Wolfurt reloaded: Container gate to the world

22. 10. 2018

Terminal Wolfurt is the central logistics hub for transhipment traffic in conventional wagonload traffic and for combined transport.  The expansion of the freight centre into an international hub not only benefits the Vorarlberg economy and the Lake Constance region.

Focused on customer needs

The freight station is not only an important element of the logistics chain for the strongly export-oriented economy in Vorarlberg, Liechtenstein, eastern Switzerland and southern Germany, but also an essential building block for the transfer of freight traffic to rail. The massive growth in handling volumes made an expansion of the facility urgently necessary. In only around three years, the colleagues involved managed the almost impossible: to maintain full operation with further increases in transport volumes and at the same time expand and convert the facility. The new configuration of the freight centre of the ÖBB infrastructure is now fully in line with the trend on the transport markets to ship more and more goods in containers.

Austrian and European freight transport benefit

With the expansion and increase in capacity utilisation, larger quantities can be transported by rail – both in Austria and to the seaports.

The main axes are mainly northbound (Hamburg, Bremerhaven) and southbound (Trieste, Monfalcone, Koper). In addition, many companies from industry and a wide variety of sectors are located in Vorarlberg or nearby. The increase in capacity at the Wolfurt freight centre is particularly advantageous for the Rail Cargo Group for the expansion of the North-South connections.

Rail Cargo Group as top provider of services to and from Wolfurt

Shifting freight traffic from road to rail – we at RCG naturally want to take advantage of this. A better connection to international markets is the ultimate. We currently transport around 3.4 million tonnes of wagonload traffic annually. The largest part of the freight volume consists of transports for the wood, paper and building materials industries as well as steel: from raw timber from Vorarlberg and the Lake Constance region, steel sheets from Germany for further processing in Vorarlberg or project transports in the building materials segment, such as gravel, gravel or overburden material.

The freight centre is also an important hub in intermodal transport. With the Ludesch shuttle or de North/West and South port connections, RCG offers hinterland connections by rail. In doing so, we focus on a steady expansion of traffic, especially to the south, such as to Trieste or Koper. The development of the last few years shows a continuous increase and also forecasts increasing volumes in the future. In 2017, the volume was increasincreased by 12 percent compared to the previous year to almost 50,000 TEU (stands for Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, i.e. 20-foot standard container).

10 facts about the freight centre Wolfurt

  1. The Wolfurt freight terminal is known as the “container gate to the world” due to its central location.
  2. The reconstruction took almost 4 years and started in December 2014.
  3. The terminal area was expanded from 72,000 m² to 106,000 m².
  4. The ÖBB freight terminal in Wolfurt offers 1,700 full container storage spaces in the immediate crane area and 3,500 empty container storage spaces in the northern area of the terminal.
  5. Before the expansion, however, there was space for only 1,300 containers in total, so only a quarter of today’s number of parking spaces.
  6. The Wolfurt terminal is Austria’s most important infrastructure project in recent years and cost around 61 million euros.
  7. A 464-metre-long noise-protection wall was built and a 350-metre-long subterranean watercourse that can be passed by fish was constructed.
  8. With the Wolfurt freight centre it is possible to double loads and container trains can enter without shifting. Around 50 freight trains a day will pass through the Wolfurt freight centre.
  9. The Wolfurt freight centre will protect the climate, as every tonne of freight transported by train emits 15 times less CO2 than transport by truck.
  10. ÖBB received an ÖNGB award for sustainable construction (instead of concrete a recycling product was used, many buildings were constructed of wood and with environmentally friendly insulating materials, geothermal and photovoltaic systems were installed).

All information on Rail freight centers and terminals can be found here.