Germany's Largest Container Rail Terminal Expanded
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has completed the expansion of the rail terminal at its Container Terminal Altenwerder in Germany.
The rail terminal now has nine tracks, instead of the previous seven. The expansion will increase the terminal’s capacity by 140,000 TEUs to 930,000 TEUs per year.
Since 2010, annual container throughput at the rail terminal has risen by almost 20 percent to 769,000 TEUs in 2015, the highest throughput of any container rail terminal in Germany. Rail’s share of total container volume has also continued to grow in recent years. The German Federal Ministry of Transport expects that transport services of rail freight traffic will increase by 43 percent by 2030.
The total area of the rail terminal has not been affected by the expansion, as the two additional tracks were built on the existing area. This increases the facility’s efficient use of space, which was already high. The distance between the tracks has become smaller, meaning that checking the container data will no longer be done, as before, by terminal staff who would drive along between the trains in vehicles known as checkmobiles.
For this reason, a “train gate” had to be built. This train gate automatically records the container data as trains enter the terminal. The automatic recording is quicker than the manual recording carried out previously, which means that the train-handling operations can begin sooner. By no longer using the diesel-powered checkmobiles, emissions of harmful CO2 at the already largely electrified terminal can also be further reduced.
The expansion of the rail terminal began in early April. Following completion of the construction work, regular operations will resume on 1 August 2016. The total cost of the construction work was approximately € 10 million ($11.1 million).