Additional freight trains Eurotunnel in case of no-deal Brexit
Eurotunnel is preparing to handle additional freight train services and building a new terminal for unaccompanied trailers. In doing this, it is gearing up for a no-deal scenario of the Brexit. Eurotunnel is responsible for traffic across the Channel Tunnel and has a dedicated rail freight line called Le Shuttle.
Jacques Gounon, chief executive of the train operator’s parent company Getlink made these remarks in a letter to transport secretary Chris Grayling (obtained by the Financial Times), after the British government awarded three ferry companies with a contract to provide additional cross-channel services. Le Shuttle is the “most efficient way” to supply vital goods to the UK and would remain so even if new border procedures were introduced after Brexit, he stated.
Additional freight trains
Rail freight across the Channel is expected to take an important role in dealing with freight traffic congestion after the UK has left the EU. As customs procedures will be in place, long queues of trucks are expected at the Port of Dover. In contrast, Eurotunnel has the capacity to deal with additional requests. In fact, the company is working on extra services, Gounon stated.
According to a report in the Sun, the Department of Transport has confirmed talks with German owned DB Cargo and Swedish-run GB Railfreight, studying the possibility of extra freight deliveries. Whether these services will be in place remains to be seen, as they could interfere with passenger services, which require priority.
Meanwhile, Eurotunnel is developing a rail terminal for unaccompanied trailers in Folkestone, Gounon noted. Unaccompanied trailers are placed onto freight wagons to be transported across the Channel. Gounon wrote: “In any eventuality, Eurotunnel remains prepared to deliver additional capacity under equivalent contracts to those you have signed with the ferry operators”, according to the British media.