The train novelties, Perpignan-Rungis will he be saved ?

The economic issues and the environment is heavy. No trains between Perpignan and Rungis international market, which this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversa

The train novelties, Perpignan-Rungis will he be saved ?

The economic issues and the environment is heavy. No trains between Perpignan and Rungis international market, which this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, more than 400,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year that would be daily transported either by rail, but by truck, namely, 250 heavy vehicles daily, and 25,000 per year. However, the last train of the primeurs Rungis, put in place in 2007 and much less pollutant, is now threatened.

● The causes and consequences

because the wear and tear of the 82 cars of the train 40-year-old. For the customers of the SNCF, the carriers Roca and Rey, rent new cars would cost far too expensive. A stoppage of the line had already been raised in march 2018 by the rail company. The SNCF had suggested a new route between Barcelona and Rungis with a stop in Perpignan, a proposal eventually rejected because of logistical difficulties.

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The current contract, which expires on 30 June, therefore, could not be renewed. "As we had no assurance of the continuity of the line beyond 30 June, we had no insurance to amortize those investments over the long term", says to the daily newspaper The Independent Gerard Malaure, director-general of the group Primever, owner of the carrier Roca. "We are in the obligation to stop this rail solution and we reconvert it. This will require internal restructuring at Roca". In addition to the environmental impact due to the addition of trucks on the road, a hundred posts could be deleted.

Already, in 2016, another train which ran between Perpignan in the international market had disappeared because of "trains not busy enough, the delay in delivery and fierce competition of the road", one can read in The new yorker . Delete the second train, pose this problem: the train station of Rungis, which has made heavy investments for modernization in 2010 (almost 21 million euros), would not be used any more for nothing. Even Perpignan, the ambitious project of Market of national interest (MIN), which requires that you create a rail motorway between Barcelona and Rungis would be threatened. Even though the european Union has already invested 13 million euros for the 33 million in total.

● The indignation

The threat of closure has not failed to react to many political actors. To start with the local Union CGT Perpignan sud, which has launched a petition to gather this Monday, more than 11,000 signatures. The CGT denounces in particular, "the disengagement of the State with the judgment of the gantries environmental tax which would be used to finance the development of rail freight" and the "share of investment in SNCF close to zero in the rail freight".

For their part, the policies are mounted to the niche, as the member of the France Insubordinate François Ruffin, but also the president socialist of the region of Occitania, Carole Delga, which was published in march a letter addressed to Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF, quoted by The Independent , to alert on the consequences of the disappearance of rail freight.

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Asked about the issue on LCI, the minister in charge of Transport Elizabeth Terminal was required to defend the train novelties: "I can't get around the fact that the goods that are now transported by train to be tomorrow on the roads. I will be raising next week all the players concerned for a just solution".

"If everyone makes an effort, we will find a solution."

Stéphane Layani, chairman of the Marché d'intérêt national de Rungis

Finally, the president of the MIN of Rungis, Stéphane Layani, contacted by the Paris , has announced to invest € 300,000 to save the train in danger. The money would rent the trains of SNCF "temporarily", for one to two years. Eventually, the MIN plank always on a solution that is "modern" combined transport, i.e. containers, trucks, placed on the trains. For Stéphane Layani, "if everyone makes an effort, we will find a solution".

● tracks

As pointed out by Carole Delga and Stéphane Layani, the runway favourite for the moment to save the train early vegetables would be to obtain a stay pending finding a long-term solution. Namely, a transition period of a few months, or even years, before you install a system of combined transport, for example a rail motorway (trucks put on trains). According to Carole Delga, "there is no dilapidation proved cars", they could therefore support an extension.

another solution would be simply to obtain enough funding to rent new cars. "We, we're not asking for that to continue," says a manager of SNCF Fret as at Paris , we have the locomotives, the agents, new cars for rent, but you can't sign a contract at a loss!" If, like Stéphane Layani assured them of his side, many people are willing to fund the maintenance of the train, this could at least afford to consider a long-term solution.

Finally, the cargo is no longer the exclusivity of the SNCF, it is not impossible for another provider to come and save the line. If, however, it is cost-effective.

Updated Date: 15 May 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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