Monday 4th March was a big day for Iarnród Éireann and Port of Waterford when DFDS Logistics re-launched a container train reconnecting County Mayo with Rotterdam and the rest of Europe. Writes Tim Casterton
DFDS operates the sea route from Rotterdam to Waterford helping Ireland move containers to and from mainland Europe. The new train service will extend the route.
Says Gert Jakobsen, Vice President, Communications at DFDS Logistics, ‘This is about extending our network. It takes our service to our customers. It’s what they need from us.’
During the launch, Michael Connolly, DFDS Sales Manager Ireland ( Intermodal ) told guests that it was the DFDS aim to provide a strong service through Waterford and this will be achieved by working with partners, the Port of Waterford and Iarnród Éireann. ‘We talked to our customers and they wanted a Tuesday evening service from Waterford and we have achieved this,’ he said referring to the 11:05 service from Ballina which connects with the evening sailing for the Netherlands.
The Ballina rail service is particularly essential to the anchor company that trunks exports through Waterford to Europe and also brings in materials through the port. Michael went on to say that things were different now from the boom days of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ and that development and growth of the route would be built up over time with DFDS Logistics ‘doing it a little better everyday’.
The trains will annually remove 3000 truck journeys from the roads and save 981 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Port of Waterford has remained committed to rail over the years and retained the rail connection into Bellview and the huge gantry cranes for loading containers.
CEO Stan McIlvenny was delighted that services have re- commenced. ‘The port is committed to DFDS and Irish Rail. Our close working relationship will lead to bigger and better things,’ said Stan.
Staff at Iarnród Éireann are keen to drive up rail freight traffic in Ireland. Iarnród Éireann’s General Manager Freight, Finbar O’Reilly reiterated to those present: ‘Railfreight in Ireland is open for business.’
This message was echoed by the new CEO of Iarnród Éireann, David Franks who had told RailStaff that he is really keen to try and grow the company’s freight business.