THE FUTURE EUROPEAN HIGH-SPEED RAIL FREIGHT SERVICE CONNECTS TO THE LONDON AREA
Jacques GOUNON, Chairman of LONDON CAREX, Chairman and Chief Executive of Eurotunnel Group
Eurotunnel Group, the concession holder for the Channel Tunnel - a European infrastructure - is also France's no. 3 rail operator. It has first-rate know-how in:
- Infrastructure management,
- Railway operation,
Eurotunnel Group's mission is to develop its expertise from a European perspective. Sustainable development is one of the group's priorities: Shuttles pollute around 20 times less than ferries, and 40 times less than air transport. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of its priorities: operation of the Tunnel has thus reduced electricity consumption by 21% within 5 years as well as reducing emissions by 70%.
A detailed analysis of all types of cross-Channel traffic flows, the specific characteristics of British infrastructures, whether ports, airports, roads, or railways combined with the importance given in Great Britain, more than in any other country, to the concept of sustainable development leads us to consider that there will inevitably be modal transfers for certain types of goods. Air express freight is part of this.
The commissioning of the high-speed line between the Tunnel and London (HS1) has also completely changed things and has allowed us to consider opening new "high-speed" services.
In this perspective, in 2007, it was obvious and essential for the Eurotunnel to join an innovative and eco-sustainable European initiative initiated by Mr. Yannick Patternotte: the Euro Carex project, for which Eurotunnel is currently in charge of developing the network's British branch.
In 2008, it was decided to create a dedicated structure, London Carex, a 100% subsidiary of Groupe Eurotunnel SA, whose main mission to build a high-speed rail freight terminal in London's inner suburbs.
The preliminary market studies showing customer interest indicate very clearly that London is one of the network's no. 1 loading points.
As part of the reflections initiated by the Greater London authority for the post-Olympics era and to accompany the changes that the capital is going to experience, the creation of this Carex terminal will be considered as the tangible sign of a new eco-environmental approach, associating the creation of jobs with major structural developments in terms of reducing road and air traffic.