In Austria, about 60 per cent of rail freight traffic is handled using industrial spurs. To keep it that way, operators would need long-term support for the construction and maintenance of rail infrastructure also in the future. In addition, technical innovations would have to ensure cost-effective operation of these route sections, said Ing. Markus Schinko, President of the association of operators of industrial spurs (VABU) adressing politicians and the railway technology industry.
At the 8th conference on industrial spurs, the latest industry figures were presented on 4th October in Krems. Accordingly, in 2017, 1.31 million loaded freight cars were provided on 583 industrial spurs in Austria. This corresponds to an increase of 50,000 units compared to the previous year.
The problem with these numbers is the unequal distribution of the quantity. In the previous year, about 50 per cent of the total volume of 71.9 million tonnes of goods was shipped on the 19 largest industrial spurs in Austria. Rail freight transport stood still on 447 routes, while 487 service stations were moving less than 10 freight cars a year. Thus Markus Schinko fears that in the medium term further industrial spurs could be closed.
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