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Freight terminals

SNCF Réseau provides its customers with exchange platforms dedicated to the loading/unloading of goods between trains and trucks. These sites are strategically located on the national railway network in order to efficiently serve the needs of its customers throughout all of France.

SNCF Réseau – a partner for your railway logistics and intermodal projects

To support the development of your railway freight transport activity and ensure its integration into intermodal transport solutions, we provide you with access to service infrastructures suited to your activity and access to the appropriate equipment.

Our sales staff is also available to assist you in implementing intermodal transport solutions.

Specially designed infrastructures

SNCF Réseau provides its customers with three main types of service infrastructures:

  • Freight yards are used for the loading and unloading of wagons from or to another transport mode. Concretely, freight yards have one or more individual sidings on a site with road transport access. The locations of the freight yards are indicated in Annex 7.1 of the National Rail Network Statement (DRR). More than 300 freight yards were transferred to SNCF Réseau on 1 January 2015 in application of the Law of 4 August 2014.
  • Combined transport installations serve the same intermodal function, but are specifically reserved for container and swap body traffic. These metal boxes, or ITUs (intermodal transport units), comply with international size standards to make loading/unloading easier between maritime, river railway and road transport modes. SNCF Réseau installations are exclusively used for rail/road intermodal transport and are managed by operators whose contact details are indicated in Chapter 1.8.4 of the DRR Reference Document.
  • Gravity marshalling yards are operating locations where wagon shunting operations are performed for the composition of freight trains. In the gravity marshalling yards, wagons pass through a marshalling point which directs them to the track corresponding to their block marshalled train.

For more detailed information on these service infrastructures and their location, please refer to Chapter 3.6 in the DRR Reference Document and to the appropriate annexes. Charges for the use of these service infrastructures are indicated in Chapter 6 and Annex 10 of the reference document.

In addition, some third party companies provide access to rail motorway terminals. These are used to load trucks and trailers onto special trains using specific equipment. Their service offer may be consulted in Annex 9 of the DRR Reference Document.

Other specialised firms operate their own terminals. Information about their service offer is provided in Annex 9 of the DRR Reference Document.

When organising your international freight transport, it is important to consider the European rail freight corridors, of which three go through the French national railway network.

Objectives in favour of freight transport

The Grenelle Environment Law stresses the importance of increasing performance levels of freight transport and reducing its carbon emissions.

As a result of the Grenelle Law, the French State has decided to allocate more than 7 billion Euros in public investment by 2020 to the development of freight transport. The new Performance Contract which will soon be signed by SNCF Réseau and the French State will reflect the objectives of the Grenelle law.