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Transfesa - opening doors

Transfesa manages the only two facilities that enable the international traffic of interchangeable wagons between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.

Due to the difference in the width of the track between the Peninsula and the rest of the European continent, the goods that travel by train have to be transferred at the Franco-Spanish border.
This problem is overcome with the use of the interchangeable axle wagons, suitable for the two different track widths: Europe or UIC and Iberian (1,435 and 1,668 mm respectively).
 

These facilities, located at the two border points of Cerbère and Hendaye, have been operating since 1950 and more than half a million wagons have passed through them over the last eight years. 

What does the axle change consist of?

The axle change, which takes around 4 minutes for a wagon with two axles, consists of the entrance of the convoy via a section of double track (4 rails), the clamping of the wagon with hydraulic jacks so that the axles may be changed and then the convoy exits on the track width on which it will travel until its final destination.  
More information about our services on the website of  SNCF-Reseau (Annexe 9.14 TRANSFESA):  https://www.sncf-reseau.fr/fr/drr_telechargement/2018/annexe9-2-15