102 - Metrans trainRailway Companies

Container trains from Turkey to Europe – I

Container trains to Europe has been the most regular railway traffic from Turkey for a long time. Thus many companies tried to step away in railway business in Turkey with a container train. Most of them stopped their trains after a while, some nowadays continue partially, by connecting their trains in Europe by vessel to Turkey, and some still bringing their trains to Turkey.

Inter Ferry Boats (IFB)

Inter Ferry Boats is a subsidiary of Belgian Railways (NMBS/SNCB).  The company is based in Antwerp. In 2010, IFB had take over the container trains of ICF running between Sopron and Halkali.

IFB soon become the leading container company in European traffic, with 4 trains/week in both directions, and stops in Wien, Ludwigshafen and Duisburg.

After the closure of Halkali, container trains faced with huge congestion in Cerkezkoy, and IFB was the first one to change the terminal in Turkey, and began departing from Tekirdag Port.

IFB has slots for departures are every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 18:00 from Turkey. At least 3 departures are done every week. The transit time to Wien is announced as 4 days. It takes 6-8 days to Ludwigshafen, 5-9 days to Duisburg depending on which day train depart.

Tank containers have a great portion in its portfolio. Kuehne Nagel announced a cooperation with IFB last year.

Official website


Metrans is a Czech railway operator having strong intermodal connections with European ports Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Antwerpen, Koper and Rijeka.

It’s Turkey container train had started running between Halkali and Dunajska Streda, and the frequency had been increased to three in a short time. In combination with their intermodal network in Europe, Metrans is offering service especially for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Polland.

Currently, Metrans has a regular departures from Cerkezkoy every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Transit time is between 5-8 days depending on the destination. Returns from Dunajska Streda is every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Metrans is known with its regularity among forwarders in Turkey.

Official website


Balo is a joint venture company of chambers of commerce in Turkey and started its container service from Turkey to Germany on 8th of September 2013.

Unlike others, Balo chose Manisa as departure terminal, and again for the first time, many terminals within Turkey are announced for collecting containers like Ankara, Konya, Bandirma. Currently, containers are taken from Bandirma to Tekirdag by feeders, and trains to Europe are using Tekirdag Port as the departure terminal.

Balo train have three stops out of Turkey: Sopron (Hungary), Ludwigshafen and Duisburg (Germany).

Balo has also announced a partnership with Rail Cargo in Europe, which seems to be developing as cooperation in this route.

Departure of Balo trains are every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Tekirdag.

Official website

Cover Photo: Metrans ©


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