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Published: 5 August 2017
Piggyback on Italian Adriatic
After many years of waiting, all the main rail freight operators active on Italy's Adriatic coast have announced new services for semi-trailers
Up to now intermodal rail along the Adriatic has been all but confined to containers, due to structure gauge limitations, but RFI, the Italian rail infrastructure authority, is close to completing clearance work at the key pinchpoint, the tunnel at Ortona (near Pescara). This is slated for completion at the end of this year, opening the whole line to P400 loading gauge.
In anticipation, GTS Bari is launching a P386 pocket wagon service on the Adriatic routes covered by the group - Bari-Bologna-Padua and Bari-Piacenza-Milan - with 16 weekly train pairs, and is promising door-to-door transit ties comparable to over the road trucking. "With the new P386 service we anticipate at least three more train pairs by the end of the year," said GTS's MD Alessio Muciaccia.
In addition, Interporto Servizi Cargo (ISC) has introduced a semi-trailer service between the Puglia region and the north. Part of Interporto Campano di Nola (Naples), ISC focuses on trains between Verona and Giovinazzo (Bari) in partnership with Lugo Terminal.
"The new service will allow semi-trailers moving on the Greek and Turkish ferries to be transported to/from the UK, Benelux, Germany and Scandinavia over Verona, thanks to the established services of Verona Quadrante Europa," explained ISC in a press statement.
ISC will also be the first rail freight company to introduce P400 services on the western (Tirrenian) coast, thanks to an agreement with RFI that gives it access to the high speed line from 2019 onwards.
Finally, Hupac has announced a P386 gauge service between Bari and Busto Arsizio, its big rail hub on the Swiss-Italian border. Some problems remain on the Busto-Bologna and Pescara-Bari sections limiting them to C45/P364 profile, but it is possible to obtain out-of-gauge permits for up to P386 shipments. Hupac is planning three train pairs/week between Busto and FSI's Ferruccio terminal in Bari.
A semi-trailer service between Pescara and Novara (near Torino, for northern Europe) was started a few months ago by IFR Srl in Pescara and MVT Italia Srl in Novara. The latter is part of Antwerp's Michel Verscheure Transport BVBA.