CALAIS: April 05, 2016. VIIA Britanica, the rail/road subsidiary of SNCF Logistics, has begun a daily round trip rail service linking Calais with Le Boulou on the Spanish border carrying unaccompanied trailers across France and avoiding 1,200 kilometers of roads.
The company said this is the first multi-modal transport corridor linking the UK and the France/Spain border. The rail/motorway terminal in Calais combines rail, sea and road transport for unaccompanied semi-trailers between Spain and the UK or to northern France and Belgium.
Thierry Le Guilloux, president of VIIA said: "This new service will reinforce the rail motorway network, allowing us to offer our road haulier clients ever more efficiency and competitiveness. We are already working on new connections to link Calais to other European terminals soon."
VIIA has signed an agreement with P&O Ferries to develop similar semi-trailer traffic on its 58 Channel crossings per day. Semi-trailers that arrive by train at Calais can now remain unaccompanied for the P&O crossing to Dover.
The company currently operates rail/motorway lines between Aiton (Chambéry) and Orbassano (Turin), and Bettembourg (Luxembourg) and Le Boulou (Pyrénées Orientales).
VIIA said it expects 40,000 semi-trailers a year will shift from road to rail over the next five years to save 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum and avoid 250 million kilometres of trucking.
Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president and CEO of the Boulogne Calais Port added: "We are proud to be the first European port that has such innovative infrastructure. Beyond our commitment to make our port eco-responsible and to involve ourselves fully in promoting sustainable development, this facility will benefit the local community by creating new handling activities in the port, thereby creating new jobs."