Optimisation and SCBA rail link Gent-Terneuzen

17029 / 19002
From 2017 to 2019
The merger of the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen induced the need to develop a common vision on rail transport from and to the port zone, looking at, amongst others, an optimization of the infrastructure.  In this respect, the railconnection to the eastbank of the canal Ghent-Terneuzen, between Zelzate and the ‘Axelse vlakte’, is considered as a particularly interesting possible development.
In a first phase of the project, TML calculated a forecast of the freight transport by rail from and to the ports of Terneuzen en Gent, using an horizon of 2030. To this end, we conducted interviews with the companies concerned, complemented with literature review and data collection at the rail infrastructure managers. To calculate the forecast of the freight transport by 2030, TML estimated the number of trains primarily on a weekly basis, which was than converted to a forecast of the number of train movements on a busy day.  We calculated a low and a high forecast.  For the high forecast, we considered a growth factor of 2.5 (Ghent) to 3.4 (Terneuzen) as feasible.  The low forecast was based on the assumption of a lower economic growth and a more limited development of new business premises.  For this forecast, we considered a a growth with factor 1.8 (Ghent) to 2 (Terneuzen) as being reasonable.  The resulting figures were used as input for the capacity analysis, which was carried out by project leader Movares.
For the Dutch part of the study area, we could use the results of previous studies.  For Ghent, we based our forecast on interviews with the most relevant companies in the port – with a specific focus on the biggest players (Arcelor, Volvo, Stukwerkers, DFDS).  We looked at various meaningful developments of the terrain that is not yet developed, and made reasonable estimates of the extension of current activities, taking into account the estimated capacity of certain bottlenecks.
In a later phase of the project, TML conducted a SCBA for a set of possible investments in the rail infrastructure of the harbour.  In this respect, we also investigated if these investments would contribute positively to the European Rail Freight Corridors, in order to possibly support any future public contributions.  


From 2017 to 2019


North Sea Port



Our team

Griet De Ceuster, Tim Breemersch, Kristof Carlier, Eef Delhaye, Christophe Heyndrickx
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