France’s plan for Spanish rail border crossing upgrade is ‘worrying’ 26/05/23

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The future of the upgrade of the rail border crossing between France and Spain on the TEN-T Atlantic Corridor is still unclear and concerns are increasing. Carlo Sacchi, Community Executive responsible for the Corridor, presented his concerns in front of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee.


France might postpone the project for the upgrade of the section connecting Dax to the so-called Basque Y until 2042, but Sacchi and the European Commission think it would be feasible and beneficial to complete it by 2030. As was mentioned by Spanish news agency EuropaPress, Sacchi is quite critical of the French plan to focus on the rail section in Toulouse instead.

Will the French government follow the COI’s guidelines?

The suggestion to focus on projects of national importance rather than on a more European scale was brought forward by the Infrastructure Orientation Council (COI). COI is a French advisory body under the Ministry of Transport, which published a document listing what it considers the most relevant investments for the country’s rail infrastructure. A definitive decision will be taken by the French government in June.

The border crossing on the Atlantic Corridor is not the only international project that, according to the COI, should be put aside for now. The French section of the railway connecting Pau with Saragozza should also not be prioritised, according to the COI report. The document sparked controversies also concerning the access routes to the Lyon-Turin tunnel. According to the Council, the Dijon-Modane line should be prioritised over the access routes in Lyon.


Author: Marco Raimondi