Spain and France take next step on Atlantic and Mediterranean corridor
The Spanish and the French governments have opened a call for expression of interest in running two main train services connecting the two countries. One train service will connect Vitoria in Spain to the French cities of Calais, Lille, Metz, Bordeaux and Paris on the Atlantic corridor. The other line will connect the Spanish cities of Murcia, Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona and cross the border to Avignon and Lyon on the Mediterranean corridor.
The respective governments noted: “This step is essential in developing the Atlantic and the Mediterranean corridors and it is a key signal to show the interest of both states to work together in this project.” A similar service was offered before, connecting Figueras in Catalonia to Luxembourg, bypassing the French Le Boulou. However, the Spanish section was cancelled in 2011 due to its lack of profitability.
Reducing logistics costs
The rail freight services will carry truckloads of goods, not only reducing logistics costs but also fulfilling the EU labour rules for truck drivers. The Atlantic corridor service will be essential to decline logistic costs of Spanish factories in the Basque and Navarre regions, which produce car and truck bodies, electronic components and cars. Meanwhile, the service on the Mediterranean corridor will provide a beneficial link for the transport of agricultural products from Valencia and Murcia and the factories in Valencia and Catalonia producing automotive, grocery and pharmaceutical products.
The call for the expression of interest was opened on 11 April after rail material providers were contracted. Interested companies can apply until 16 July 2018. The Spanish ministry of transport has published all the relevant information for companies in its official web page.