SNCF Logistics’ VIIA Britanica rail service for unaccompanied road trailers between the French Pyrenees and Calais, with on-forwarding to the UK, could be doubled in frequency from one round trip per working day to two by the end of the year, according to a report in the French press.
And VIIA is also planning to introduce a second ‘rail motorway’ service linking Italy with Calais, according to the report.
The VIIA Britanica service, which can carry up to 40 trailers in each direction, resumed in February having been suspended since July 2016 due to repeated incursions by migrants on to the tracks. It was launched last March.
According to the French media report, a company spokeswoman said that the increased security measures since the relaunch of the service had proved satisfactory, adding:
“Since the resumption, load factors have been very good - our trains are full. Having launched the service with three weekly frequencies, then increased it to five, we are now looking at two return journeys per day by the end of the year.”
She also confirmed that VIIA was planning to launch a second 'rail motorway' service linking Ourbassano, near Turin, in Italy to Calais by the end of this year or early in 2018.
A third rail motorway service between Calais and the French Mediterranean port of Sète was “at the project stage”, she added.
Source: Lloyd's Loading List