For the train of the primeurs, the time is counted. The Perpignan-Rungis rail line, which transports 130,000 t of fruit and vegetables to the market per year, is on hold. In question: the obsolescence of its wagons, used by 40 years of freight. The Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne, once again brought together the main players in the file on Thursday to try to find a lasting solution. Otherwise, nearly 60 to 80 trucks will drive each day on the roads in place of the train.
This Thursday, a hundred activists gathered at the call of various CGT organizations under the windows of the Ministry of Transport to demand the maintenance of the line. "We are not welcome at the negotiating table, so we are gathering here," says Alexandre Boyer, CGT representative. The union was still received by the ministry cabinet this morning. The activists were accompanied by deputies France Insoumise Mathilde Panot, François Ruffin and Manon Aubry, but also elected Communists, Europe Ecology-the Greens, Génération.s and the economist Thomas Porcher.
1,000 truckers already recruited
Because the unions are worried: while the government has promised the extension of the line "beyond the month of June", they fear that the interruption – usual – of the train at the end of the high season on July 15 is not definitive. As mentioned in a previous article, the carrier Logifel has already recruited nearly 1,000 truckers from a Portuguese company. The relocation of the Roca loader, who left the pier at the Perpignan station, only reinforced the fears of the unions.
"This train has economic relevance, a social and ecological need," said Alexandre Boyer, representative CGT Thursday. To save the train of the futures, an investment of 25 million euros is necessary. "The railway workers estimate that with 15,000 € repair by car, they could ride a few more years," says Alexandre Boyer. A solution put under study by the government, according to the trade unionist.
"Elisabeth Borne must today force SNCF to invest in the wagons necessary to ensure the connection," says Alexandre Boyer. Another gathering was simultaneously held at the Prefecture of the Pyrenees-Orientales, where the railway workers of Perpignan are mobilized.
For its part, the Ministry of Transport adds that the meeting on Thursday was intended "to identify other chargers interested" by the link Perpignan-Rungis. "The current train will not stop at the end of June and will be extended until the end of the high season," says the government.
SNCF also confirms that this train "can function until the end of the year under the current conditions of the contract". According to the Ministry, "it is now waiting for confirmation of the interest of shipper customers, and the commercial discussion is held directly between them and the SNCF. "