The protocol ensures good and transparent cooperation with the rail operators that use the Zuidnatie service facility. A regulation from the European Commission requires companies with their own rail connection to publish a railway operating protocol on their website. Zuidnatie already had such a protocol with rail operator Lineas, but the arrival of several operators meant that a new protocol was required that applies to all operators. The protocol is important, applies to all rail operators and is non-discriminatory. With the Oosterweel works and the project for the extra container capacity in the port (ECA) in mind, we as Zuidnatie want to help realize the modal shift. That is why we need to work better with the rail operators. The new rail operating protocol can be found on our website, it does not have to be signed. It will take effect on August 1, 2020.
The new protocol was drawn up in collaboration with Railport Antwerp and Alfaport Voka. Because several rail operators are active, this can lead to conflicts regarding the right of way rules. This protocol goes further than the European regulation. In addition to the access conditions on the site of the company, it also contains operational agreements that serve as a standard protocol. As long as there is one operator there is no problem, but a protocol is needed with several operators. It will also boost cooperation between operators and oblige them to communicate with each other. Now it happens that certain wagons are not pulled or placed.
The protocol is also important for the modal shift objective of the port of Antwerp. “The last mile is very important for the entire transport on the Oorderen rail section. The protocol makes operation more efficient. By working together the entire rail route is more efficient. As a Zuidnatie, we are strongly committed to the modal shift with our lighter, CNG-powered fleet and our bicycle plan. With this, Zuidnatie wants to get as many volumes as possible from road to rail and inland shipping. Now we are all stuck in traffic. We must cooperate constructively as much as possible.
Find the new Railway Protocol here