AN EXPERIMENTAL train 1.5km long – Europe’s longest – has been tested between Lyon and Nîmes.
Twice as long as usual freight trains, with up to 70 trucks instead of 35, it is powered by a manned engine at the front and another one in the middle which the driver can control remotely.
Enabling a more intensive use of the rail networks, it is hoped that such trains will help boost the freight sector, which has been in decline since 2,000 and is down by a half since its peak.
The test run was the first by a group of 16 partners, including SNCF and Réseau Férré de France (RFF), as part of a project being part-funded by the European Commission to develop freight transport.
It is hoped to put it into service by 2016.
The train can be seen in action at: Longest train