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Cork-Santander to become Rosslare-Bilbao

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

It wouldn’t make sense for BF to run from two different Irish ports (sailings are not frequent enough), so if Chris is right then that would surely signal the beginning of the end of BF’s association with Cork.  I think that would be a shame, if that happened.

I don't agree Gareth, yes it doesn't appear to make sense to run from 2 Irish ports but in the same vein it doesn't make sense running to 2 Spanish ports either. BF, Irish Ferries and Stena are all very wary of what each are up to and the last thing BF should do is leave Cork. History shows that as a company they rarely take risks and move forward slowly but surely, except when an exceptional opportunity arises like Ouistreham or Bilbao then they'll pounce. I can't see having a presence in Cork and Rosslare being the slightest problem for them; with Le Havre eligible for EU funding I think they should jump at the opportunity, thus limiting the opposition's room for manoeuvre.

Chris

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It’s just unnecessary staffing isn’t it?  I tend to agree about two Spanish ports, and nearly mentioned them in my post.  But the level of traffic is not quite comparable.  BF operates 11 departures per week from Spain.  4 from Cork.

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35 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

That makes a route from Cherbourg to Rosslare using either CF or Normandie an interesting idea. The railway spur from Cherbourg's station to the port is still viable, could be brought back into service and may well be tested from time to time. Ed. 

Yes, indeed. the very ccasional 'test' train does still run.

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I would imagine they could use the same staff Gareth, base them mainly in Rosslare and then bus them to Cork for the saturday arrival/departure of Pont Aven. Of course until we get new schedules then this is all hypothetical but unless someone can come up with a better argument it makes sense to me.

I've certainly heard well founded rumours from reliable sources that they have Rosslare in their sights, only time will tell how much they intend to use it. I believe investment in port facilities is at an advanced stage, the motorway/dual carriageway from Dublin (part of the Good Friday agreement) and New Ross bypass are almost complete so road access has never been better, and the local community are desperate for an influx of traffic creating much needed business opportunities.

Chris   

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31 minutes ago, rogerpatenall said:

Yes, indeed. the very ccasional 'test' train does still run.

Given that the Irish gauge is wider than that in France, and which therefore precludes installing rails on the freight deck of an existing ferry, I can only imagine they plan to transport entire tractor-trailer combinations up from Spain on open wagons and then drive them off the train and onto to ship in Cherbourg. Meanwhile the drivers will either be accommodated in a separate carriage or dock workers will load the vehicles directly onto the ferry to be collected by other drivers in Ireland or England.  Ed. 

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The idea is for trailers only Ed - have a look at this youtube clip which you'll understand but as it's in French the rest will struggle. But it's all pretty self explantory, funnily enough I've just been talking to the director of Transports Mesguen who have a huge depot just beyond the Cherbourg terminal. He was saying the railway track needs maintenance but it's generally solid and in good condition, it won't cost a fortune but if it happens it won't be until next year at the earliest.

Chris

 

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Thanks Chris. That looks efficient and they say it cuts CO2 emissions by 80% so they'll probably get EU funding for any infrastructure work required in Cherbourg. Ed. 

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The motorway and New Ross bridge are now open and as planned have really transformed road access towards Rosslare from the west, north and south..

The Dublin suburbs are now just 90 minutes away from the Co Wexford port which now can be a quicker and less stressful drive than to attempt to reach the cities own facilities. The tunnel is a nightmare and road quality in many places is poor. It's surprising how many Irish residents are turned off by Dublin port and are welcoming with open arms the road improvements further south. They are hoping to see and willing to support further services and expansion at Rosslare especially as there is planned rail service improvements too... The port is co owned by Irish Rail and Stena.

Looking at Rosslare it's easy to see why, the port is man made rather than reliant solely on the natural topography determining it's footprint and harbour depth. There is an established large hardstanding which is in the process of being expanded and a dedicated 4 acre 13 bay customs area is also being constructed in order to remove any congestion. They are also the only port to have an 'at sea' customs system which informs drivers where to go after disembarking. This is app based and gives instruction once vehicle and load details are inputted.

It has four Linkspan berths two of which are already capable of accommodating a standard E-Flexer with a confirmed extension planned to serve the 240m variant and they have facilities to serve Neptune's car carriers.

Port Manager Glenn Carr maintains that the port only runs at 38% capacity and could easily double harbour movements instantly and Kevin Nolan, owner of Nolan Transport, see's Rosslare as their 1st choice.

By Contrast Cork are very much focused on container shipping and unaccompanied freight. If you speak to them regarding their ongoing port plan, ferries don't enter the conversation.

I imagine that Roscoff services will continue to sail into Cork with the Spanish sailing moving to Rosslare from 2023 using Santona. I can also see Stena serving Cherbourg with their larger 240m E Flexer.

As for Cherbourg, the proposed Bayonne rail link is for multi modal transport rather than the traditional and more common accompanied freight seen on the channel ferries. This new link is part of the multi billion euro Northern Spain improvements to the ports, logistics & road/rail infrastructure discussed in the Gijon thread. 

 

 

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It's not rocket science, is it?  There are already freight trains from China to 15 European cities - including to London - with break of railway gauge being carried out along the way.  The trains carry containers without the road trailer so I am surprised at the film showing it being done  with the trailer hoisted on as well. 

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3 minutes ago, wortley said:

The trains carry containers without the road trailer so I am surprised at the film showing it being done  with the trailer hoisted on as well. 

It presumably allows the trailer-container combination to be carried on a much wider range of vessels than just containers only. Ed. 

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Are we focusing too much on the Irish destination (direct from Cherbourg), when the press release talks of linking Spain to UK (and Ireland). We have not touched on how they will carry this increased freight to UK. Barfleur alone? Cotentin return as mooted? Dedicated freighter?

The land bridge from UK to Ireland is well used, though the post Brexit formalities, specially if everything goes badly with the FTA end 2020, may add attractiveness to avoiding UK territory.

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7 minutes ago, colin said:

Are we focusing too much on the Irish destination (direct from Cherbourg), when the press release talks of linking Spain to UK (and Ireland). We have not touched on how they will carry this increased freight to UK. Barfleur alone? Cotentin return as mooted? Dedicated freighter?

I was thinking the same Colin, could this be an end to Poole Bilbao and increased Poole Cherbourg.

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

I was thinking the same Colin, could this be an end to Poole Bilbao and increased Poole Cherbourg.

Another point, the Landbridge from Ireland through the UK to Cherbourg even with a hard Brexit would still have been quicker than the Rosslare-Cherbourg sailing... again I'm quoting Glenn Carr, port manager at Rosslare.

Stena Horizon's main focus is livestock.

Accompanied freight from Spain will increase too which is why the E-flexers have been ordered. Poole- Bilbao maybe ideal for a further conventional ferry route using a Visentini with their limited pax capacity.

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On 25/01/2020 at 11:37, Gareth said:

It wouldn’t make sense for BF to run from two different Irish ports (sailings are not frequent enough), so if Chris is right then that would surely signal the beginning of the end of BF’s association with Cork.  I think that would be a shame, if that happened.

From what I am hearing (and, unfortunately on this I'm not going to cite a source), a move of 'some' services to Rosslare may well be on the cards. 

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Thanks Jim.  Well, it sounds like at the very least, the freight-orientated Santander service must be about to relocate.  If the Roscoff service does as well then this must be a can’t-refuse response to the opportunity created by IF pulling out.

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10 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

It would mean that BF and IF are back working alongside each other at the same port again:)

Except that IF pulled out of Rosslare (as far as France sailings are concerned) last year.....

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16 minutes ago, David Williams said:

If BF move to Rosslare, does it open up any other ships to use on the route ?

Yes.  Notably CF and the Flexers.  My money is on all three Flexers going to Portsmouth and CF taking over Ireland to Spain.

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1 minute ago, Gareth said:

Yes.  Notably CF and the Flexers.  My money is on all three Flexers going to Portsmouth and CF taking over Cork to Spain.

That makes total sense. And presumably leave Cork-Roscoff untouched?

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18 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Yes.  Notably CF and the Flexers.  My money is on all three Flexers going to Portsmouth and CF taking over Ireland to Spain.

With of course CF doing one round trip to Cherbourg each week too to pick up that rail freight we discussed over the weekend. Ed. 

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At the moment Stena Superfast X is providing cover for Stena Horizon  on the Rosslare Cherbourg route , is Superfast X similar to CF . 

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2 minutes ago, Jim said:

As shared by @tarbyonline in the Ferries! Group, the above suggests some kind of announcement is imminent

Beat me to it!  Was just reading through here to see if it has already been shared.

Thanks (p.s. all welcome on the group)

Edited by tarbyonline

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