Feature, Freight News, Rail, Sea

The VIIA Britanica rail motorway returns to service

[ February 7, 2017   //   ]

The VIIA Britanica rail motorway service resumed this week, starting with one daily return service.

Rail freight protection security measures in Calais have been increased. The implementation of these measures was carried out in collaboration with the Port of Boulogne-Calais and SNCF Réseau, and with consultation from the State.

The line operating between Bettembourg, Luxembourg, and Le Boulou was at 91% capacity on average in 2016, transporting 1.5 billion metric tonnes of freight. This is equal to 67 million truck kilometres shifted away from roads and onto rail.

Thierry Le Guilloux, VIIA Chairman: “We are happy that service is resuming, strengthening the rail motorway network. The State’s commitment to improving access to the port of Calais has been essential, and clearly shows how important this new innovative mode of transport is. Our clients say they are very interested in this service, which offers a direct link between Spain and the United Kingdom at 10-15% below the cost of road transport. Opening new rail links from Calais is the first step to building a multi-modal transport corridor between Southern and Northern Europe.”

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, Chairman & CEO of the Port of Boulogne-Calais: “I’m happy that VIIA’s determination and the considerable support we received from the authorities have allowed service to resume on the VIIA Britanica rail motorway out of the port of Calais. This innovative service is the answer to transporters’ economic, environmental, and logistics efficiency needs, and naturally, we all expect it to grow and grow. This line is a model for the kind of services we want to promote in Calais today. We hope to be even more ambitious in the future, with the Calais Port 2015 initiative.”

viia1viia2Photo credit: VIIA / M. Guilbert