DB Schenker Rail Automotive is working with DB Schenker’s national subsidiary in Portugal, Schenker Transitários, to offer customers, including those in the automotive sector, a new weekly rail service between Portugal and Germany.
DB Schenker said the trains would connect Porto and Lisbon with factories in northern Germany.
“One of the target industries for the new offering is the automotive industry in Germany and Portugal,” said the company in a statement. “The additional route will expand and reinforce the DB Schenker Automotive RailNet service. Customers can expect reliable transportation service throughout Europe.”
The company would not confirm which automotive companies were involved but Volkswagen has its Autoeuropa plant in Pamplona, near Lisbon, and a number of facilities in northern Germany including Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, Potsdam and Emden. 
Two trains will provide an uninterrupted service on the Braunschweig/Göttingen–Lisbon/Porto route, which will take less than three days to complete the distance of 2,700km. Transport will take place over the weekend, ensuring transport times are short and automotive products reach their destination quickly during weekend driving bans on the roads. The change of track gauge will take place in the Spanish Basque town of Irun – from European standard gauge to the Iberian standard, and vice versa.
Beginning in August, the service will include an additional two trains each week.
Together with the DB Schenker Rail Automotive’s control tower, Schenker Transitários’ new control centre in Lisbon will assume overall management of the loading units, including pre- and onward carriage by truck between the customers’ loading stations and their terminals at freight transport centres in Portugal and Germany.

The new solution was developed and implemented during the past months in close cooperation with AICEP (Agencia para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal), a Portuguese government business entity focused on supporting export activities.