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Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port and RACO Mobilized for the Development of the Nantes − Lyon Line

RACOFollowing the findings of the public debate on the Centre−Europe−Atlantic Railway Line, the RACO Association remains mobilized and is striving to ensure that the electrification of the Nevers−Chagny section of line becomes a reality. This outcome would notably enable Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port to tap into new sources of freight and to access Europe’s logistical crossroads.

The progress of the Centre−Europe−Atlantic Railway Line project was a key point of discussion at the Board of Directors meeting of the Rhône−Alps–Centre–Ocean (RACO) Association, held on 13th December at Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port’s headquarters. Founded in 1995, the Association has a thirty-strong membership comprising regional authorities, departmental authorities, towns and cities, urban communities, consular chambers, and Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port, among others. It aims to promote the modernization of infrastructures and a densification of passenger and goods train traffic on not just the Nantes–Lyon line, but also on related branch lines and on the extension to this east-west link.

RACO supports the Centre−Europe−Atlantic Railway Line project, since with the electrification of the Nevers−Chagny section of line and the regauging of the tunnels, it would serve to develop freight volumes. The principal benefit is to give the customers of France’s Atlantic Seaboard Ports (Nantes − Saint Nazaire and La Rochelle) a high-quality rail link for the distribution or forwarding of goods.

A Port Development Issue
The public debate held between December 2016 and March 2017 confirmed the benefits of this project and has led SNCF Network Rail’s Board of Directors to give it the go-ahead, with the focus being on the Tours−Nevers−Chagny area for the modernization of the rail link.

Completing the Centre−Europe−Atlantic Railway Line project is a major issue for Nantes − Saint Nazaire Port. The electrification of the last section of line will help to consolidate the existing freight market areas (notably in the agricultural sector), to tap into new sources of freight, and to access Europe’s logistical crossroads. The identified traffic areas include among others the automotive and aeronautical sectors, containerized products, bulk agricultural and agri-food products (animal feedstuffs), and forest products.

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