The cooperation announced within this year between Austrian rail operator Rail Cargo and BALO will kick off at the beginning of 2016 wih the name Anatolia Rail Link.
The new company is a joint venture of Balo and Rail Cargo, each having 50% share, presents itself as “neutral intermodal service provider of Turkey”. The company will start operations legally on 4h of January.
Anatolia Rail Link (ARL) will take over the services given by Balo until today, and is planned to continue as an intermodal operator mainly focused on railway services. The Rail Cargo team in Turkey will also take part in this new company. ARL aims increasing frequency of trains, standardization in transit times, variety in equipments and rutes.
Balo and Rail Cargo has 3 weekly trains departing from Tekirdag and Cerkezkoy. Two company trains run by Rail Cargo for BSH are heard to be done by another company next year. Thus, ARL is expected to start with 3 trains. The schedule in website shows a similar frequency.
ARL’s biggest competitor will be Metrans, which had successfully shifted its services to Istanbul’s only rail terminal Halkali. ARL is expected to shift to Halkali next month. That will probably mean stopping departures from Tekirdag and Cerkezkoy.
ARL is also giving intermodal services via U.N. Ro-Ro’s roro service to Trieste. Rail Cargo has connected container/trailer trains to Austria and Germany. As mentioned in website, ARL will provide intermodal services from Pendik and Mersin ports (using U.N. Ro-Ro’s roro services) and Cesme (using Ulusoy’s roro services) to Trieste and from Trieste to Wels, Wien, Munich, Giengen, Ludwighshafen and Duisburg using Rail Cargo trains. ARL also announces that new destinations both in Turkey and Europe are planned.
As known, BALO was founded to connect Anatolia’s industry regions to Europe. In accordance with this, Derince, Eskisehir, Konya, Kayseri and Gaziantep are announced to be the departure points in the future, as stated in the website.