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  1. Interesting announcement from JM Roué yesterday ( as reported by OuestFrance) Multimodal rail link from Bayonne – about an hour's truck drive North of the Spanish border – to Cherbourg Questions, just for a start: how does this affect the Santander / Bilbao ferry route? why is the Southern terminus at Bayonne rather than Irun / Hendaye on the border, which already have major rail infrastructure. (Back in the day that's where the Talgo sleeper wheelsets were changed to account for the different loading gauge - but I'm showing my age!) does it signal a new multimodal route to Ireland via Cherbourg? Interesting.
  2. [Apologies, I meant to post this earlier in the week but was diverted by medical appointments which meant I couldn't go to see for myself] Last year's widening of the main entrance lock at Ouistreham has already paid off. This week the port welcomed King Rice, a self-unloader of 169.37m x 27.2m, which picked up 25,000 tonnes of wheat from the canalside grain terminal. That must have been a very tight squeeze, because the enlarged lock takes vessels with a maximum width of just 27.4m (compared with 24m previously). https://actu.fr/normandie/ouistreham_14488/record-port-caen-ouistreham-king-rice-plus-large-navire-jamais-accueilli_30959193.html
  3. The Normandy Ports have just issued their 2019 traffic figures. The number of passengers increased by 1.28% between Normandy and Ireland and the United Kingdom, i.e. more than 1.9 million passengers. In detail, passenger traffic exploded by 32.6% on the routes with Ireland, which the port authority attributes to the arrival of WB Yeats and Irish Ferries' decision to concenrate on Cherbourg. In contrast UK traffic was "subject to the uncertainties of Brexit and the depressed market across the Channel". The Caen-Ouistreham link with Portsmouth was down -0.93%, ahead of Dieppe (-2.11%) and Cherbourg (-8.17%). Haven't [yet] tracked down the original data; I suspect it is buried on the port authority website, so if anyone finds it, please post. Meanwhile here's the local "paper" version. https://actu.fr/societe/ports-normandie-explosion-nombre-passagers-venus-dirlande-repli-le-royaume-uni_30854165.html
  4. Thanks, Jonno Still a bit confused. Aren't both the Fyffe and Maersk ships self-unloaders? I'm starting to think that the issue is one of handling capacity shoreside. Ken
  5. What are the size issues? Length on the berth, draught or freight capacity? Or something else entirely. As per TonyMWeaver's comment, an increase from 2550TEU to 3000TEU obviously means "bigger" ships – but are they too large for Albert Johnson Quay?
  6. Riot police (CRS) moved in just before 08h local time and used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The port is "now working with some delays". Such rapid involvement of the CRS – normally called in by the Prefecture – underlines the importance of the ferry link to the Calvados economy.
  7. Ouistreham port blockaded Tuesday morning 14 Jan The latest stage in the protests against pension reform. Pax and vehicles being held on board, according to the local news. I'll try to keep an eye out for updates, and I'm sure colleagues here will do the same https://actu.fr/normandie/ouistreham_14488/retraites-200-manifestants-bloquent-poids-lourds-ferry-ouistreham_30743856.html
  8. Anyone with thoughts on the idea of a mini break Cherbourg to Dublin? Either straight turnround and return or with a couple of nights stopover in Dublin? Probably in May. I've had mixed reports from folk here in Normandie about Irish Ferries so would welcome some sensible input. TIA Ken
  9. Thanks for a great report. Just what those of us currently landlocked need to cheer us up. Hope your health continues to improve in the Near Year.
  10. Latest (Friday pm) from the Met Office for Biscay and Fitzroy Southwesterly gale force 8 increasing violent storm force 11 later Haven't seen anything later
  11. You must be choke-ing, mon petit choux.
  12. Would you allow Keolis daft names in Scrabble? Mrs W vetoed Twisto a long time ago, but I might try Irrigo if feeling brave.
  13. Edeis is an interesting business, or should I say collection of businesses. AIUI they began life as an infrastructure business, and from there to design and build, and thence design-build-operate. That gave them the knowledge base to move into what call operate-maintain-develop and improve. (A bit like Caen's tram and bus operation – although in this case the starting point was the existing Keolis operation, complete with strange Twisto branding.) Hard info from the Mallouines is still a bit thin on the ground, but I suspect that the Edeis contract will follow this three-part model: Run the existing port operations Beef-up the maintenance Develop and manage enhancements [although possibly in a role more akin to client than "main contractor" – if only for the sake of transparency] HTH Ken
  14. Thanks, Colin I'd heard that the Chambre had lost the port concession, so we will have to wait and see what changes if any are brought in by Edeis, about whom, so far I'm afraid I'm a total knownowt. Other than a passing comment from someone in the tourist trade saying they were "expecting improvements" in facilities next year. I will do a bit of digging.
  15. Thanks for all the additional info – I should have consulted the port website at the start. AIUI from my yachtie chums, the work at St Malo was described as "detailed investigations" required for "future installations intended to serve fishing, pleasure and passenger vessels including fuel supply and loading." I think that's a third-party trans[liter]ation of some kind of official notice - judging by the formatting the source was a copy and paste from an email. The yacht folk had planned to have a few days based in St Malo but the noise of the work was intrusive. So they moved to Granville. [It was a training exercise, no guests on board, so they were free to go as they pleased.]
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