Nieuwe partner voor Towrail
TowRail today announced that it has been joined by global investment and advisory firm, Babcock & Brown Limited (ASX: “BNB”) in its bid for the concession of the Betuweroute, a dedicated freight railline connecting the Port of Rotterdam with mainland Europe. The parties have also confirmed they are in discussions about a wider strategic alliance that will enhance Babcock & Brown's investment and advisory capabilities in rail infrastructure projects and strengthen TowRail's position to become the first privately set up European freight railway asset and capacity manager in a playing field dominated by formerly state owned companies. This announcement confirms the rumour that was in the Dutch press a couple of weeks ago that Babcock & Brown and TowRail had joined forces for purposes of theBetuwe Route.
“The recent change of approach by the Dutch government towards the Betuweroute concessioning will allow TowRail to demonstrate the value of its integrated logistics chain approach to increase flexibility and control both around the Port of Rotterdam and on the Betuweroute itself, thereby providing the level of service needed to integrate rail solutions into tomorrow's complex logistics demands", stated Mr van Asch van Wijck, Chief Executive Officer of TowRail. Following wide support, with TowRail in the lead, the Dutch Transport minister decided not to move forward on the proposed three year delay on bidding for the Dutch Rail Freight Network. She has obliged herself to work out options that include market parties such as TowRail with Babcock & Brown.
Mr van Asch van Wijck also commented that the European Rail track market is preparing for opening up to competition as per January 1st 2007 liberalisation permits to move freely on european track. At the same time commercial exploitation will become possible to encourage use and investment to meet ever growing logistics demand. As such theBetuwe Route has the opportunity to be a showcase example.