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Monday, 22.12.2014, 04:00
Lithuanian train Viking aspires to receive 2 prestigious European rail awards
Viking seeks to be awarded in categories European Freight Operator of the Year and Best European Integration. According to organisers, about 300 applications were received for each of them, with only 7-8 selected for final evaluation.
According to Brian Simpson, Member of European Parliament and Chair of European Rail Congress Judging Panel, the inter-modal transport train Viking is an example of the effective coordinated interaction between the rail administrations of Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine. "During the 10-year period since its inception, the project has become a widely recognised success with volumes carried increasing by over 100 times. It is continuing to expand geographically – another indicator of success. There were many excellent entries, so being short listed is already a big achievement," says Brian Simpson.
"We are pleased that Viking is among the best projects in two categories. This means that by improving the quality of customer service, actively looking for new markets and opportunities for the project's development, and using resources more efficiently we have created an attractive product which is being used by an increasing number of freight forwarders", says Stasys Dailydka, General Director of SC Lithuanian Railways.
Viking is a joint project of railway companies of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, linking the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea. 52 hours are needed to cover the route Ilychovsk-Kiev-Minsk-Vilnius-Klaipeda (1734 km). The total run of the train, launched in February 2003, has reached 2.3 million kilometres, with the cargo volumes amounting to over 300,000 TEU (conventional containers) or over 4.8 million tons.
In 2008, the Viking project has been recognised as an example of best practice in PROMIT European Coordination Action initiated by the European Commission. In 2009, the project received the Intermodal Award for best practices by the European Intermodal Association (EIA).