August 22, 2012

Viia Transhelvetica project submitted to Swiss transport office

Written by  Anitra Green
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Viia president Thierry le Gailloux (2nd from right) hands over the Transhelvetica dossier to Nicolas Schmidt (extreme right) of the Swiss transport office BAV, in the presence of  (l-r) Arnold Berndt (BAV head of railfreight), Christoph Schiess (BAV technical expert), Robert Lohr (patron of Lohr Industrie) and Arnaud Denizet (director of transalpine rolling motorways  Autorutes Roulantes). Viia president Thierry le Gailloux (2nd from right) hands over the Transhelvetica dossier to Nicolas Schmidt (extreme right) of the Swiss transport office BAV, in the presence of (l-r) Arnold Berndt (BAV head of railfreight), Christoph Schiess (BAV technical expert), Robert Lohr (patron of Lohr Industrie) and Arnaud Denizet (director of transalpine rolling motorways Autorutes Roulantes).

SNCF Geodis subsidiary Viia formally presented its Viia Transhelvetica project for the transalpine transport of semi-trailers via the Gotthard line to the Swiss Federal Transport Office (BAV) in Bern on August 14.

The aim is to provide a transalpine service for non-cranable semi-trailers with a corner height of 4m – about 90% of the market - using the newly-developed Modalohr UIC type wagon, which allows such trailers to be transported on Swiss routes normally cleared for a maximum corner height of only 3.84m. The new service will link two German terminals – one in the Ruhr area and the other at Lahr on the Karlsruhe – Basle line – with Chiasso on the Swiss-Italian border.

"When our project is realised it will be possible to shift about another 100,000 semi-trailers from road to rail as soon as 2015, before the new Gotthard Base Tunnel opens," says Mr Thierry Le Guilloux, president of Viia. "That is about 20% of the semi-trailer transit market on this axis."

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