M. Skuodis: Opening the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal marks a new stage in the Rail Baltica project


2021 07 19


Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis says that opening the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT) for commercial transport is an essential step in the Rail Baltica project, which marks the transition from construction works to transport operations. This step will also significantly improve access for freight carriers to Europe and expand possibilities for sustainable transport within the Baltic Region.

“I am very pleased that Rail Baltica is no longer a future project, but a reality, and today we can benefit from the European gauge railway in Lithuania to diversify freight transport routes, look for new markets and transport freight using new means by combining different modes of transport,” said Minister of Transport and Communications M. Skuodis at the official ceremony for welcoming the first train on the European gauge railway.

The Lithuanian Railways freight company LTG Cargo, in cooperation with its Polish partner PKP Cargo, has started intermodal freight transportation (in semi-trailers and containers) from the Netherlands to Lithuania and vice versa. According to the Minister, this route is a great example of cooperation between public infrastructure management companies, demonstrating the process of successfully operating a transport corridor. 

Intermodal services are regularly provided since the route Kaldenkirchen-Šeštokai-Kaldenkirchen (3,000 km) was first successfully tested in May 2020. It was estimated that CO2 emissions during the test were lower by 100 tonnes compared to semi-trailers being transported using trailers. 

It is planned that 4 trains per week will travel via the new route between the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania, and, depending on the number of orders, they will transport 7.5 thousand semi-trailers in a year, which will subsequently reduce the number of trailers on the road. In future, the volume could increase based on the demand.

Every year, 24 million tonnes of cargo are transported through the border between Poland and Lithuania using motor vehicles, which means that there is great potential for the use of KIT and the European gauge railway. 

“If railway and road transport companies cooperate, intermodal freight transportation would allow economical use of energy resources, reduce the CO2 footprint and improve security on roads,” notes M. Skuodis.