Rail transport

Rail transport is quick and reliable – free of traffic jams - and is extremely suitable for heavy loads and dangerous transport. One train takes an average of 45 lorries off the road. By investing heavily in rail, we will not only make freight transport more cost-efficient, but we will also significantly reduce traffic congestion and the negative impact on the environment. Did you know rail transport uses 6 times less energy than freight transport over the road and has 9 times less CO2 emissions?
By 2030, 15 percent of goods transport from and to the Port of Antwerp must be by train. Double as much as today.


The most important rail connections in Europe converge in Antwerp 

The Port of Antwerp has efficient rail connections with all important European rail hubs. The number of services has increased strongly these last years. 

Regular rail connections outside Europe with destinations such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Korea and China also depart from Antwerp.



Train to China

The Port of Antwerp has different rail connections to China via the ‘hub&spoke’ concept. Freight trains from and to China have a consolidation terminal in Central or Eastern Europe. These hubs in the hinterland transfer the goods onto direct trains to China. Antwerp is an important European link in One Belt One Road!

Train connections with China




Up to


trains per day entering/leaving the port


weekly container shuttles to




Railway network in excess of 1,000 kilometres 

The railway network in the Port of Antwerp consists of more than 1,000 kilometres of railway lines. This is more than twenty times the amount of tracks between Antwerp Central Station and Brussels-Central.

Infrabel is not just the owner of this spider web of railway lines, but is also responsible for the management and maintenance of the rail infrastructure. 


Several private railway companies, railway forwarders, workshops, refuelling places and rolling stock lease companies are active in the port of Antwerp.


Download the overview of all specialised providers



Download the rail map with Port of Antwerp facilities







Double cargo transport by rail

The combination of a growing port, increased pressure on the road network and ambitious environmental objectives make a modal shift absolutely necessary. The Port of Antwerp is working hard on promoting and supporting road transport alternatives.  

Want to know more about the modal shift?


The share of rail transport in the total cargo traffic in the port only amounts to 8 percent today. Rail volumes must double by 2030. How does the Port of Antwerp want to achieve this?


2nd biggest

marshalling yard in Europe (Antwerpen Noord) with 2 shunting hills


intermodal terminals



To meet this ambitious objective, the Port Authority established Railport. With different partners (other rail operators, Infrabel, etc.) Railport launches innovative projects. They must ensure that both rail transport within the port and connections with other European hubs are as efficient and reliable as possible.


Railport's main task is the co-ordination of rail activities in the port. We bridge the gap between railway companies, companies in the port, terminal freight forwarders and Infrabel. Nils Van Vliet, CEO Railport 

Contact Railport


Improve the railway network between the port and European hubs

As much as 60 percent of European spending power lies within an 800 kilometre radius  of the port. Ideal distances to transport goods quickly, efficiently and with a limited environmental impact by rail. The Port Authority wants to group supply and demand and works intensively with the rail operators to:

  • develop new, high-frequent rail shuttles between the Port of Antwerp and European focus regions in the hinterland
  • strengthen existing rail shuttles.

Want to collaborate?


Digital rail platform

The Rail Traffic System (RTS) rail application takes care of the communication between railway companies and the terminal operators. The objective is to develop into the unique communication platform for all rail actors in the port. The application makes a uniform exchange of information possible and makes all relevant data available digitally and in a centralised location.

In the current version of RTS, which is currently being tested:

  • Railway companies, terminals and third parties are able to plan and handle the transport of trains or wagons.
  • All stakeholders can track routes and consult real time positions of trains and wagons.


Building a ‘rail community’

To make both the first and last mile and the international rail connections faster and more efficient, all rail stakeholders in the Port of Antwerp need to join forces. The Port Authority organises events, information sessions, workshops and other initiatives with Railport to reflect with the whole rail community on innovative solutions and alternatives that strengthen rail transport.



railway undertakings


rail bundles


Stay up to date

Do you want to stay up to date of all the news about new and improved rail connections from and to the Port of Antwerp as well as business overall at the port?

Subscribe to our monthly Radar newsletter



Facts and figures rail transport


rail operators connecting Antwerp - hinterland


dedicated local workshops for maintenance




For rail transport there are subsidies available both from the Federal and from the Flemish governments.

Federal government provides subsidies for intermodal transport and for distributed transport.

As of October 2019 operators can also obtain Flemish subsidies.


Download the federal subsidies conditions here


Download the Flemish subsidies conditions here



Looking for advice about goods transport by train? Questions about the different rail connections from and to Antwerp? Interested in starting a new rail shuttle?

Ask your question to our rail experts 


We also have local rail experts in various markets who bridge the gap between the port of Antwerp and the main hubs.

Contact our international representatives 


Central hotline rail issues

Are you planning work on a railway bridge or level crossing and would you like to inform the railway sector about this? Do you have a question about a level crossing in the port? Works are being carried out on a railway line or level crossing and you want to know more about it?

Report something






Koen Cuypers

Mobility Advisor Rail
+32 3 205 22 38

Katarina Stancova

Senior Mobility Advisor Rail
+32 3 229 66 79

Thomas Verlinden

Mobility Advisor Barge & Rail
+32 3 205 21 86