The Anonymous Widower

UK To France Automotive Train Service Launched

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

DB Cargo UK has launched a rail service transporting Corolla hybrid cars manufactured at Toyota’s Derby plant in the UK to Valenciennes in France via the Channel Tunnel, returning with Aygo, Yaris and Yaris+ vehicles.

It sounds very sensible and efficient, as the trains seem full both ways.

March 1, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | ,


  1. Having been a youthful engineer in BR in early 90’s my project was to enable the Southern Region DC traction system to support the class 92 locos hauling freight to the CT. We delivered the infarstructure upgrade on time and on budget but the freight traffic never came. Well that is it never came to the railways but by road and ET did very well out of ot. Remains a major failure to me that rail freight through the tunnel remains at such at low level. The polar opposite of what happens in Europe where long haul freight is on trains or rolling highways (i get our loading gauge pre HS1 wasn’t suitable) but they can get to Dagenham now easily via HS1 but they are only running to Calais currently.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 1, 2022 | Reply

    • CargoBeamer seem to have said, that they are planning to get their trains to somewhere near Manchester. Could they go up the Midland Main Line?

      Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2022 | Reply

  2. This project was originally announced in July last year.
    I note that the plan extends to services to and from the Toyota plant in the Czech Republic and well as Valenciennes.
    All the talk in the article is about the prospect of hauling with a HVO fuelled Class 66. Presumably the plan is to have electric traction all the way from Toton eventually.

    Comment by fammorris | March 1, 2022 | Reply

  3. Are Class 66 locomotives allowed in the tunnel?

    Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2022 | Reply

    • No the article seems to miss the fact that they have to change to electric traction (presumably Class 92) to go down the Channel Tunnel Link and through the tunnel.

      Comment by fammorris | March 1, 2022 | Reply

      • I believe the 92’s are the only 3rd party locos authorised through the tunnel currently although I recollect SNCF may have got the SYBICS authorised as well back in the 90’s.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 1, 2022

  4. You do wonder, if something like a Class 88 certified for the UK, France and the tunnel might attract more business.

    Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2022 | Reply

    • Interesting you should raise the use of the Class 88. Back in 2020 Ford agreed a contract for DRS to move imported cars from their Dagenham dock to their site outside Liverpool. As you’ll see the article talks about the use of the Class 88.
      On the point of Locos that could get clearance for the Channel Tunnel, both Siemens with the Vectron and Alstom with their Prima II vehicles have been tested in the tunnel in 2013 and 2008 respectively and apparently are suitable subject to minor modifications.

      Comment by fammorris | March 2, 2022 | Reply

      • Might be an issue with it having diesel tanks?

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 2, 2022

  5. Probably! We need a dual voltage battery-electric locomotive.

    Comment by AnonW | March 2, 2022 | Reply

  6. […] UK To France Automotive Train Service Launched, I talked about Toyota’s new service between Toton in England and Valenciennes in France via […]

    Pingback by GB Railfreight Plans Order For Future-Proofed Bi-Mode Locomotives « The Anonymous Widower | March 3, 2022 | Reply

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