As pioneers of cross channel freight services celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the international railway tunnel Eurotunnel announced a further series of price cuts and incentives.
The company – now turning a profit, wants to double cross-channel rail freight by 2018. Eurotunnel will cut off-peak prices by 25%. The unpopular €600 surcharge per train imposed by the French Rail Network (RFF) for security at Frèthun will be withdrawn. Eurotunnel is freezing freight prices until the end of 2018.
Special help last year for new intermodal services saw rail freight traffic rise and Eurotunnel plans to push its advantage. The Eurotunnel Incentive for Capacity Additions (ETICA) was introduced in May 2013 to help new intermodal services use the tunnel.
The initiative has resulted in railfreight traffic increasing by 10% in 2013 and a further 13% in the first quarter of this year. As well as intermodal freight ETICA price–cuts will now be extended to cover new automobiles, food and drink, consumer goods, logistics, and manufactured goods.
Currently between eight and ten freight trains transit the Channel Tunnel each day. Pioneers of the service envisaged 30-40 trains when it opened in 1994.
Says Geoff Spencer, CEO of DB Schenker Rail UK, ‘This welcome announcement from Eurotunnel, together with the widened scope of ETICA, will encourage the development of new international rail transport services through the Channel Tunnel.’