A corridor from Narvik to China
On 29 May 2022, after years of preparation, the time had finally come. In Narvik, Norway, the first block train was dispatched to Helsinki (Finland) via Haparanda and Tornio. Traction to Boden in Northern Sweden on the Gulf of Bothnia was provided by the Norwegian company Cargonet.
From there, Sweden’s Hector Rail took over the transport to Tornio on the other side of the Finnish border. After the boxes have been transferred to the broad-gauge wagons, VR Transpoint takes charge of the onward journey to Helsinki. Initially, two to three trains per month are planned instead of the previous transport entirely by sea.
The recipients of the shipments of ferrosilicon, which is produced in large volumes in Norway, are located in Finland, the Baltic States and China. Ferrosilicon is an alloy of silicon and iron that serves as an important additive in the production of steel products.
The shipper Finnfjord says that the combination of rail and ship transport is still an experiment that has to prove its worth.
Because of the boycott against Russia, the containers destined for China travel from Finland via Poland, Romania, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, partly by rail and partly by sea around Russia.
The Finnish company Nurminen Logistics is responsible for the overall organisation. The goods trains from Larvik through Finland, Russia and Kazakhstan to China were already planned ten years ago for a transport corridor from USA and Canada to China that was not realised.
The new trains are a great hope for the only railway border crossing between Sweden and Finland, because cross-border freight traffic via Haparanda-Tornio has almost come to a standstill. (js)