Terminal (DIT) in the evening and will return to Manchester in the morning of the next day. Numerous connections in the Port of Duisburg will serve to distribute the containers mainly filled with consumer goods to destinations in the European hinterland chiefly by environmentally sound railway services. Five departures per week have been scheduled for the Manchester train during the start-up phase, but will eventually be increased to six.

Said EWS Commercial Director David Kerr: "We analysed the potential of intermodal transport chains through the Channel Tunnel in detail last year and found that freight volumes suitable for trains but currently shipped by lorry are substantial. We are delighted to be connecting Duisburg with Manchester, and this will be the first of many new intermodal trains operated by EWS travelling between the UK and the rest of Europe via the Channel Tunnel."

The new train between Duisburg and Manchester, as well as the future EWS services between Brussels and Daventry and between Milan and Manchester, provide shippers and carriers with an opportunity to bypass bottlenecks at British ports and take each week some 1,000 lorries off congestion-prone British motorways. The container volume moved through the Channel Tunnel is to be increased to an annual two million tonnes by the end of 2008.

Every week, 8,000 rail freight services are operated by EWS (a subsidiary company of Deutsche Bahn AG) across all parts of Britain and into Europe, powered by nearly 500 reliable locomotives. Attention to detail, anticipating the needs of customers, economic pricing, geographic coverage in Britain with services to mainland Europe and exceptional levels of punctuality and reliability give customers the confidence they require from EWS as their rail freight operator. EWS offers customers with a superior level of service in Britain, and aims to be the leading rail operator in Europe.

Duisburger Hafen AG

Duisburger Hafen AG owns and operates the Port of Duisburg, the world’s largest inland port, on the confluence of the Ruhr and the Rhine. The duisport Group offers the complete infrastructure needed for port and logistics operations including a full-service investor support package. It also provides a wide range of logistics services which back up the portfolio of Port customers including packing logistics.

Rhein-Ruhr Collin KG is a HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) as well as plumbing and electrical installation product reseller. Outside its main facilities at its headquarters in Duisburg, the company operates 33 pick-up warehouses managed by four Collin companies. Rhein-Ruhr Collin KG is a member of the GC Group which is an initiative of over 80 medium-sized companies.