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Piggyback transport between Cherbourg and Bayonne: Brittany Ferries announces new advances

The project should see the light of day in 2024.
The project should see the light of day in 2024. (©La Presse de la Manche)

This Friday, January 20, 2023, Clement BeauneMinister of Transport, discovered the first carriage of the “Modalohr New” series and presided over the signing between the companies Lohr and Brittany Ferries of the contract for the supply of wagons which will run on themultimodal highway Cherbourg (Channel)-Mouguerre.

One rail journey from a distance of 970 kilometers which should save, from 2024an equivalent road trip.

With the support of the State, Europe and the Normandy and New Aquitaine regions, the shipping company will set up a rail motorway between the port of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and the European Freight Center of Mouguerre, near Bayonne, to connect Spain, Great Britain and Ireland via the French rail network.

Clement BeauneMinister of Transport

Up to 42 semi-trailers could be transported

Train sets each comprising 21 wagons with double pockets, allowing transport 42 semi-trailers loaded and unloaded by rolling with the same horizontal handling tools as in ports.

From 2024, this link between Mouguerre and Cherbourg will make it possible to avoid, thanks to rail, the emission of approximately one tonne of CO2 compared to the same journey by road of a single semi-trailer! Brittany Ferries is proud of this partnership with the Lohr Group, which shares with it its values ​​of excellence, its roots in the territories and this essential contribution to the French transport sector and its energy-efficient transition.

Jean-Marc RoueChairman of the Supervisory Board of Brittany-Ferries

One of the three major future axes

Cherbourg-Bayonne is one of three major French piggyback projectswith Perpignan-Rungis and Calais-Sète.

A first route will pass a little further west, through Niort, so as to carry out the work of setting the gauge for the tunnels. The final itinerary, available from 2026will pass through Angoulème.

The three ports of Cherbourg, Ouistreham and Dieppe pick up 200,000 of these trucks and trailers, with the largest ferries in service, Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats and Brittany Ferries’ Honfleur. In total, 50% of these trucks go to or come from the Iberian Peninsula.

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Corresponding train paths

Brittany Ferries had first considered setting it up in Ouistreham, before Cherbourg no longer seemed relevant.

The route of the future Cherbourg-Bayonne.
The route of the future Cherbourg-Bayonne. (©Brittany Ferries)

The railway line, which, over 2 kilometers, connects the station to the port of Cherbourg, is already in its own site. It will suffice to add a switch to extend the line to a 2-hectare terminal, to be installed south of the ferry terminal, near the ferry ramps and Brexit-related control facilities.

The train paths were requested in correspondence with the timetables of the daily Cross-Channel maritime segment, while avoiding shuttle movements arriving at or departing from Cherbourg during peak road traffic periods.

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