Over the years, the regional operator Rurtalbahn has grown into an international group of companies. This is also reflected in the staff members employed, the dimensions of transport projects and the size of the fleet.
Rurtalbahn Cargo transported about 3.9m tons of rail freight in 2014, which results in about 1700m tonne-kilometers, only in Germany. The majority of this amount was transported across borders to and from the Netherlands or Belgium. A locomotive pool of about 30 units provides traction to about 200 trains every week.
Despite the crisis years, Rurtalbahn Cargo was able to face steady growth due to its strategic focus on internationalization, reliability, flexibility, and high customer service. Within the last five years, tonnage has almost been doubled.
Well located information and communication hubs are essential in order to be able to monitor and control Rurtalbahn Cargo's freight flows. The group's control centers in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany), Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) are equipped with modern information and communication technology and operate 24/7. These information hubs ensure neatless operation of Rurtalbahn Cargo's freight trains, even across national borders. Crossing borders between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands becomes invisible to our customers. Rurtalbahn Cargo and our customers benefit from the local presence and know-how of our branches and control centers in the seaports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.
The three branches of Rurtalbahn Cargo employ about 100 train drivers. The majority works for Rurtalbahn Cargo Ltd. (Germany), followed by Rurtalbahn Benelux Ltd. (The Netherlands) and Trainsport plc (Belgium).
The R.A.T.H. education center offers regular apprenticeship opportunities and advanced vocational training for railway staff within the group. Recently, we were able to qualify several national train drivers for international operations. These qualification initiatives made the change of locomotives and crews at the borders redundant and created the opportunity of offering direct shuttle connections across national borders.
Rurtalbahn Cargo operates a fleet of more than 30 modern electric and diesel locomotives. This pool of traction units is exclusively prepared for international operations and is centrally scheduled across all national branches. More than 80% of the locomotives are certified for usage in several countries, mainly Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. In order to operate freight trains on the Dutch Betuwe track and perform feeding in the Rotterdam port area, our locomotives are equipped with modern ETCS devices. Next to the usage in our own national branches, we also provide corporate partners in Austria and Hungary with our locomotives. Rurtalbahn Cargo is able to schedule maintenance activties for its fleet through an extensive international network of own and external workshops.