Ikea Rail

Svensk baseret jernbaneoperatør, der i 2003 (fra 11.juni 2002 første tog) frem til 15.01.2004 drev godstrafik transit gennem Danmark, bl.a. med egne lokomotiver Litra T66. der kørtes i DK i samarbejde med Traxion via selskabet RTT

Most of us are familiar with the Swedish retail store IKEA. The familiar blue and yellow (Swedish colours) store has opened recently a new store in Coquitlam. In addition to being an extremely successful retailer in several countries worldwide, and making its owner Ingvar Kamprad a multi billionaire, IKEA has their own railroad, called IKEA Rail.

IKEA Rail started operation on 27 June, 2002, running trains between Älmhult in the province of Småland in Sweden, and Duisberg in the Ruhr area of Germany, a distance of more than 1000 km, travelling through Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The train crosses from Sweden to Denmark over the new combination highway and railway bridge over Öresund. Average speed of trains is good, about 65 km / hr. especially good considering the cross borders involved. Trains run through Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. IKEA Rail currently operates two trains daily Monday to Friday, with plans for expansion.

The railroad uses lines of three companies, TGOJ Trafik AB in Sweden, TraXion A/S in Denmark, and RAG Ruhrkohle Hafen und Bahn AG in Germany. Trains carry IKEA products using sale and leaseback railcars, and rented locomotives of model T66 diesels from TGOJ Trafik and TraXion A/S. The locomotive is low noise, and uses only fuel in environmental class 1. The T66 is a GM built in 2000, C-C wheel arrangement, with 3200 HP, and 126 tonnes. There are two in service, numbers 713, and 714. Locomotives have a cab on each end. There is no operation at night. In Germany, an electric from RAG takes over.

Freight volume for 2002 for IKEA is 20 million cubic metres, with forecast for 80 million cubic metres in 2010. IKEA has always endeavoured to use rail which is environmentally friendly. Rail volume this year in about 60,000 loads on rail, with 31000 of them on conventional railcars, and 29,000 intermodal. This is predicted to triple by 2006 to 180,000 loads. Today's diesels are planned for replacement by electrics in approximately 18 months pending production of an adapted electric locomotive. Electrics cannot be used now because of the lack of a locomotive that can cope with the different electrical systems of Sweden and Denmark. The railway is being used to reduce environmental impact, assure delivery reliability and reduce costs. It avoids congestion on European highways causing delays in deliveries. It will replace 50 trucks per day. There are plans for new routes as well, to Poland, Italy, and Belgium.

For the trivia buffs, IKEA is an acronym for the owner. I for Ingvar, K for Kamprad, E for Elmtaryd (the name of the farm where Ingvar comes from) and A for Agunnaryd (the name of a town near the farm).

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