News detail

13rd january 2010

Réseau Ferroviaire au Port Est de Dunkerque

To promote the development of rail services to seaports, the government order of 2 August 2005 transferred all port railway lines to the port authorities. The port of Dunkirk is now authorised to build and manage its own railway lines, the French Rail Network (RFF) being required to connect them to the national network.

The port, which has the largest rail freight zone in France, is driving an ambitious modal transfer programme as part of its strategic plan, in line with the requirements of the Grenelle environment law. Dunkerque-Port decided to assign the management to a specialist rail company who will operate and maintain the network with its 200 km of railway lines, seven sidings and five switching stations, in a context in which rail freight transport is approved as a sustainable transport mode. 

As the French Railway Company SNCF will not continue to maintain and operate the port's rail lines after 2010, Dunkerque-Port issued a call for tenders to select a new service provider for a first term of seven years. The first year of the contract will be devoted to the production of the safety plan, and the following six to the management and maintenance of the railway lines. The contract includes an additional conditional phase of four years.


Following an analysis of the two proposals submitted by specialist companies, the EUROTUNNEL group has been selected for this contract of 24.822 M€ in the firm phase. The services provided by the EUROTUNNEL group mean that the port can expect annual gains in productivity, and efficient maintenance in accordance with the use of the lines based on service quality requirements.