COOPERATIVE enterprise RailCoop launched a freight service on the 160km line between Toulouse St Jory yard and Capdenac in southwest France on November 15. 

The company has leased two Vossloh G 1000 diesel locomotives from DB Cargo France and 24 bogie covered vans from Ermewa and has trained three drivers. The first train ran empty on November 15, for a press launch, but the second on November 16 was loaded with pallets.  

The service is expected to run three times a week until the end of the year and daily from January 2022. The service will operate as “open to all,” with customers filling part, entire or several wagons.  An early customer was another cooperative Ethiquable, which produces organic, ethical chocolate which is loaded at Toulouse then distributed to supermarkets after unloading at Capdenac. Railcoop is working with Captrain France (CPTF) at Toulouse and expects in the longer term to obtain traffic which will be forwarded to other areas of France by CPTF. 

Railcoop was formed as a non-profit organisation to revive passenger and freight services in parts of France “left behind” by incumbent operator French National Railways (SNCF). The company has plans for a network of passenger services starting with Bordeaux - Lyon in December 2022.