New multimodal hub being planned in Germany

2021/10/13 at 9:21 AM

Trying to shift more freight from trucks to tracks, Germany requires more railway terminals. Within the modal shift policy, DB Cargo has started to plan a new multimodal hub in Westphalia. It will revive the once largest German marshalling yard in Hamm and will improve rail freight connections between the economic centres of the Ruhr area.

“Germany has to become a railway country again,” said Hendrik Wüst, minister for transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, after signing a memorandum of understanding with the city of Hamm, DB Cargo and the Railway and Transport Union (EVG) in early October. The document is devoted to the revitalisation of Germany’s former largest marshalling yard and its transformation into a multimodal transport hub that will be created on an area of almost 60 hectares.

Hamm marshalling yard in North Rhine-Westphalia, source: CDU / Hans Blossey

“In the future, 170,000 truck journeys could be brought onto the rails via the new Multi Hub Westphalia and rolled to ports. This creates more space on the streets and protects the climate. This makes mobility better, safer and cleaner,” the minister added. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bahn estimates the project at 300-350 million euros (without improving the surrounding railway and road infrastructure). In terms of timeline, it could be completed by 2028. However, its start is still unclear.

Trimodal hub

The Multi Hub Westphalia will be placed in Hamm between the economic centres of the Ruhr area. Despite its focus on rail, the terminal will be a truly multimodal facility being able to handle freight from trucks or barges to wagons or vice versa since it is connected to rail freight traffic, the region’s road system and the West German canal network.

“Thanks to the trimodal connection of rail, waterway and road, the prerequisites are ideal for developing a new logistics hub of supraregional importance. With the project we are providing an important impetus for a sustainable economic awakening in Hamm, which will lead to new economic dynamism,” Marc Herter, Mayor of Hamm, noted.

Inspiring example

At the same time, DB Cargo is regarding the project as an inspiring example for the renovation of other facilities. “A Westphalian model of German possibilities is emerging in Hamm. DB is returning to the area with rail freight transport. In order to inspire new and existing customers for the railways, we need innovative approaches such as the Multi Hub Westphalia. One secret of success lies in the networking of means of transport,” Sigrid Nikutta, CEO of DB Cargo summed up.

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