fr freight train (Christophe Masse) (2)

FRANCE: Plans have been drawn up to launch an independent rail freight operation based in Pays de la Loire, to be known as Transport Multimodal Alliances.

The business has been formed by five logistics and road haulage companies: Ageneau Group, Transports Thébault, TC-Transports, Groupe Combronde and Immo-Ouest, which has been part of Groupe Opal since 2019.

With support from the Maine-et-Loire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, TMA is structured as a simplified joint stock company (Société par Actions Simplifiée). Its role will be to aggregate traffic flows, identifying and consolidating goods that can be moved by rail. The group is working closely with Angers Loire Metropole, the Pays de Loire Région, SNCF Réseau and national government.

The proposals call for the first trains to be launched in 2025 from a temporary terminal in Angers ahead of the establishment of a permanent 25 ha site in the Trélazé-Saint Barthélémy d’Anjou area, east of Angers; this is due to open in 2027.

TMA says that initially it is planning to operate ‘a minimum of five return trains a week’, achieving an 83% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with road transport. ‘By achieving 90 000 shipments a year, representing 20 trains a week, we can save 50 000 tonnes of CO2, the alliance explained. ‘This target is very realistic as it represents just 3% of traded tonnage between Pays de la Loire and other regions.’