On Tuesday, the 13th of September, the first Amber Train departed Muuga in Northern Estonia towards Kaunas Multimodal Terminal in Lithuania, thus creating a railway corridor between Northern and Western Europe through the Baltic States. The new corridor, tested for the first time, allows to bring goods from the roads to the rails, thus offering companies to choose a more environmentally friendly and safer way to transport goods from the Baltic States and Scandinavia, mainly Finland, to Western Europe and vice versa.
Once operational, the Amber Train is scheduled to run twice a week on Muuga-Kaunas-Muuga route. The Amber Train, carrying both semi-trailers and containers alike, is also a predecessor of Rail Baltica – a high speed European gauge railway project that will link Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the rest of Europe. An important part in the new logistics chain is performed by HHLA Group's container and cargo terminal in Estonia, HHLA TK Estonia.
“For the Amber Train, HHLA TK Estonia takes on all multimodal terminal services, ensuring a smooth transition from ship to rail and vice versa,” said Riia Sillave, CEO of Estonia's largest freight terminal HHLA TK Estonia. “We will strengthen our role as a hub in Baltic Sea traffic in order to be ready as a future Rail Baltica freight terminal and its Europe-wide connection.”
The Amber Train is a cooperation project of the railway companies of the Baltic States and run by AS Operail. Cooperation partners are Estonian railway infrastructure manager AS Eesti Raudtee, Latvian and Lithuanian rail freight companies LDZ Cargo and LTG Cargo, loading terminals HHLA TK Estonia in the Estonian Muuga and Kaunas Intermodal Terminal in Lithuania.