China, Germany to cooperate in rail freight transportation, infrastructure projects


THE Chinese Ministry of Railways and Deutsche Bahn have signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing, in a bid to cooperate more closely in rail freight transportation and in expanding China's railway infrastructure. This includes Deutsche Bahn's supervision in the construction of high-speed rail lines in China.

In a joint declaration, both parties confirmed their intent to strengthen rail freight transportation and to step up the establishment of new transports between Asia and Europe through closer cooperation, said a statement from Deutsche Bahn.

"We are ready for closer cooperation with China. German expertise and German technology will play an important role in stepping up cooperation. Rail is the backbone of our freight transport. We want to become even more efficient, particularly on long hauls, and that will also help on transports to and from China," said Jan Muecke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport after the MoU was signed.

This comes after Federal Minister of Transport Peter Ramsauer and his Chinese colleague Li Shenglin earlier signed an MoU to cooperate more closely and exchange expertise, specifically in the logistics sector, during Mr Ramsauer's recent visit to China.

"China offers growth potential for our customers and for us. The more Chinese production sites that move from the coast inland, the more interesting rail transport to Europe becomes for many manufacturers. We want to meet this demand," said Dr Karl-Friedrich Rausch, member of the Management Board of DB Mobility Logistics AG responsible for Transportation and Logistics.

The aim is also to involve the Russian Railways, RZD, to beef up trans-Eurasian rail freight transports.

The DB subsidiary said it is ready to offer its consulting, planning, construction supervision and project management support to China during the expansion and new construction of the high-speed network.

A report by The Journal of Commerce Online pointed out that Trans Eurasia Logistics, a joint venture majority owned by Deutsche Bahn and RZD, launched the first scheduled direct rail freight service between central Germany and Moscow earlier in the year.

DB International, Deutsche Bahn's consultancy unit, also earlier this year won a contract worth US$40 million to supervise the construction of nine high-speed routes in China.

The development comes as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin unveiled a US$14 billion investment to expand capacity on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Moscow plans to upgrade the Baikal-Amur-Mainline, one of two tracks that runs parallel to the main Trans-Siberian track on the northern side and takes a more direct route to the Pacific coast.

Mr Putin was cited as saying that modernisation of key Russian Pacific ports, including Vanino and Nakhodka, is being held back by bottlenecks on the BAM railway.

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