The project of new crossing of the Pyrenees
The European Commission has set a reference framework for Franco-Spanish connections, defined through the major corridors designated as the axes of development of European networks. The main objective of this reference scheme at European level is to establish key links needed to facilitate rail transport in Europe, to optimize the capacity of existing infrastructures, to produce specifications for a future interoperable network, and to integrate this reasoning In an environmental dimension. These priority objectives are set out in Decision No 1692/96 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, as amended by Decision No 884/2004 / EC of 29 April 2004 on “ Community guidelines for the development of trans-European transport networks”.
At the Franco-Spanish summit on 10 January 2008, the French and Spanish ministers responsible for transport set out more precisely the action plan and timetable for the New Trans-Pyrenees High-Railway Axis (NTP HRA) of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and included in the French and Spanish strategic plans..
The project, now called the New Trans-Pyrenees High Railway Axis, is mentioned in Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the guidelines of the Union for Development Of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010 / EU.
As such, the project is part of the “global network” of the trans-European transport network (Comprehensive network), both for the transport of passengers and goods. Its production horizon is 2050.
The project for a new railway line with a large trans-Pyrenean capacity is included in the French and Spanish strategic plans under the European priority projects. The preliminary study work program defined by Spain and France at the Paris bilateral summit of 10 January 2008 provides for two phases:
- PHASE 1 : carry out a study on the modal modeling of freight traffic and the analysis of the functional inscription of the new rail link in the rail networks of the two countries so that the first results allow the definition of the corridors of Possible tracings.
- PHASE 2 : to undertake later studies of territorial and environmental analysis of the tracings within the previously defined corridors. The study program for this second phase will serve as a basis for the decisions to be taken regarding the project, within the framework of information, participation and consultation procedures in each of the two countries, including in France a public debate to which the Spanish authorities May be associated, as well as prior consultations in Spain.
PHASE 1, preliminary studies, identified possible route corridors and their economic and socio-economic assessments, using:
- Study of freight traffic through the Pyrenees
- The study of environmental, technical and functional conditions
- Analysis of the territorial context.
The field of study is located on the central part of the Pyrenees, it is delimited by the geographic constraints and preexistence of the railway networks on both sides of the Pyrenees.
PHASE 2 is initially devoted to:
- Consultation on preliminary studies with institutional partners
- The necessary upgrades on the preliminary studies taking into account the contributions of the concertation
- Analysis of the experiences of similar projects
- The creation of an internet communication platform for the studies carried out
- Study of the overall evolution of freight traffic in Iberian ports
Subsequently phase 2 will be extended by carrying out studies of territorial and environmental analysis of the tracings within the previously defined corridors.
This study program will be used as a basis for the decisions to be taken regarding the project, within the framework of information, participation and consultation procedures in each of the two countries, including in France a public debate to which the Spanish authorities may be associated.
What are the advantages of the project ?
- Facilitating trade between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world
- Guarantee the connection of landlocked territories to the TEN-T
- Fostering links between major Spanish and French cities
- Decrease the number of heavy vehicles crossing the Pyrenees
- To complement the capacities of the Aquitaine and Mediterranean corridors
What are the objectives of a new transpyrenean corridor ?
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic
- To increase the permeability of the Pyrenees in order to facilitate the development of economic and cultural exchanges between the territories
- Promote modal shift to rail and marine
- Acting with respect for the heritage and natural environment of the Pyrenees massif