Germany: €15m for loading non-craneable trailers without terminals

Karel Novak, Published on 16/02/2023
Germany: €15m for loading non-craneable trailers without terminals
@Helrom / Julia Reisinger

The market launch of the Helrom trailer wagon is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport with €15 million as part of the Federal Government's "Future of Rail Freight Transport" programme.

The Helrom Trailer Wagon is currently the only system on the market that allows horizontal loading of truck trailers without a loading terminal. An asphalt surface next to the track is all that is required. The Helrom wagon folds up sideways and the trucktrailer is pushed into the transport pocket of the wagon with the help of a tractor. The loading process can thus be completed in a matter of minutes wherever there is a suitable surface next to a track. This eliminates the need for expensive terminals and allows truck trailers to be loaded onto rail where it makes economic and logistical sense.

From 2020, the Helrom Trailer Rail will be used on a first connection between Düsseldorf and Vienna. By the end of 2022, more than 680 Helrom Trailer Rail trains will be operating on this route. As a result, at least 16,000 truck trailers of numerous forwarders and shippers have been shifted from road to rail. This represents a saving of more than 10,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.

Roman Noack, CEO of Helrom GmbH, emphasises the importance of this funding: "The funding of around 15 million is an honour for us. It is a great success for the transport turnaround in Germany and for our goal of net-zero transport. We have successfully demonstrated that a significant reduction in CO₂ emissions from freight transport can be achieved in just a few years - flexibly, nationwide and without major infrastructure investments. Our solution is economically viable and very easy to implement. Not only do we offer large companies a real alternative to road transport, but for the first time we are also opening up the use of rail to all small and medium-sized companies.

Road transport is responsible for 20 percent of all CO2 emissions. A significant proportion of this is caused by road freight. Around 74 percent of road freight is carried by truck trailers, which have a significant impact on the environment and congest the road network. However, only 2 percent of truck trailers are currently transported by rail.

The reasons for this are technological and economic barriers. Almost all the trailers used in Europe cannot be lifted by crane and could previously only be transported by freight train at great expense. This required substantial investment in central loading terminals, which took a long time to build. So in some cases this investment could be replaced by this technology.



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