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BF plans rail link to Spain

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1 hour 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.

Is this why road works on motorways go on for years rather than months or weeks is it to try to justify the cost

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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

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

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 checkin

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I think it's just that it is terribly easy to spend other peoples money. A council down here has just put up a street sign out in the middle nowhere because someone on a Parish Council found out that it had a charming name from some old source. Nobody else knew this of course, it appears on no maps used by the emergency services etc. They give the name we all know it by. (That sign was removed incidentally) But it is an identical name to a lane well known across the district and on all maps in a village 8 miles away. You can guess what will happen the first time someone looks at the sign and rings 999! Probably cost around one poor blighters council tax.

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On 06/08/2020 at 13:49, 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.



The boxes say:

“Development of 3 road bridges

Finance by AFHF €2m”


“Work on the height clearance of 4 tunnels between Poitiers and Bordeaux:

1) Minor works permitting reduced speed from 2024

Finance by? Total?

2) Rebuilding works bringing up to full height clearancefor 2028

Finance by AFITI? Total?”


“Urgent work between Niort and Saintes to maintain the provision of service in 2021

Finance CPER €6m”


“ (Red) Main route

(Blue) Main route necessary for a robust and profitable service but not giving adequate height clearance at present

(dotted) Alternative non-electrified route proposed by SNCF Network while waiting for the height clearance work”

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The French campaigning group Carfree is not impressed!

Source http://carfree.fr/index.php/2020/08/04/paroles-paroles/

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With Jean Castex, the new Prime Minister, and Barbara Pompili, new Minister of the Environment, we will see what we will see in terms of rail freight. Rail freight has been abandoned for years and in particular since Macron who even stopped the Perpignan-Rungis scoop train? All that is over, now we will save the climate by massively developing rail freight based on ... promises.

At the moment, in the absence of billions, it is in fact raining promises on rail freight: "we are going to create new rail motorways between Sète and Calais or Cherbourg and Bayonne," "we are going to abolish rail tolls," "we will reopen the Perpignan-Rungis primeurs train… ”

Lyrics ... Lyrics ... is no longer a song by Dalida and Alain Delon, but by Barbara Pompili and Jean Castex!

The problem is that in the area of rail freight, political promises have been piling up since at least the Grenelle de l'Environnement in 2007 and that rail traffic is falling as fast as the promises are increasing. The breakage of rail freight to the benefit of all trucks since the 2000s is a structural factor that is now well known and documented.

So of course, some will say that we must "give the Jean Castex a chance", but a political expert like Jacques Chirac said in his time that promises only bind those who believe them ... It is all the more so It is true that in this frenzy of new railway promises, the new Prime Minister is even talking about seeing the (future!) Bayonne-Cherbourg, Sète-Calais and Perpignan-Rungis lines extended… from Antwerp to Barcelona! How about a rail freight line from Brest to Vladivostok?

He is too strong, not only does he promise things that he will have little chance of keeping on French territory, but he will even begin to lecture the Belgians and the Spaniards ...

And we have to take his word for it because you can imagine that Jean Castex was particularly "hurt by the Perpignan-Rungis affair, the primeurs train ..." It's weird, but we don't remember having him heard particularly at the time to denounce this Macronian political choice… just like Barbara Pompili, the new Minister of the Environment, who never had anything to say about the abolition of the Perpignan-Rungis primeurs train.

But it is promised, now we will do rail freight like never before, except that we will have no precise information in terms of investment plan or deadlines. It's weird, when it comes to giving billions, not promises, to Renault or Air France, we know the amounts and the deadlines, and when it comes to saving the railway soldier, that's all. More fuzzy.

By deliberately promoting road transport with diesel subsidies, political power as a whole has made the historic choice of all-road. All Jean Castex he is, the new prime minister is accountable for the recent abolition of the Perpignan-Rungis primeurs train or the abandonment of night trains.And let's not forget that he is the prime minister of a certain Macron who gave his name, not to a railway line, but to a particularly disastrous social and environmental coach system ...



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This is now EU legislation... it's law.

A component of the 2019/1242 emission standards ruling which came into play 14th August 2019. It wouldn't matter who was PM or President. Regardless of whether the appetite is there to use rail motorways or not the only way to reduce the CO2, of which HGV's account for 65-70%, is to get it off the roads together with incentives to invest in LEV & ZEV.

It's Brussels not France dictating this change. Hauliers will be fined €4250 per g CO2/tkm for non compliance which will increase to €6800 in 2030.

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Yes I agree - but putting the political toothpaste back in the tube is never easy. Especially when it involves giving access charge subsidies estimated to be worth Euros 90m over two years while backing that with absolutely no details of infrastructure costs. It will perhaps be a hard sell to the environmental lobby who clearly don't believe a word of it. Don't get me wrong I like the idea - though I'd be happier if the unit was an ISO box and not a piggy back trailer, and if I was a French taxpayer that the haulier was paying the rate from day one (concessions often end in tears) and there weren't so many question marks. It's just that I've spent fifty years seeing politician after politician give into the road haulage lobby and old habits seem to die hard.

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I tend to think that BF have sufficient experience of how French government and bureaucracy work, to be confident funding will be forthcoming and political support too. The fact that BF are involved and very public about it adds pressure. Agreed that so far only vague promises and ideas, but there is an inevitably about these developments, and governments sometimes just need willing partners.

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Recently drove through Le Boulou (south of Perpignan) where it seems the lorry via rail service to Paris is up and running again. There were fewer of the purpose built wagons in the sidings and the ones there look reconditioned and newly painted. 

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