Tremendous train transports for Kaunis Iron

Kaunis Iron aims to produce the world’s most sustainable iron ore. Part of achieving this goal is to transport heavy goods on the railway with relatively little energy consumption. Along Malmbanan, which is Sweden’s busiest railway, Railcare transports iron ore concentrate on behalf of Kaunis Iron.

The rail transport runs twice a day from the terminal in Pitkäjärvi to the port in Narvik, and is carried out by Railcare with its own locomotives and drivers. The train transports are part of a larger logistics chain where the terminal in Pitkäjärvi becomes an important hub. Johan Lindmark, Site Manager at Kaunis Iron says:

– The terminal in Pitkäjärvi works like a rubber band so that the iron ore doesn’t run out and the trains need to be stopped. The trucks from the mine in Pajala come here continuously to fill up the warehouse, and at the other end, we have the boat which is at the dock in Narvik which is loaded between five and six days, no more and no less. The train transports must run all the time to replenish the warehouse in the port and thus the boat’s full load capacity before it goes on to the end customer.

– For this logistics chain to work, cooperation is absolutely the most important thing. Both Railcare and Kaunis Iron have “flat” and flexible organisations. This means that we solve the challenges that arise directly on-site, says Johan.

Since 2018, Railcare has transported approximately 9.5 million tons of iron ore on behalf of Kaunis Iron, a mission that extends until 2031. Locomotive driver Kajsa Andersson Junkka is one of Railcare’s drivers who confidently drives the train between Pitkäjärvi and Narvik.

– I have an independent job with a lot of responsibility, which is great fun. In addition to driving the train itself and carrying out safety inspections according to our routines, we drivers also manage shifts at both the loading and unloading locations. Another advantage of the location is that we have our own locomotive workshop, which simplifies locomotive servicing and supports smoother logistics.

– Every shift I am blown away by the view, and that this is actually my office. It is, to say the least, the most tremendous stretch I have ever had the pleasure of driving along.