Railports Carex

EURO CAREX : Cargo Rail Express




from idea...

Using high-speed trains to carry freight is a relatively old idea, because as early as 1994, Yanick Paternotte - then a local councillor and chairman of an environmental protection pressure group - suggested this innovative concept as a possible alternative to certain night flights by cargo-only aircraft. It was also around this time that SNCF conducted a study to examine the principle of a "TGV Fret®" (high-speed rail freight) train.

This was followed by consultation and discussion in several European countries by stakeholders which would later come together as part of Euro Carex. These included SAB, the Liège Airport management company, which, in 2000, joined together with Aéroports de Paris to form the "TGV Fret®" working group, which also involved express freight operators and rail operators. Preliminary studies of possible connections and routes were conducted soon after. In 2003, Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport conducted its Co-Act (Creating Viable Concepts for Combined Air/Rail Cargo transport) research project funded by a European Commission programme. The goal of Co-Act was to come up with a concept of what a future express or high-speed rail service to carry airfreight and perishable goods (like fresh flowers, for example) might look, and to set up a test link between Amsterdam and Frankfurt airports.

But the main conclusion to come out of all these considerations was that a high-speed rail freight service would be realistic and viable only in the context of a genuinely European network.

... to project

Convinced of the relevance of the concept and determined to push ahead at a faster rate, private and public operators in the area around Roissy - local authorities, Aéroports de Paris and major airfreight operators based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle - took the decision to pool their resources and effort; a decision that resulted in the formation of Roissy Carex in February 2006. Together, they produced a precise definition of the Carex concept, and developed the project within the framework of an economic and technical feasibility study.

The Carex concept: To use the European high-speed rail network to carry airfreight pallets and containers over distances of between 300 and 800 kilometres, involving:

  • a "modalshift"from trucks and short-/mid-range aircraft to high-speed trains wherever appropriate
  • airport-based air/rail terminals connected to high-speed rail links
  • a service tailored to suit the logistics chains and transport plans of integrators, with priority given to Express freight in order to guarantee next-day delivery, followed by less urgent air cargo freight

Fully aware that there could be no service without an appropriate network, the Roissy Carex partners forged links with other organisations already involved with these issues at local level throughout France and Europe. This was the background to the creation of the Lyon Carex, Liège Carex, London Carex and HST Cargo Schiphol Carex organisations, which have all now come together under the Euro Carex banner.

The Carex project as part of the French government’s "national commitment to rail freight"!

Flux rss

Yanick Paternotte, Member of the French Parliament, Chairman of Roissy Carex and Euro Carex and author of the Parliamentary report «Remettre le fret sur les rails : un défi économique, social et environnemental» (Getting freight back on track: an economic, social and environmental challenge) is ... Read more