Trading links between Poland and the U.K. were strengthened during the month of November when DB Schenker inaugurated its European sized rail freight services between Wroclaw, Poland, and Barking, London. The initial once per week service will transport shipments of automotive, retail and food items to London, returning with British exports for Polish clients.
The service will be the first regular rail freight service to use the High Speed 1 rail route. This route, otherwise known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, is a 108-kilometre high-speed railway line connecting London to the British end of the Channel Tunnel. The line opened in November of 2007, and has so far been used exclusively to carry passengers between London, Paris and Brussels. Following trials of a modified class 92 electric locomotive hauling a loaded container train during the summer of 2011, DB Schenker has been operating regular intermodal freight service since this past November, and plans to expand the new service to other European points soon. The trains are loaded with European sized swap bodies, which are European lighter-weight versions of standard ISO shipping containers, designed for truck or rail carriage only. Unlike standard shipping containers, swap bodies cannot be stacked or lifted, and are therefore not suitable for ocean transport. With an internal height of three meters, swap bodies can accommodate two standard pallets, thus providing increased haulage capacity.
HS1 is the only European sized rail route line in the U.K., which allows larger and higher European freight trains to operate on these tracks.
DB Schenker is the fourth largest freight forwarder in the world, and is a unit of Deutsche Bahn AG, the German national railway carrier. Deutsche Bahn is the second largest transport company in the world, and the largest operator of railways and owner of railway infrastructure in Europe.