Lotos Kolej debuts in Lithuania
Poland’s top rail freight carrier, Lotos Kolej, has started haulage operations in Lithuania. The company’s locomotive achieved the Mockava border station for the first time. It is the third foreign market for the Polish rail freight operator.
The new option has become possible due to the cooperation agreement between Lotos Kolej, the Polish third-largest operator in terms of freight volumes, and LTG Cargo, the Lithuanian national freight operator and the largest one in the Baltics. Within the partnership, Lotos Kolej’s shunter of type Newag 6Dg hauled the M62 locomotive of LTG Cargo via the Trakiszki-Mockava railway crossing on the Polish-Lithuanian border.
“This opens the way for us to deliver freight, primarily containers in cross-border transport from and to Lithuania, to the southern or western border,” said Anatol Kupryciek, president of the management board of Lotos Kolej. In the future, this service could be extended to Kaunas where the standard gauge currently ends.
Lotos Kolej was incorporated in 2003 by Grupa Lotos, the Polish largest refinery holding. For many years, the company was concentrated on delivering oil products throughout Poland. In 2015 Lotos Kolej started to move abroad when it obtained the German five-year license. The permission was prolonged in 2020 for another five-year period.
Moreover, Lotos Kolej also debuted in Czechia last year. Its locomotives began to haul tank wagons from Gdańsk to Studénka, near the Czech city of Ostrava. Therefore, Lithuania is the third foreign market for Lotos Kolej. Currently, the Polish rail freight carrier operates around 130 locomotives and more than 4,000 wagons. It transported more than 12.5 million tonnes of goods in 2020 and achieved a market share of 5.62 per cent in terms of freight volumes.