Rail Development Corp.'s German rail ferry inaugurates new locomotive

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Railroad Development Corp.'s news locomotive for rail ferry service in northern Germany is Siemens Vectron DE 247-909. The locomotive is shown at its naming ceremony on June 25.
Railroad Development Corp.
HAMBURG, Germany — Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corp. unveiled a brand new diesel locomotive to be used for its car carrying service in northern Germany at a ceremony in the German city of Kiel on June 25. RDC President Henry Posner III was present along with ministers from the regional government to name the locomotive "Anne" after Mr Posner's wife Anne Molloy, who was also present along with their daughter, Ida, to celebrate the naming.

RDC's German subsidiary RDC Deutschland now has two new Siemens built Vectron DE diesel electric locomotives to use operating the car carrying service between Niebüll on the north German mainland and Westerland on the off shore island of Sylt.

RDC Deutschland began operation of their new service, branded AUTOZUG Sylt, on the 25-mile-long route from Niebüll to Westerland in 2016. Services were initially operated using a specially leased string of flat cars. These initially ran as short train capable of carrying about 30 automobiles hauled by leased diesel locos. The new Siemens locos have replaced the leased units.

The service competes with a long-standing vehicle carrying service operated by German national rail operator DB. This has operated since the early 1930s when the line over a causeway through the sea — the 7-mile-long Hindenburgdamm — was opened connecting the island of Sylt with mainland Germany for the first time. There is still no direct road connection between Sylt and the rest of Germany, with the only alternative to the railway being a ferry from neighboring Denmark.

RDC spent several years developing its plans and overcoming operational problems before being able to launch the service. Following previous legal action RDC has access to the same terminals used by DB for its car carrying service.

More information is available online.

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