The Passau-Racklau port


Early on in its history, the favourable location of the Three River City was already taken advantage of for trade on the Rivers Inn and Danube. The first ship pier, the “Passauer Lände” landing area is located in the historic part of the city.  

In 1900, because of growing freight transport, it was decided to build a winter dock port, or a port of refuge as it was referred to at the time. To this end the Racklau Island was joined to the right bank of the River Danube via an upward slanting dam 1068 metres in length built against the current. A quay wall 667 metres in length, rail and road access would turn the former island into a full-scale port.

With Passau-Racklau, the eastern-most German inland port was launched in the winter of 1902 / 03.

The port during the 20th century

In 1922 construction began on the Kachlet weir. With greater attention being paid to the River Danube stretch between Auerbach and Hofkirchen, ships could travel 120 km further west without great difficulty. The loss of its lading port had a significant impact on cargo handling in Passau.


The RoRo facilities in Passau-Schalding


The shipping of units suitable for running on the road necessitated the building of a roll-on-roll-off facility in Passau in the eighties. In 1983, construction of the RoRo facility began in Schalding located about 5 km north-west of Racklau.

The location with regard to stowage of the Kachlet weir meant that almost consistent water levels prevailed here, which made for year-round navigability with full offloading depth. For Passau the assimilation of RoRo transport meant a huge boost for cargo handling.  


Passau-Schalding expansion

Surveys and enquiries conducted among companies transporting and loading in the vicinity of Passau revealed that there was enough potential in this sector for a high volume of shipping based traffic. However, using Passau-Racklau as a sustainable trimodal port was not possible at this location because it was only free from flooding on a limited basis and also because of the absence of a rail link when it came to the city centre.

For this reason, sites operator Bayernhafen GmbH & Co. KG decided to expand the Passau-Schalding site, section by section turning it into a high-performance demand-based trimodal port site with transshipment and storage facilities to go with it.    

In an initial construction phase, a vertical transshipment port bank roughly 450 metres in length was built downstream from the existing RoRo facility. The mobile port crane that was already in use was deployed for this. For the different transport carriers to be linked effectively, the transshipment port bank was equipped with quay rails fitted in such a way that they could be driven over.  

To complement the transshipment facilities for all the different requirements, further mobile transshipment equipment was to be implemented, in each case demand-based and within agreed timeframes. It would be equipped with various goods-dependent load handling devices. Additionally, to meet the increasing demands made on rail, an extra siding, the length of a block train was introduced into the harbour facilities.

Over and above these measures, further transshipment and storage facilities that could be implemented section by section and demand-based had already been planned in advance for the expansion of port use at this site. In the process, planning parameters and legally required conditions for upgrading this port site further were already laid down.

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