Rail transport is fast, reliable and suitable for any kind of cargo, such as containers, dry and liquid bulk, and heavy and dangerous goods. One train takes an average of 45 trucks off the road. Rail transport makes the logistical chain at the port more sustainable and efficient. Rail is an important mode of transport for the port of Bruges and accounts for more than 15% of the total modal split. By 2030, that percentage should also have been achieved in Antwerp.
Rail connections to European destinations
Port of Antwerp-Bruges has rapid rail connections with all major European rail corridors. Rail connections offer short transit times and congestion-free transport to Europe's major economic hubs.
The number of rail services has increased significantly in recent years. Port of Antwerp-Bruges matches supply and demand by working closely with rail operators. As such, new high-frequency rail shuttles with European focus regions in the hinterland are being set up.
From Antwerp, there are also regular rail connections to destinations such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Korea and China.
Rail transport in Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Railport coordinates all rail activities at the port and develops projects with various partners. These are intended to strengthen railway transport within the port and links with other European hubs. Private railway companies, rail freight forwarders, workshops, refuelling stations and rolling stock rental companies are active in Antwerp.
The rail network in Antwerp consists of more than 1000 kilometres of railway lines. Railport and Infrabel are important partners in the optimisation of rail transport. Infrabel is the owner of the railway lines and is responsible for the management and maintenance of the railway infrastructure.
In Zeebrugge, all terminals in the port have their own rail infrastructure which allows them to offer intermodal services.
Doubling goods transport via rail
The combination of a growing port, increased pressure on the road network and ambitious environmental objectives means that promoting and supporting alternatives to road transport is absolutely imperative. Port of Antwerp-Bruges launched a master plan to double railway transport at the port of Antwerp to 15% by 2030.
To achieve that goal, Port of Antwerp-Bruges and Railport start with the Rail Bundling project in 2023. By increasing cooperation and bundling volumes by rail, we enhance the efficiency of transort, with a positive impact on the price and use of the port infrastructure.
Rail Traffic System
Rail Traffic System (RTS) is the digital rail application that provides the communication between the rail companies and the rail operators at the terminals. It is intended to become the unique communication platform for all rail actors at the port. The application enables a uniform exchange of information and makes all the relevant data available digitally and centrally.
In the current version of RTS, which is in its testing phase, railway operators, terminals and third parties can plan and process the transportation of trains or railcars. All parties involved can also track routes and view the real-time positions of trains and railcars.
Central reporting point for port rail
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