Cargobeamer connects French intermodal line to UK

Cargobeamer technology

Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel have joined hands to provide a new intermodal service between Ashford in the UK and Perpignan in the south of France. The shuttle runs through the Channel Tunnel and via the new terminal of Cargobeamer in Calais. It is available for all types of trailers.

The service, which will start next week, runs four times per week. In total, the journey takes around 30 hours. This is four hours for crossing the North Sea via the Channel Tunnel, and 24 hours for the overland route through France. The latter route already existed, but is now extended with a link to the UK.

The journey

In an overview of the service, Cargobeamer explains how the journey will be done. “Trailers arrive by train to the terminal in Calais, the shunting to Ashford is done by EuroTunnel. Custom border procedures are carried out on the freight shuttle, by Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel. After arrival in Ashford, the trailers are picked up within 24 hours by the end customer.”

The unique selling point of the service is that it is available for all types of trailers, including non-cranable ones. This is thanks to the Cargobeamer technology, which enables semi-trailers of all types to be lifted on a train. Both Calais and Perpignan are part of their network. Calais is the first terminal that entirely runs on this technology, which makes the process more efficient.

Timetable Calais-Perpignan

Calais and its network

The terminal in Calais was opened on 16 June. The first test train to Perpignan departed on the same day. On 16 July, the service became a regular on the timetable, with four roundtrips per week. CargoBeamer will add the Calais-Domodossola line to its intermodal network this October. The first trains depart on 4 October.

The UK destination of Ashford will also be added to this journey in October, explained Cargobeamer. The service Calais-Domodossola will offer four weekly roundtrips initially. However, from December on, the weekly departures will increase to six on the France-Italy line.

Route Ashford-Calais-Perpignan

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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