Feature, Freight News, Sea, Rail

IWT looks forward to the next decade of Dublin trains

[ September 6, 2019   //   ]

Dublin based International Warehousing and Transport (IWT) has celebrated the tenth anniversary of its first intermodal train between Dublin Port and Ballina in County Mayo. Originally, just two return trains per week were operated. The loading in Dublin Port took place on the Alexandra Road tramway – not ideal conditions with heavy road traffic passing by.

The operation became slicker when Dublin Port Company built its new quayside rail terminal which opened in May 2011 and services have increased to up to nine trains each way per week, depending on customer requirements. Rail traffic has increased primarily due to the steadily increasing costs of road haulage and, with Dublin’s container volumes increasing by 4.0% to 726,000teu in 2018, trucks face queues for terminals and increased congestion.

IWT estimates that the 2,673 trains operated in the 10 years since inception, the service has cut close on 10 million kg of Co2 emissions.

The anchor business ten years ago, as now, was the soft drinks factory at Ballina but the customer base has expanded including medical supplies. Trains departing from Dublin Port have average loadings of 99%. Rail operator Iarnród Éireann has been testing longer trains and a 17% increase in train loading is expected to be permitted soon.

In 2012 IWT purchased land adjacent to the freight yard in Ballina for use as a buffer stock allowing customers to store product close to production facilities, reducing lead time and eliminating costly storage charges at Dublin Port. Regular deliveries to Westport, Letterkennny, Tuam and Castlebar are made from the site.