Getting a Move on Rail Freight

Matthais Raith is showing Europe that railroads can be a growth industry. The 53-year-old native of Kaiserslautern runs a private German railroad company called Rail4Chem, which specializes in transporting hazardous chemicals, including sulfuric acid and paraffin. At a time when most state-owned rail-freight companies are losing money and customers, Raith's sales have almost tripled in the past two years, to €24 million.

Rail4Chem was founded by the chemical giant BASF in 1999 after it bought a polyurethane and fertilizer plant in eastern Germany, only to find that state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB) wasn't able to cater to its just-on-time...

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