January 3rd marked a milestone in Norwegian railway history. One year ago, Schenker AS in Norway, Green Cargo in Sweden, and the Industry Sector Intermodal of European rail freight operator DB Schenker Rail started up a new train between the Norwegian capital Oslo and the Arctic Circle town of Narvik. The first year shows that the DB Schenker North Rail Express is on a course of success.
Schenker AS offers regular rail transports on the 1,960 kilometer route leading mostly via Sweden. The train brings consumer and household goods as well as part-loads and groupage to the industry and commerce in northern Norway, five days a week. On the return trip, the train transports native products like fish to the southwest. In an agreement with Autolink, up to 15 wagons per week are attached to the train, with new cars for the whole of northern Norway.
Roughly 25,000 containers were shipped on the route last year. The success is based on the combination of the flexibility of trucks with the benefits of rail. Utilization of capacity is more than 95 percent. Due to the experiences of the very demanding winter period, a number of new key performance indicators are being measured in order to ensure higher delivery quality. The improved schedule will allow one hour quicker carrying – 1,960 kilometers in 26.5 hours, now, which gives an average speed of 75 km per hour.
An increased number of spare wagons will contribute to increased availability and will secure the service. Furthermore, the agreement on maintenance and repairs of material was extended. There will also be extra wagon inspection in the winter period at the arrival terminal as well as extra storage capacity for vital spare parts and sets of wheels in Oslo. The maintenance routines for material were adjusted to the demanding Nordic winter with temperatures below minus 40ºCelsius.
DB Schenker Rail purchased 28 S double well cars and 20 S carrier cars, which are especially suited to the special climatic conditions. The DB Schenker North Rail Express will transport around 90 percent of DB Schenker’s freight destined for northern Norway by rail, which is equivalent to approximately 12,500 truckloads annually. Previously, DB Schenker used capacities of the Cargonet, a subsidiary of the Norwegian State Railways.