DB Cargo delivers hard coal by freight train

DB Cargo are modernising over 1,000 freight wagons to help transport coal to German power plants amidst the ongoing energy crisis.

DB Cargo are to bring coal by freight train to Saarland for the power plant operator STEAG. As a result, the Bexbach power plant near Neunkirchen is one of the first large power plants to benefit from the new “priority corridors” for supply-related freight trains.

Priority corridors 

The “priority corridors” created by the federal government are used for transport. The federal government has stipulated in an ordinance that these freight trains are given priority in the rail network on clearly defined transport routes and with a specific public energy supply. This procedure is regulated by the Federal Network Agency.

With these coal freight trains going to various power plant locations in Germany, DB Cargo is making an important contribution to securing the energy supply. In addition, the modernisation of more than 1,000 coal wagons is currently in full swing at DB Cargo. Some of these were in storage and are now being reactivated and also retrofitted with whisper brakes.  

For the Bexbach location, DB Cargo has also created a new supply chain for ammonia via the important single-wagon network. Ammonia is imported from the seaports and is used to clean the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. It directly benefits the sustainable operation of the power plant in the region. Weekly deliveries of individual wagons by safe rail make it possible to put them back into service.

The energy crisis

“We have created the legal framework which enables energy transport to be prioritised,” Oliver Luksic, Parliamentary State Secretary and Logistics Commissioner of the Federal Government, said. “While cancellations or delays cannot be seriously excluded because our rail network is already heavily used, we can only succeed in ensuring the supply of the coal-fired power plants if we work together. The locations in Saarland in particular are of great importance for the country’s energy security. That’s why we rely on close cooperation with logistics and the energy industry, for example with DB Cargo and STEAG, to provide planning security and implement pragmatic solutions.”

“DB assumes responsibility for the energy supply in Germany,” Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, Board Member for Freight Transport at DB AG, said. “Supplying the power plants with hard coal is – like so many things at the moment – a new challenge that could not have been foreseen a few months ago. DB Cargo has shown how quickly we can react to such changes with strong rail freight traffic. Thanks to DB Cargo’s European network, we will also supply additional power plant locations, such as in Bexbach.”