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New freight terminal saves 250,000 lorry trips: Operations begin at MegaHub Lehrte

DB and the German government invest EUR 171 million π Ronald Pofalla, DB Board Member for Infrastructure: "Every train departing from Lehrte takes 52 lorries off our roads." π Innovative technology speeds up freight transport

New freight terminal saves 250,000 lorry trips: Operations begin at MegaHub Lehrte

Germany's most advanced freight hub has gone into operation, following two years of construction work and several months of test runs. The MegaHub Lehrte container rail terminal was officially opened today by Ronald Pofalla, DB's Member of the Management Board for Infrastructure; Enak Ferlemann, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; and Dr Bernd Althusmann, transport minister for the state of Lower Saxony. Containers are loaded at record speed at Lehrte. The process takes just a few minutes, ensuring that goods reach customers faster. The hub's aim is to boost the appeal of rail freight transport. DB will use the new terminal to shift more cargo to the eco-friendly rail network. Up to 13 trains are formed every day at MegaHub Lehrte, which corresponds to some 250,000 lorry journeys every year and an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 120,000 tonnes. The German government and DB have invested EUR 171 million in the new container rail terminal.

Ronald Pofalla, Member of the Management Board for Infrastructure at DB: "Shifting freight to the green rail system is one of the simplest and most effective measures for protecting the climate. Transhipment processes at Lehrte are faster than anywhere else in Germany. With every train that departs from here, we remove 52 lorries from our roads and thereby automatically cut CO2 emissions."

Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Federal Commissioner for Rail Transport: "The government's clear political objective is to shift traffic from road to rail. This requires cutting-edge transhipment facilities. MegaHub Lehrte uses ultra-modern solutions and symbolises these policies. It sets an example for many more facilities in Germany to follow."

Dr Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony's Minster for Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation: "The new MegaHub is one of the most innovative projects in freight transport today, and it underscores the exceptional role that Lower Saxony plays at the logistics crossroads of Europe. The hub will strengthen the competitiveness of climate-friendly rail transport and further increase the appeal of Lower Saxony for the logistics sector."

How MegaHub Lehrte works

Cameras register the loads carried by trains and lorries when they enter the facility, which covers an area of 120,000 m2. Three 20-metre-high cranes and twelve autonomous electric transporters sort the containers and allocate them to freight trains with pinpoint accuracy. A central computer system oversees the work of loading and moving the containers. Operations at the terminal are particularly quiet and energy-efficient: when trains arrive, they use their momentum to roll onto the tracks beneath the cranes without drawing electricity from the power grid. The site offers potential for expansion to twice the number of cranes and up to 20 transporters.

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