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Mobility and Transport

Atlantic Core Network Corridor

Algeciras – Bobadilla – Madrid

Sines / Lisboa – Madrid – Valladolid

Lisboa – Aveiro – Leixões/Porto

Aveiro – Valladolid – Vitoria – Bergara – Bilbao/Bordeaux – Paris – Le Havre/Metz – Mannheim/Strasbourg

The Atlantic Corridor links the Western part of the Iberian Peninsula and the ports of Le Havre and Rouen to Paris and further to Mannheim/Strasbourg, with high speed rail lines and parallel conventional ones, including also the Seine as inland waterway.

The maritime dimension plays a crucial role in this corridor.

Professor Carlo Secchi is The European Coordinator for the Atlantic Corridor.

Map: Atlantic Corridor

The overall TEN-T corridor map


This diagonal corridor will link the Iberian Peninsula to France and Germany, with high speed rail lines and parallel conventional ones, providing for the continuity of the networks between Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Strasbourg/ Mannheim.

Largely based upon the Atlantic and Iberian branches of Priority Project 3, these interoperable links will improve the connections between the most important urban zones of the area and foster a shift of traffic from the congested air and road transport to rail. It will provide for a better use of the conventional network for freight trains by making the best use of Rail Freight Corridor 4.

The maritime dimension plays a crucial role in this corridor, which links and enhances the role of the westernmost core ports of continental Europe (Sines, Lisboa/Setubal, Leixoes-Porto), and is connected with the North Sea through a multimodal axis Paris-Le Havre (inland waterways, railways and roads). The route of the corridor includes also key ports of Cantabria /Biscay bay, like Bilbao and Bordeaux.

Missing links

The main missing link is the cross-border connection between Lisboa and Madrid. The section Porto – Valladolid is affected by the lack of electrification on the Spanish side. Additionally problems of interoperability (difference in gauge, electrification, signalling systems and train length) affect the existing San Sebastian – Bordeaux section, where the new line has not reached the development consent. Still unclear is also the question of the optimal path for an interoperable route for freight across Madrid and from there to Burgos, and the subsequent needs for infrastructure development. With regards to roads, the electronic tolling systems are not interoperable yet, although Portugal and Spain are starting interoperable systems along the Atlantic coast.

Success stories

In June 2011, with the contribution of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the €7.8 billion Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail line Public Private Partnership (PPP) project officially reached financial close. It is the first high speed rail PPP ever signed in France. The service should start by 2018. The 50-year concession contract covers the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the high speed rail line between Tours and Bordeaux.

The EIB is contributing €1.2 billion via the combination of the senior debt, an equity bridge loan and the Loan Guarantee on TEN-T projects (LGTT), an instrument put in place jointly with the European Commission. This is the largest loan ever awarded in France by the EIB.

The concession financing also includes public subsidies made by the French government, local communities and the EU for a total amount of €3 billion, plus a contribution from Reseau Ferré de France (RFF) of around €1 billion, the other €2.6 billion.

CEF: Pre-identified projects

High Speed rail Sines/Lisboa - Madrid

Rail, ports

studies and works ongoing, upgrading of modal interconnection ports of Sines/Lisboa

High speed rail Porto - Lisboa


studies ongoing

Rail connection Aveiro – Salamanca – Medina del Campo


cross-border: works ongoing

Rail Connection Bergara - San Sebastián - Bayonne


completion expected in ES by 2016, in FR by 2020

Bayonne - Bordeaux


ongoing public consultation

Bordeaux - Tours


works ongoing



southern high-speed bypass

Baudrecourt - Mannheim



Baudrecourt - Strasbourg


works ongoing, to be completed 2016

Le Havre - Paris



Le Havre - Paris


Studies, upgrading

Le Havre

Port, Rail

Studies and works on port capacity, MoS and interconnections

Forum Meetings 2014

  • 4th Forum Meeting of the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, Brussels, 19 November 2014


  • 1st meeting of the working group of the Regions along the Atlantic Corridor, Brussels, 18 November 2014


  • 3rd Forum Meeting of the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, Brussels, 1 October 2014


  • 2nd Forum Meeting of the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, Brussels, 19 June 2014


  • 1st Forum Meeting of the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, Brussels, 3 April 2014