(Frankfurt/Main, 30 November 2020) Kombiverkehr KG, one of the leading European operators in intermodal rail freight transport, is currently planning to integrate the newly built MegaHub Terminal in Hanover Lehrte into its national and international networks early next year. Following intensive preparations, the Frankfurt-based company has now announced that the first Kombiverkehr trains are scheduled to use the MegaHub in April 2021. The connection of the now defined terminal and the addition of further container stations in the future will highlight the unique advantage of the facility – the rapid transfer of transport units between trains in a particularly short period of time – and enable customers in the forwarding and logistics industries to book services on new, end-to-end routes. 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 for the first time opening up the possibility of daily transfers from rail to rail for all users of the facility.
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 rapid transshipment facility 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.
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.
After around two years of construction work, the MegaHub Lehrte rapid transshipment facility – Kombiverkehr KG has a 16.67 per cent stake in the operating company alongside Deutsche Umschlaggesellschaft Schiene-Straße (DUSS) – 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.
Frankfurt-based Kombiverkehr KG plans to serve no less than seven terminals through the new MegaHub terminal in Hannover-Lehrte. Not only will this give Hanover the best connections to the European terminal network, it will also open new route options in end-to-end intermodal transport on environmentally friendly rail.
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