Belgian private rail freight operator Lineas has acquired Independent Rail Partner (IRP), expanding its reach in The Netherlands.

Dutch operator IRP connects the largest port of Europe to the rest of The Netherlands and provides first and last mile services in the Rotterdam region.

The merger of the operations of the two entities is said to result in shorter transit times, new Xpress connections from Rotterdam and new operational proficiencies.

Lineas’ European network, along with IRP’s local expertise, will provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution between the Western ports and the whole continent, noted the Belgian operator.

Furthermore, Lineas stated that it is working towards building a ‘true European rail freight backbone’ to enable the modal shift.

Lineas CEO Geert Pauwels said: “Companies are asking for easy door-to-door transport solutions with a good stretch of rail in them. With our Green Xpress Network we have built a unique solution that really hits the mark. It’s never been easier to shift to rail.

“Now we want to scale it up throughout Europe with other dynamic private players who also want to have a lasting positive impact on the European supply chain, mobility and climate.”

Over the last few years, the company expanded its Green Xpress Network to 23 destinations in Europe, with recently new connections to Vorarlberg and Poland.

Green Xpress Network includes daily rail connections between European hubs for all types of cargo. Compared to traditional Single Wagon Load, this network is said to have cut down transport times by up to 80%.