new rail motorwayCALAIS: November 07, 2018. European governments are hoping a new rail connection will remove 31,000 trucks annually from the continent's roads and onto the track.

The newly opened line links the Port of Calais in northern France with Orbassano in the suburbs of Turin (Italy).

The line is operated from existing terminals at the Port of Calais and Orbassano, making use of rail companies Fret SNCF on the French side and Mercitalia (the Italian state rail company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane), on the Italian side. It will connect to ferry services at Calais and the United Kingdom, allowing semi-trailers to be transported unaccompanied across France to Italy.

The new service will provide three weekly round trips connecting Calais to Orbassano, a distance of 1,150 km, in 18 hours. When fully operational, the new rail motorway will run two round trips a day.

Thierry Le Guilloux, Chairman of VIIA said: “This new rail motorway line between Calais and Turin Orbassano is an addition to our existing Spain service. It results from
work conducted by teams at VIIA as well as the Port of Calais and Fret SNCF—and it is excellent news for the development of unaccompanied semi-trailer transport in Europe.”

The service, open to all types of trailers, could save some 1.2 tonnes of CO2 per trailer per trip, for a total saving of 37,200 tonnes of CO2 full year.

The partnership between Port Boulogne Calais, VIIA and SNCF Group is strengthened by the new Calais to Turin Orbassano line. Opened in March 2016, the Calais rail motorway terminal is a port facility that is unique in Europe.
The first VIIA Britannica line connects Calais to Le Boulou on the Franco-Spanish border, offering service up to twice a day in each direction.

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, Chairman and CEO of Port Boulogne Calais, stated: “The launch of this new rail line confirms our vision of developing unaccompanied trailer traffic in the years to come, and our desire to support this development. With the opening of this new service offered by our partner VIIA, the Port of Calais is becoming the main hub for sea/road/rail interconnections between the north and
the south of Europe, and can deliver intermodal solutions to our freight customers within the port itself.”