The VIIA Britanica rail motorway linking Calais and Le Boulou (Pyrénées Orientales) came into service on 29 March 2016. Operated by VIIA, a subsidiary of SNCF Logistics, it is the longest rail motorway in Europe.
This new service allows road hauliers to avoid 1,200km of road transport, and to reduce the journey time from Northern to Southern France to 22 hours. It operates one daily return service six days a week, with a second planned in the near future. VIIA Britanica’s trains are 680m in length and can accommodate up to 40 semi-trailers loaded onto around 20 carriages.
This new rail line will enable the development of non-accompanied semi-trailer rail traffic between Great Britain and Spain, with an estimate of 40,000 semi-trailers per year within five years, representing the equivalent of 50 million truck kilometres avoided every year.