At the end of June some 20 participants met in Narvik, Norway to attend the Coordination Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT) conference.
Narvik’s location in relation to the railways, sea and airport make the port a natural logistics intersection. It belongs to the EU’s TEN-T core network.
Ice free, the largest deep sea port in the Barent region connects with the international railway network through Sweden for transport south and to the European continent as well as through Finland for markets in Russia and China.
The port of Narvik operates as a hub for goods by rail (Ofotbanen) to this region. There are 19 trains in each direction (north/south) moving weekly between Oslo and Narvik through Sweden. In addition, the same single track between Kiruna (Sweden) and Narvik transports 20Mt of iron ore per year.
The Ofotbannen railway line represents 1% of the Norwegian rail network but carries more than 60% of the total cargo (in metric tons).
On the first day of the conference, the speakers presented opportunities to develop rail traffic. A future train service was presented between Beijing and Scandinavia with Narvik as the last stop before the cargo moves in with ships on the Atlantic to the USA.
Mr Gennady Bessonov, CCTT Secretary General gave a detailed comparison between the North-South and East-West corridors, taking into account the growing geo-economic potential.
Bernard Schmitt, UIC Freight Advisor, presented UIC’s activities in the area of Eurasian corridors and heavy haul issues.