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SNCF Announces Renovation of the Service Tracks for Freight at Biganos Facture Station

SNCF Announces Renovation of the Service Tracks for Freight at Biganos Facture Station
photo: Archive/SNCF Announces Renovation of the Service Tracks for Freight at Biganos Facture Station
07 / 01 / 2023

To ensure the continuity and development of rail freight transport for the Smurfit Kappa company, the State and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region have financed work to modernise the service tracks at Biganos-Facture station. This operation is part of the recovery plan initiated by the State at the end of 2020 and follows the signing of the State/Region recovery agreement allowing joint interventions to support the modal shift.

The SMURFIT KAPPA paper mill located in the commune of Biganos is connected to the national rail network via the service tracks of the Facture-Biganos station. Its Terminal Connected Facility (TCF) is used for the finished products' supply and shipment.
The Facture rail site has been regularly modernised and currently has a five-track system, four of which are 300 metres long, designed to accommodate 90-tonne wagons. However, since 2014, the axle load has had to be restricted, limiting the wagons to 80 tonnes.

The work, which began in September 2022, consisted of the regeneration of tracks 3, 5, 7, and 11 (rails, sleepers, ballast), and also the replacement of the timbers in the switches, which allows the load to be increased to 90 tonnes (known as the D load). This modernisation of the infrastructure should enable the paper mill to develop various projects to adapt its activity, such as

  • the redevelopment of rail deliveries of heavier green logs to replace truck deliveries after the end of the evacuation of barked spruce trees from Eastern France. 
  • the dispatch of paper reels to Germany, Holland and Italy, one train per week, 
  • the supply of recycled cardboard from the Paris region: 100,000 tonnes per year, 
  • the supply of paper pulp: 80,000 tonnes from the port of La Rochelle. 

"I am delighted that this refurbishment work has been possible thanks to our various partners. Facilitating the use of rail transport is a major challenge for our company, which is fully in line with the group's sustainable development policy," says Rémi Poirson, Managing Director of Smurfit Kappa France.

To optimise rail transport and make it competitive with road transport, increasing the load on the service tracks at the Facture-Biganos station is a key factor in the potential modal shift of this traffic.

This project was included in the freight recovery plan at the beginning of 2022. The financing agreement was signed on 21 June 2022, with the cost of the work amounting to €1.2 million, 60% of which will be borne by the State and 40% by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region. The project owner, SNCF Réseau, has taken advantage of other works in this sector to optimise costs and the impact on TER traffic and has used reused material to regenerate the four service tracks required. The work, carried out in a very short timeframe, was taking place from September to November 2022.

Source: SNCF Press Releases