The European Commission approved an extension of the Atlantic rail freight corridor to Valongo (near Porto, Portugal), Zaragoza (Spain), La Rochelle and Nantes St Nazaire (France).

The extension of these international corridors, agreed on January 11, 2018, will serve three main purposes: to strengthen cooperation between rail infrastructure managers in the areas of investment and capacity and traffic management; to ensure that freight trains are treated appropriately in terms of allocating train paths on lines serving both passenger and freight traffic; and to enable the development of multimodality, especially in ports.

The extension will create a new connection with the Mediterranean rail freight corridor in Zaragoza and allows the Atlantic freight corridor to take advantage of Zaragoza’s significant logistics potential.

The CPMR welcomes this decision, which allows the member regions of its Intermediterranean and Atlantic Arc Commissions to improve their rail accessibility.

It will make it possible to carry out a modal shift from road use towards the use of trains, which is also strongly encouraged by the CPMR.

Bruno Oliver, from the Regional Government of Aragon, President of the CPMR Transport Working Group: “This is good news and reinforces the position adopted by the CPMR in June 2017 on the revision of the CEF corridors, with regard to the interconnection between the CEF’s Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors”.