Up to two daily return journeys
On 6 November 2018, French officials inaugurated a fourth rail motorway in the port city of Calais. Guests included Élisabeth Borne, French Transport Minister; Guillaume Pepy, SNCF Group Executive Board Chairman; Sylvie Charles, CEO of TFMM (SNCF Logistics’ rail and multimodal freight subsidiary); and Thierry Le Guilloux, Chairman of our subsidiary VIIA.
The wagons operating on this 1,150-km rail infrastructure will carry trailers exclusively, delivering around 40 vehicles in 18 hours.
Initially VIIA will run three return journeys a week between the French port and the Piedmont capital, but ultimately the line should offer two return journeys a day. It also connects to the UK via ferry.
semi-trailers par train
31,000 lorries transferred from road to rail
Video : Lancement de l'autoroute ferroviaire Calais-Turin Orbassano
A win for the planet
The Calais-Turin rail motorway offers undeniable benefits for the environment: each truck carried by rail prevents 1.2 metric tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, saving 37,200 tons of CO2 annually.
And transferring a portion of road traffic to rail serves France’s policy of reducing transport-related greenhouse gas emissions, adopted in 2009 under the country’s Grenelle Act.
VIIA’s rail motorway services allow road hauliers to load their freight directly onto wagons designed to carry any semi-trailer up to 30 metric tons. And because the vehicles simply roll onto the wagons, there’s no need for costly specialized equipment.
Key benefits of the rail motorway system include avoiding natural obstacles and reducing truck traffic on saturated roads.
In 2017, VIIA carried a total of 106,747 semi-trailers, swap bodies and containers, saving 75,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
+37,200 metric tons of CO² saved annually
Three lines already in service
VIIA already operates three additional rail motorways in France:
- Aiton (Chambéry) – Orbassano (Turin)
- Le Boulou (Perpignan) – Bettembourg (in Luxembourg)
- Calais – Perpignan