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BF plans rail link to Spain


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Do you think this Cherbourg/Bayonne rail link is intended to eliminate some direct sea crossings between England and Spain? If so, we will have to transfer NORMANDIE and MONT ST MICHEL to Cherbourg / Portsmouth !!! ūüôā ūüėČ

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Interesting announcement from JM Rou√© yesterday ( as reported by¬†OuestFrance) Multimodal rail link¬†from Bayonne ‚Ästabout an hour's truck drive¬†North of the Spanish border ‚Äď 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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1 hour ago, kenw said:

that the rail authority will not charge operators fees for use of these routes in 2020-21.

There will be no charges imposed on the train operators to use the existing infrastructure in 2020 and they will pay only 50% fees in 2021. Ed. 

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I am very very nasty about "rail motorway" projects in France. It's been a long time since France abandoned the Rail Freight and it is not the first recovery plan that falls into the water. All the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. There is no longer a yard station worthy of the 21st century. If you want your goods to be blocked by social movements, choose the train (unfortunately). 

When you see the market share of rail freight from the major French ports, compared to Germany, Nederland or Belgium !

I am afraid that these fine intentions are just political announcements, without further action, not to mention that the Cherbourg/Bayonne link by train is not obvious and requires heavy work to avoid re-locking at the station, especially in Tours. The Caen/Le Mans/Tours rail link is in a desperate and not even electrified state.

Edited by LHCity
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6 minutes ago, BigDW1946 said:

With regard to infrastructure required (e.g. wagons etc.) , for Perpignan-Rugis route the wagons and loading facilities already exist at Le Boulou, south of Perpignan, from a previous venture.

Yes, the line ran up until the end of 2019 (but was in progressive decline for several months) so all the infrastructure is still in place waiting to be reused. Ed.

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Out of interest there was lots of work going on in Cherbourg last week on the old railway line that runs from the station (Avenue de Paris) down towards the port. People in orange bolier suits checking signalling, the numerous level crossings that run through the town, the line that hasn’t been used in anger since Toyota pulled their new car Import operation back in the late 90’s.

Having said that I remember long trains loaded with artic trailers crawling through the town (and causing gridlock for 15 minutes) back then so it’s not a new idea.

Chris

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Well I suppose it just shows once again that its terribly easy to spend other peoples' money. There seems no hint if any investigation as why the 'primeurs' service didn't work. I don't know anything about the nature of the French haulage business but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I was told it was the old story in logistics that there is always someone who'll do it cheaper plus the difficulties of making a cargo fit a system rather than the other way round. As far as the shipper is concerned in the end it will come down to the same calculation - how much is this costing me per ton mile? In this case how much after access is free and I have to start paying. 

Don't get me wrong I am and have always been a big supporter of rail and especially rail freight. I purr with pleasure when the thousand or so tons of aggregate pass behind here on their way to the Chichester terminal most mornings.  But even I have had to accept that unless you regulate things through legislation it is usually a losing  battle between a restricted access expensive and maintenance hungry inflexible system and the open access roads. 

Edited by Millsy
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On 31/07/2020 at 07:47, Cabin-boy said:

Yes, the line ran up until the end of 2019 (but was in progressive decline for several months) so all the infrastructure is still in place waiting to be reused. Ed.

I'm told by transport/logistics folk that the wagons used by the primeurs service need "much work before reintroduction to a new service" [I think that's their transliteration and summary for my benefit] although without any detail. In railway technical circles there has apparently been some discussion of whether they can be overhauled / rebuilt or should be replaced.

If it's "only" the reefer¬†systems that are obsolete then that could be straightforward ‚Äď but if the bogies and/or suspensions are life-expired that would be a different story on technical, timescale and financial grounds.¬†

I don't know what the yard is like at Perpignan, but ‚Äď returning to the original thread ‚Äď Bayonne will definitely need civils work ‚Äď including roadways, marshalling areas and¬†ramps ‚Ästto handle piggyback traffic. Plus some updating of trackwork, control and signalling will probably be needed.

Given SNCF's record with infra / civils, while the actual work on the ground could / should be completed in months, I think it would need continuing, hefty pressure from PM Jean Castex to deliver a complete project in less than three years or even longer.

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With so many changes from lorry to train to ferry just to get to Poole - and then onward from there, this strikes me as a tortuous plan by B/F.  A quick google search will reveal the direct freight train service already up and running by the DB Cargo UK company with their Spanish  partner Transfesa Logistics -  which carries goods directly from Valencia in Spain via the channel tunnel to Barking in London - with some containers for fresh produce refrigerated all the way.

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Yes that's exactly the point. Once you have put the box of the train it seems perverse to handle it twice again when it could stay put, particularly as you then have to manage the empty trailers. That's why Freightliner was set up the way it was with fixed formation trains. BR managers knew that given half a chance the depot staff would spend hours cutting wagons out to make a train the right length for the load, every wayside siding would end up with a forlorn container wagon that was forgotten about (they didn't know where most of there freight wagons were at any point at the time anyway)  and the most cost efficient thing overall was to take the wagon all the way and back even if it was empty. It also meant your sales team could sell it for a return job right up to the point it was unloaded. 

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1 hour ago, Millsy said:

Yes that's exactly the point. Once you have put the box of the train it seems perverse to handle it twice again when it could stay put, particularly as you then have to manage the empty trailers. That's why Freightliner was set up the way it was with fixed formation trains. BR managers knew that given half a chance the depot staff would spend hours cutting wagons out to make a train the right length for the load, every wayside siding would end up with a forlorn container wagon that was forgotten about (they didn't know where most of there freight wagons were at any point at the time anyway)  and the most cost efficient thing overall was to take the wagon all the way and back even if it was empty. It also meant your sales team could sell it for a return job right up to the point it was unloaded. 

Bring back the train ferry. All is forgiven. True confession time, I thought it was magical: meeting up on Victoria's "international side" before departing at 22:00, waking briefly for the shudder and clank as we rolled on board, then waking properly to see the French countryside passing by. 

What's the nearest rail connection to any BF ports in the UK? Surely the PM's building budget could fund the rail spur ‚Äď and maybe someone can find either an existing train ferry in need of some TLC, or convert an unloved ro-ro?¬†ūüėá

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For the Sete link it's interesting to see that Balearia have announced a new Africa - Sete ferry route.

It's not really been talked about but Brittany Ferries will also control a rail motorway link into this port too in a similar partnership with SNCF and again will provide a direct link to Cherbourg.

A quarter of all BF freight from Spain is already unaccompanied so too is 20% of the freight BF carry across the channel.

Below is the planned rail route from Mouguerre, the descriptions are in French so i'm hoping our resident language expert, @Cabin-boy or @colin can do the honours for us lesser mortals?

Trains are planned to arrive in Cherbourg at 0914 hrs with the return planned for 1846 hrs.

Another bit of news, PM Jean Castex has announced that freight rail access costs will be waived for the rest of 2020 and will be halved for 2021.

30293_frcherbourgbayonnerailmotorwaymap_994159.thumb.jpg.8dd003bcae0d7d632ecaa4af04c6b613.jpg

 

Edited by jonno
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2 hours ago, kenw said:

What's the nearest rail connection to any BF ports in the UK? Surely the PM's building budget could fund the rail spur ‚Äď and maybe someone can find either an existing train ferry in need of some TLC, or convert an unloved ro-ro?

Well Poole has a very short distance from rail to ferry, but would need some work to make it workable. Here's an aerial shot, courtesy of Apple Maps. The railway is the brown bit just above New Harbour Road West, and goes over the road just north of the roundabout, heading east for a short distance.

Poole Port.png

Edited by Trun
correct road name
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49 minutes ago, Trun said:

Well Poole has a very short distance from rail to ferry, but would need some work to make it workable. Here's an aerial shot, courtesy of Apple Maps. The railway is the brown bit just above New Harbour Road West, and goes over the road just north of the roundabout, heading east for a short distance.

Poole Port.png

Is that still active? When you drive over those lines they disused, rusty and full of weeds? Bit like (sadly) the Morlaix-Roscoff rail now...

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Si it seems then that 8m Euros will need to be spent initially and a non electrified section used pending extensive engineering works on four tunnels to allow the main planned through route to be used by 2028 - this work not priced. 

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40 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

Is that still active? When you drive over those lines they disused, rusty and full of weeds? Bit like (sadly) the Morlaix-Roscoff rail now...

It's not still active but the track is still there to the main line at Hamworthy. It would need some work but the track has been safeguarded to the extent that a pedestrian bridge has been built over the track in the last few years rather than a section of fence removed to allow residents access to the park and harbour at Hamworthy.

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3 road bridges to modify at 2 million and as Millsy says 6 million for work to temporary route for 2021. Cost and source of finance unknown for the 4 tunnels, some work for slow speed use by 2024 then 2028 for proper job

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It has the look of some of the bodgit and scarper schemes undertaken by BR which extracted every bang out of every buck when more bucks were needed to do the job properly. I think for me- and I am not French so don't follow the French media - what is striking is the lack of any clear indication that the industry would actually use this.  Maybe the cheap, relatively, first stage is to see what interest there is before serious money is spent. Any talk of developing a railhead for this traffic at Poole is pointless if, as it seems, the main traffic envisaged is piggy backed artic trailers,  these would not pass the loading gauge. (That clearly applies to the tunnel work needed in the French scheme.)  It's taken years for the Soton Bristol line to be cleared for the largest containers, I don't think they'd go back now and do it again.  

Edited by Millsy
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1 hour ago, colin said:

3 road bridges to modify at 2 million and as Millsy says 6 million for work to temporary route for 2021. Cost and source of finance unknown for the 4 tunnels, some work for slow speed use by 2024 then 2028 for proper job

The ‚ā¨6m isn't for a temporary route, it's to upgrade the regional line between Saintes & Niort permanently. It won't be any slower and will offer improved speeds for the regional passenger services. This was a commitment which the winning bidder (BF) had to agree to.¬†The height restriction through the tunnels will be looked at after 2024.

They're already expecting around an initial 25000 units a year, a 10% increase in French rail freight,¬†especially after the ‚ā¨30m is spent on the rolling stock and the Central Europ√©en de Fret at Mouguerre.

@Millsy I'd argue that the slightly north of ‚ā¨40m overall being spent is serious money and the interest is a given, as it will be with the other lines, due to the EU's enforceable¬†legislation to remove the trailers¬†from the roads to reduce CO2. Brussels¬†estimate that every trailer which is loaded onto the the rail motorway will reduce CO2 emissions¬†by a tonne. Poole is one of three ports which form¬†the Solent W10/12 upgrade.

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I'll still believe any investment over here when I see it.  The blue box on the plan has question marks in it and tunnel conversion work is so expensive. Mind you no one could be as profligate as Network Rail so maybe  I've got jaundiced over the past few years.

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6 hours ago, jonno said:

For the Sete link it's interesting to see that Balearia have announced a new Africa - Sete ferry route.

It's not really been talked about but Brittany Ferries will also control a rail motorway link into this port too in a similar partnership with SNCF and again will provide a direct link to Cherbourg.

A quarter of all BF freight from Spain is already unaccompanied so too is 20% of the freight BF carry across the channel.

Below is the planned rail route from Mouguerre, the descriptions are in French so i'm hoping our resident language expert, @Cabin-boy or @colin can do the honours for us lesser mortals?

Trains are planned to arrive in Cherbourg at 0914 hrs with the return planned for 1846 hrs.

Another bit of news, PM Jean Castex has announced that freight rail access costs will be waived for the rest of 2020 and will be halved for 2021.

30293_frcherbourgbayonnerailmotorwaymap_994159.thumb.jpg.8dd003bcae0d7d632ecaa4af04c6b613.jpg

 

Sorry, we've moved from the real Monaco to near Granville, known by locals as the 'Monaco of the North', for the second part of our holidays and the internet is almost non-existent up here so I'll let Colin answer that particular translation question. Ed. 

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BFEers who doubt my comments about Network Rail spending may be interested to know that the work above planned to cost Euros 6m (£5.4m) would just about build 45% of a footbridge in Lincoln  OK this is a bit fancy but their going rate for a typical ramped footbridge is £3.5m. Either they are right about the real costs of major work or the French PM is.

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58 minutes ago, Millsy said:

BFEers who doubt my comments about Network Rail spending may be interested to know that the work above planned to cost Euros 6m (£5.4m) would just about build 45% of a footbridge in Lincoln  OK this is a bit fancy but their going rate for a typical ramped footbridge is £3.5m. Either they are right about the real costs of major work or the French PM is.

I do get your meaning and where you're coming from Millsy but I'd end up on my soapbox.

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