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First direct freight rail connection between Spain and France

A new direct freight rail service connects the port of Barcelona in Spain with the French cities of Toulouse and Lyon.

The container service, created by APM Terminals Railways Spain, Synergy and Naviland Cargo, will provide four weekly connections between the port of Barcelona and these southern French cities four times a week, three to Toulouse and one to Lyon.

This latest connection is direct, marking the first-ever rail service from Spain to France that eliminates the need for transshipment or changing locomotives post the Perthus tunnel crossing.

This service will be the first regular box service on the Spanish railway network provided by a 750-metre-long train, the maximum length allowed in Europe. The train will provide a capacity of 108 TEUs per journey compared to the usual trains, which are between 450 and 500 metres long and can transport an average of 68 TEUs.

Moreover, the direct connection saves significant time and money for logistics companies since it speeds up goods transport and avoids the need to change locomotives or transship containers, which up to now was unavoidable when entering France.

Port of Barcelona president Lluís Salvadó underscored the various historical milestones achieved by this new service and thanked the companies that made it possible. He also recalled that the direct connection and the savings in time and emissions that it will entail were made possible thanks to the fact that “the Port of Barcelona is the only port in Spain connected to Europe using European gauge.”

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