Railcoop - Railcoop Services - B
Railcoop - B
On 15 November 2021, Railcoop launched a freight haulage service between Figeac and Toulouse, traversing the 180 km (110 mi) freight line from Decazeville, via Capdenac to Saint-Jory. Hauling mainly agricultural and industrial products, the rolling stock comprised a pair of locomotives provided by DB Cargo while 24 wagons were leased from Ermewa. Initially being operated three times per week, the frequency was increased to daily in January 2022. This service is operated on an on-demand basis. The company has reportedly held talks with as many as 30 different companies to discuss options for fulfilling their freight needs by its rail services.
The main project of the company is the Bordeaux-Lyon direct link, which was withdrawn by SNCF in 2014. The service is intended to run three times per day, one of which would be an overnight train. These are to call at destinations such as Périgueux, Limoges, Guéret, Montluçon, and Roanne, has a projected journey time of six hours and 47 minutes, as well as a forecast demand of 690,000 passengers that would use the service each year. The launch date was at one point expected to occur in June 2022, but has been postponed to December amid allegations that SNCF was unable to allocate suitable train paths for the service to be run.
Initially efforts by the organisation to acquire its own rolling stock were centred around locomotive-hauled rakes of coaches with which it intended to operate the service. Instead, by mid 2022, Railcoop had purchased nine SNCF Class X 72500s and commenced an internal refurbishment of each unit. In the long term, the organisation had stated its preference for obtaining Coradia Liner bi-mode multiple units, the same class used by SNCF on non-electrified intercity routes.
Passengers are to be provisioned with various onboard services and comfort enhancement features, the trains have been configured with catering facilities, large luggage storage areas (suitable for skis and surfboards), and a dedicated children's play area. Furthermore, their engines and transmissions were overhauled with the aim of improving their reliability.
Railcoop has ambitions to operate additional routes within France. The company has publicly stated its expectation to reinvest over half of any profits generated into the business' development. During 2023, the company hopes to operate services between Toulouse and Rennes, as well as Lyon and Thionville.
Railcoop Type: Private cooperative company with collective interest (SCIC)