Twelve new rail destinations for more efficient North Sea Port connections to the European hinterland

04 October 2019


North Sea Port and Lineas are joining forces to increase efficiency with 12 new rail connections to the European hinterland. This is a significant expansion of the volume of rail transport from the port.

A new rail connection between Interface Terminal Ghent and the Lineas Main Hub in Antwerp allows goods to be shipped via the international rail network of Lineas. The 12 new destinations are Madrid, Granollers (Barcelona) and Tarragona (Spain), Hendaye (France), Schkopau (Germany), Lovosice (Czech Republic), Curtici (Romania), Malmö (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Wels and Vienna (Austria), and Basel (Switzerland). Parts of these rail connections are supported by the Flemish Department of Mobility and Public Works as well as North Sea Port.

Interface Terminal Ghent Kluizendok

Goods are unloaded and loaded at the Interface Terminal Ghent at the Kluizendok. This unique 4-modal container terminal (sea shipping, inland shipping, rail and road transport) has 750-meter triple rail lines to receive trains. Trains then travel to Antwerp, where they connect to the Lineas European rail network. A number of logistics and distribution companies operate in the area of the terminal and the Kluizendok. Interface Terminal Ghent also has a short-sea connection to the United Kingdom: I-Motion Shipping sails to Hull three times a week.

“For many companies these 12 extra destinations offer opportunities to transport goods to the hinterland by rail. Many quays and business parks in North Sea Port include rail tracks and track bundles,” says Daan Schalck, North Sea Port CEO. Currently, some 7.7 million tons of goods are brought in and out of North Sea Port by rail each year. This accounts for nearly 10% of transport to and from the hinterland. “It is our aim to further increase rail transport. These 12 new destinations are a good contribution.”

We are proud to be a strategic partner of a thriving port company that is increasingly focusing on rail development,” says Sam Bruynseels, CCO of Lineas. “The connection between Ghent and Antwerp provides an opportunity for companies to transfer more volumes by rail to the European hinterland every day via our Green Xpress Network. It is our intention to increase the frequency in the coming period, so that in the long term we can establish direct connections between Ghent and European destinations.

Multimodal port

Multimodality is one of the most important assets that North Sea Port offers companies to set up business in the cross-border port area. Its strategic location on the North Sea up to 32 kilometres inland, makes the port accessible via rail and via coastal shipping, sea shipping, inland shipping, pipeline and by road. This means that North Sea Port is always looking for new destinations in the hinterland.


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About North Sea Port

North Sea Port is the 60-kilometre cross-border port area stretching from Dutch Flushing on the North Sea to Ghent, 32 kilometres inland in Belgium. As a central hub in Europe, the port specializes in multimodal transport (sea shipping, inland shipping, road transport, rail transport, pipelines) and a multitude of goods types. North Sea Port is among the top three in Europe with an added value of 14.5 billion euros realized by the cross-border port area. When it comes to cargo handling, its 70.3 million tonnes make up the tenth place of the European ports. The port area creates employment for almost 100,000 people.

About Lineas

Lineas is the largest private rail freight operator in Europe with headquarters in Belgium and sites in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Its mission is to offer high-quality rail products and services in order to help customers shift the transport of their goods from road to rail in order to improve their supply chain and reduce the negative impact of their activities on mobility, climate and air pollution.

Lineas’ flagship product is the Green Xpress Network which provides daily, fast and reliable rail connections between Belgium and major European hubs, combining different types of cargo into one train. With these bundled loads, Lineas capitalises fully on the strengths of rail: the sustainable transportation of large volumes over average/long distances and with a high frequency.

Lineas employs 2,100 people and has a fleet of 250 locomotives and 7,000 wagons. Shareholders of the company are the independent private equity group Argos Wityu (69%) and NMBS (31%).