French Europorte invests with Beacon in ETCS technology

Europorte France rail traction of freight trains on main lines. ©Rémi Daugeron (Europorte)

Europorte, the rail freight subsidiary of Getlink (formerly Eurotunnel), is modernising its fleet of Euro4000 locomotives by investing in ETCS (European Train Control System) rail signalling technology, a move designed to support the growth of its international business.

“By equipping its locomotives with ETCS technology, which will promote modal shift at the European level over long distances, Europorte is not only fully in line with the policy of greening the European supply chain but also provides a concrete response to manufacturers facing a shortage of truck drivers”, said the French company.

EU subsidies

Europorte will invest 8,5 million euros, co-financed at 60 per cent by its long-standing partner, Beacon Rail (a rolling stock leasing company headquartered in Luxembourg). It will also benefit from subsidies from the European Commission. “In this way, Europorte is securing a prominent place in the developments of French industry and international and cross-border traffic, particularly to Belgium and Germany, France’s leading trading partner,” added the company.

Development accelerator

In association with Belgian company Transurb, 10 of Europorte’s Euro4000 locomotives will be equipped with ETCS.

“This implementation of ETCS technology in our locomotive fleet is a decisive step in our strategy focused on the international service of major industrial customers launched several years ago. This operation will be a real development accelerator for our company and the assurance for our customers of continuity of service,” explained Europorte chairman Raphaël Doutrebente.

Collaborative approach

For his part, Beacon Rail’s chief technical officer, Ross Shepherd, commented: “Beacon is excited to announce this project with Europorte to deploy ETCS on the Euro4000 fleet operating in France, Belgium, and Germany. The collaborative approach to delivering this project, working with partners Transurb and Alstom, will maintain the flexible cross-border haulage capability of the Euro4000.

“The project underpins Beacon’s commitment to invest in our assets to meet the emerging needs of our customers and the markets they operate. Rail plays a critical role in reducing the environmental impact of freight haulage.”

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Author: Stuart Todd

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