Freight News, Rail

Nurminen claims first block train between Europe and India

[ June 4, 2021   //   ]

Finnish-based Nurminen Logistics is claiming that it will run the first ever block train from Europe to India on the Western wing of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). 

INSTC is the 7,200 km long, multi-modal network of ship, rail, and road routes for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia. The train route is twice as fast as the traditional maritime route via Suez Canal. 

The block train, operated for a Nurminen Logistics Swedish customer, will depart from Helsinki in mid-June and will have a transit time from Helsinki to Nhava Sheva port near Mumbai of about 25 days.

In fact, a map on the Nurminen Logistics shows a rail routing from Helsinki via Russian and central Asia to Bandar Abbas in Iran followed by a sea leg to Nhava Sheva. While a rail transit is theoretically possible all or most of the way from Europe to the Indian subcontinent, it would involve use of a little used route in unsettled territory between Iran and Pakistan and, to reach India itself, a difficult border crossing from Pakistan. There would also be a difference in track gauge between Iran and Pakistan.  

On 3 June, Nurminen Logistics chief executive Olli Pohjanvirta, signed a memorandum of cooperation with chief executive of the Russian Railways’ RZD Logistic arm, Dmitry Murev,  at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. The document envisages a joint study of logistics opportunities in Scandinavia, Russia, and Asia within the North-South International Transport Corridor framework.