HPA – Optimization of the Port Railway – Analysis and Catalog of Measures

With 320 km of track, Hamburg port railway is amongst the largest in the world. The rail share in hinterland traffic is currently 27.5% of total port throughput, which amounts to 180 trains daily. Between 1999 and 2004 alone, the port throughput grew by 40% to 31.3 mil. tons. This is forecasted to increase to 500 trains daily by 2015, an enormous additional growth. An extensive investment and modernization program has been set up to expand port railway capacity sufficiently over the next 10 years.


Organization Before Investment!

The transformation and expansion of the infrastructure is decisive for the medium and long-term future. This requires enormous investments in construction and several years before becoming effective in daily business. For these reasons, the primary project goal was the short-term optimization of the existing infrastructure use by the introduction of organizational measures.


Growth without infrastructure investment

The network capacities of the port railroad required in the future were determined with and without consideration of optimization measures. TransCare evaluated already planned infrastructure investments inside and outside the port and made organizational recommendations to devide stations’ tasks. An alternative concept for a consolidation center to relieve the port railway stations was presented and a transparent tariff system for the use of the port railway infrastructure was developed. Recommendations for the future strategic positioning of the HPA towards the parties involved in hinterland rail transport were made. By implementing these recommendations, the port railroad is prepared for the upcoming traffic growth in the medium term – without having to expand the railway infrastructure.


Our Services

  • Analysis of utilization and capacity of the port railways, stations and the connected long-distance rail network
  • SWOT analysis of the port infrastructure and of the rail operations
  • Determination of required network capacities
  • Evaluation of planned rail infrastructure investments
  • Development of a transparent tariff system for the use of the port railway infrastructure
  • Recommendation on the division of labor between stations
  • Alternative consolidation center concept including first location suggestions
  • Recommendations for the strategic positioning of HPA



Hamburg Port Authority AöR





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