Feature, Freight News, Rail

Another piece in the jigsaw for north-south rail link

[ October 28, 2016   //   ]

Turkey’s Ekol Logistics and the French Railways logistics arm, VIIA have added a weekly shuttle train connection from the port of Sète to Noisy-le-Sec in the Paris area. The two partners say the service, which carries trailers on rail flat wagons, is the first step in building a North-South rail transport corridor.

In 2014 Ekol launched a weekly ro ro service from Turkey to France with a capacity of 180 trailers and a 48-hour transit time between Izmir and Sète in the south of France.

The new rail connection departs Sète on Wednesday morning and arrives in Paris on Thursday at 7am. The return trip departs Wednesday from Paris at 18.00 and arrives in Sète on Thursday at 12 am.

Frequency will increase to two round-trips per week from mid-December and there will be further increases in 2017, when Ekol will add a second vessel to the sea connection.

Meanwhile, Ekol and VIIA are working on providing a connection to the UK, to Benelux and to Germany.

While VIIA has tempoararily abandoned its service from Le Boulou on the Spanish/French border to Calais in the face of increasing problems with migrants, a spokesman for the operator said that VIIA was working on several options to provide a link to a suitable port for UK traffic. Some volume could be carried on the new Paris train as a short-term solution, she said.

Ekol business development manager, Alaa Jennane, said that, as well as Turkey, the new service could provide a link from Iran and North Africa, as well as from central European countries such as Hungary or Romania.



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