Luxembourg's national railway, Chemin de Fer Luxembourgeois (CFL), has inaugurated its new intermodal freight hub in Bettembourg, which offers four times the handling capacity of the former terminal it has replaced.
Strategically positioned on the freight corridor linking Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the hub has attracted investment of €221 million and became fully operational last month, a spokesperson for CFL told Lloyds Loading List.
It is equipped with four 700-metre platforms dedicated to combined road-rail freight, two mobile cranes, a storage area for more than 800 trailers and a 30,000sqm multi-purpose shed, the spokesperson added.
The former hub, known as Eurohub Sud, has been converted into a secure parking and service centre for trucks.
A scheduled rail freight ‘motorway’ service, operated by SNCF Logistics' affiliate, Lorry Rail, currently transports unaccompanied semi-trailers and swap bodies between Bettembourg and Le Boulou, near Perpignan, at the foot of the French Pyrenees.
CFL is also targeting the development of intercontinental rail-borne container traffic at the new hub through the growth in freight train services linking Europe and China.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Luxembourg’s Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructures, François Bausch, said: “Given the possibilities of the new multimodal platform for Luxembourg, the country is playing a precursor role in Europe. Luxembourg is taking a different approach to the future than other countries. We are not basing our development on gigaliners but rather on the transfer of freight onto trains, not by going against the road but by collaborating with transport by road and by waterways.”