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Swift as the south wind

Thanks to PowerRailer from DB Cargo and DB Schenker, single wagonloads can travel to southeast Europe faster than in conventional single wagonload networks operated by state railways. Customers also benefit from prices which remain fixed for the entire year.

Deliveries take only five to eight days to reach Bulgaria, Greece or Turkey. The weekly PowerRailer shuttle starts in either Sturovo, Slovakia, or Sopron, Hungary, and makes quick progress, taking just a few days to reach Sofia, Thessaloniki, Athens or Istanbul. The route also passes through Belgrade and Skopje.

PowerRailer's speed outstrips trains run by regional state railways because it benefits from the "grouping effect": individual wagons are combined to form a block train of up to 1,600 tonnes bound for a single destination, and, unlike the procedure for state wagonload transport, it is not necessary to shunt the wagons into new single wagonload trains at every stop.

This not only saves time, but it cuts costs too, making for prices that are lower than lorry transport to destinations in southeast Europe. "It's the reason why our system offers potential for every kind of consignment without a private siding at either the place of loading or unloading," explains Thomas Gerstgrasser, product manager at DB Schenker. The price customers pay includes onward transport from the station by road.

There are other services on offer, too: a local centre of expertise, processing and dispatch notes in each national language, and optional interim storage with delivery available to all major industrial and economic centres in the destination country within 24 hours. The PowerRailer service uses company wagons as well as privately owned wagons, and it can transport almost all types of dangerous goods (excluding explosive and radioactive material) as per RID.