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BF plans rail link to Spain


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2 hours ago, wortley said:

I just can't see fruit and veg being trucked across the Spanish plateau from the Costa del Polythene around Almeria to Hendaye. then a rail freight journey to Cherbourg, then a ferry to Poole , and then another truck to the big depot at Ashford . Cherbourg may have its dreams of revival but the Channel tunnel will win.

The sheer volume of imports dictate that the channel ports. tunnel & large container ports at Felixstowe & Tlibury get their fair share.

Current U.K. fruit & veg imports are nearly 7 million tonnes, 26% of U.K. food imports, 

Nearly 2 million tonnes of fresh & processed meat and 1.5 million tonnes of dairy/eggs.

... and that's just from the E.U. There's another combined 4.5 million tonnes from further afield. Africa for example send us a lot of tomatoes, fresh beans & oranges.

Millions of tonnes.

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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  Qu

Just reading again some posts and @LHCity, by saying this, you are absolutely muting the good example of La Rochelle/La Pallice Port , which is using extensively freight trains to ship the cargo handl

Tizer for now, apparently  A.G Barr's girders for the Iron Bru weren't EU spec. A dedicated tanker facility using converted LNG ships is being looked at, the rumour is Rosyth will be used and a conver

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23 hours ago, Trun said:

20+ years ago a test container train was run from Poole. Before it could do so, the footbridge next to the crossing in the High Street had to be altered to ensure safe passage. Since then a new footbridge has been installed over the Hamworthy spur, near the ferry terminal, despite the track being currently unused. I would hope they took container trains into account before constructing it.

Isn't there talk of moving the mainline station in Poole? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It appears that BF have officially announced this today, according to LeFigaro

 

Brittany Ferries wants to open a Cherbourg-Bayonne piggyback line

By Le Figaro with AFP - Posted 4 hours ago

The French shipping company Brittany Ferries announced on Wednesday the launch in April 2021 of a piggyback line between the port of Cherbourg (Manche) and Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), allowing the transport by rail of heavy goods vehicle trailers to the Spanish border.

The company intends to run a train a day in each direction between multimodal terminals to be developed in Cherbourg on the one hand - in connection with ferries for England and Ireland - and in Mouguerre, near Bayonne, d 'somewhere else. "After the ramp-up period, around 20,000 trailers will be able to be transported each year from / to the port of Cherbourg, the equivalent of the England volume currently treated in Cherbourg," the Breton company said in a press release.

"Brittany Ferries after going to sea will take the rail!", Declared its president Jean-Marc Roué. “Brexit is consumed, the need to strengthen north-south trade is obvious. Connecting Spain to the United Kingdom and (to) the island of Ireland by combining road, rail and maritime transport is part of the energy transition and responsible for our business, "he said, cited in the press release. Ports of Normandy (the public manager of the ports of Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Dieppe) must develop the Cherbourg terminal at a cost of 7 million euros, financed by the Normandy region, the Manche department, the community of agglomeration of Cotentin and Europe.

"By widening the hinterland of the port of Cherbourg, this project aims at the same time to continue the development of this port with rare nautical qualities, without compromising cross-Channel traffic on Dieppe and Ouistreham," noted Hervé Morin, the president of l port and the Normandy region. The investment for Brittany Ferry is "more than 30 million euros" for the acquisition of wagons from the Alsatian company Lohr and the construction of the intermodal terminal in Mouguerre, according to the press release.

 

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/brittany-ferries-veut-ouvrir-une-ligne-de-ferroutage-cherbourg-bayonne-20200212

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So they are using the Lohr piggyback system. Interesting. https://www.railwaygazette.com/nc/news/single-view/view/modalohr-piggyback-wagons-approved-for-channel-tunnel.html

Candidly I can never see what this really gains anybody as the load still has to be handled at both ends - usually by crane - and you still have to carry the dead weight of the trailer, say an average of 6 tons. Plus you have a fleet of trailers effectively costing money rather than  earning it. Apparently the freight industry has enough trouble managing empty ISO boxes - why they'd add managing empty artic trailers, say at £25k each to buy,  to that I simply can't imagine. It might make more sense for block trains of integrated loads like tankers I suppose. But hey I'm not BF so what do I know? 

Edited by Millsy
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1 hour ago, Millsy said:

But hey I'm not BF so what do I know? 

I imagine that the purpose is to protect BF business, unaccompanied freight will grow and trailers are the only option that BF can offer. Large haulage companies can manage the logistics of managing the trailer movement. The only other option for unaccompanied freight is containers and BF are not in that market. Logically short sea containers with simple transfer to train and lorry will be the future for non time critical freight and that will cause BF major problems in the future.

Edited by David Williams
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1 hour ago, Millsy said:

But hey I'm not BF so what do I know? 

I suppose at €30m it's cheaper than another ferry plus it also gives BF the opportunity to sell space to both IF and Stena?

With the far larger WBY and the rumour that Stena want to replace Horizon with a larger vessel too ( maybe @tarbyonlinehas more info?) it would give them access to the Spanish corridors without the need of further tonnage. Rosslare is also capable of handling unaccompanied freight and the pending return of Cotentin gives BF greater freight lane metres too.

I thought shunters drove the trailers onto the wagons?

https://www.zukunft-mobilitaet.net/1866/analyse/modalohr-cargospeed-flexiwaggon-cargobeamer-machbarkeit/

 

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In terms of the public facing BF - will anything change? For example, if they do what they are proposing, do you think we will we see any "BF Rail Freight" branding? Wagons? Terminal infrastructure? Or would it be a 'quiet' operation?

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5 hours ago, jonno said:

I thought shunters drove the trailers onto the wagons?

 

 

You're right, with this system. I suppose I just wonder why BF would want to get involved in what is really a fringe activity but the points you raise about competition are well made. 

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5 hours ago, hf_uk said:

In terms of the public facing BF - will anything change? For example, if they do what they are proposing, do you think we will we see any "BF Rail Freight" branding? Wagons? Terminal infrastructure? Or would it be a 'quiet' operation?

It's an interesting point. Consider Tor Line, which was the original branding for Baie du Seine, they're now incorporated into the all encompassing DFDS. A single brand offering the seamless transfer of freight by land or sea.

Brittany Ferries may well do the same, offering hauliers a single cost price to travel from Poole to Mouguerre. BFL - Britanny Ferries Logistics?

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This is the announcement from Shippax, it's a subscription service so the link is possibly inaccessible...  I hope the copyright at the bottom will suffice?

Brittany Ferries to launch intermodal rail service between Cherbourg and Bayonne

PORTIn April 2021, Brittany Ferries will start a daily ‘Atlantic corridor’ intermodal rail service connecting Cherbourg with Bayonne/Mougerre, close to the border between France and Spain.

Brittany Ferries will finance the construction of an intermodal terminal in Mougerre, east of Bayonne, together with a fleet of LOHR Railway System wagons, representing a total investment of EUR 30 million. The French ferry operator has partnered with Ports de Normandie – the owner and manager of the ports of Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Dieppe – who will be responsible to adapt the railway terminal in Cherbourg to intermodal operations with the EUR 7 million cost to be shared between the Normandie Region, the La Manche department, the 'Communauté d'agglomération du Cotentin' and the European Union which will contribute EUR 1.4 million (as part of the total EUR 7 million).

Up to 42 trailer slots will be available daily in either direction, a distance of almost 950km. On an annual basis, Brittany Ferries expects to take up to 20,000 trailers off the French roads. This is equivalent to the current trailer throughput of Brittany Ferries' Cherbourg-Poole service which, according to Brittany Ferries, will benefit from the company's tonnage renewal later this year. In addition to Brittany Ferries' own Cherbourg-Poole route, the intermodal rail service will connect with the ferry services from Cherbourg to and from Ireland. Brittany Ferries president Jean-Marc Roué said that its diversification into this intermodal rail service was part of its environmental strategy. It should also consolidate its position on the Spain-UK and Ireland corridors.

© Shippax / PHO

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Interesting that the Shippax sentence <<This is equivalent to the current trailer throughput of Brittany Ferries' Cherbourg-Poole service which, according to Brittany Ferries, will benefit from the company's tonnage renewal later this year.>> is not in the BF release - not sure why they spent the money on the Barfleur make over !

Edit - reading the BF release more carefully it does say <<

This rail project is part of a larger strategy that also includes the renewal of its fleet,
which Ouistreham and Cherbourg should benefit from 2020.>>
 
 
Edited by David Williams
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1 minute ago, David Williams said:

Interesting that the Shippax sentence <<This is equivalent to the current trailer throughput of Brittany Ferries' Cherbourg-Poole service which, according to Brittany Ferries, will benefit from the company's tonnage renewal later this year.>> is not in the BF release - not sure why they spent the money on the Barfleur make over !

The context has probably been lost in translation. Barfy isn't due for replacement until 2023. The port authority will benefit at Caen with Honfleur.

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3 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

But Cotentin could well be back to take some of the load at Cherbourg.  Ed. 

I thought that was 2023? 

The translation says "this rail project is part of a broader strategy that also includes the renewal of it's fleet. Ouistreham and Cherbourg are expected to benefit from as early as 2020."

I'd suggest talk of renewal is regarding the group as a whole rather than just individual crossings.

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  • 5 months later...

The French PM was today providing his support to the major rail-freight projects underway around France, of which the link to Cherbourg is one component. 

 

I assume there are contingency plans for when the port is blockaded by striking dockers and they do realise that trailers without attached tractor-cabs are not going to be able to switch to an alternative port very easily. 

Ed

 

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On 27/07/2020 at 20:19, Cabin-boy said:

For anyone interested, here are the details of the three routes being built.

https://www.bfmtv.com/economie/fret-jean-castex-annonce-la-creation-de-trois-autoroutes-ferroviaires_AV-202007270162.html

Ed

Thanks for that.

One surprising point in the PM's statement – which I think was made at the rail-served Bonneuil container port on the Marne – upstream from Paris is that the rail authority will not charge operators fees for use of these routes in 2020-21. Or am I mistranslating my blend of the spoken and written texts? [Which also wouldn't be too surprising.] 

Yet M Castex said that the govt was expecting proposals for the three projects by the end of the year. I presume he means "proposals" in the sense of requests for development and launch funding, since AIUI the project planning is already under way with BF and its partners / associates including SNCF.

And I heard a few weeks ago that developing the routes would take at least 18 months, not least because new rail wagons  may have to be specified, designed and built – route-specific mods of the existing LOHR design as used on the alpine and Calais trailer "piggyback" routes. The handling facilities at each end will also have to be built / modernised. Each of the three routes may need different rail vehicle types, depending on how the services will operate, just to add another layer of complexity. 

So the offer of free paths this/next year has me a bit confused.

 

Edited by kenw
Clarity re rail vehicle mods
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