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The Rhone: unique management for a unique potential

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CNR manages a navigable waterway 330 km long, perfectly adapted to goods transport, river tourism and pleasure boating. Its Navigation Management Centre is unique in France.

Centralised river transport management

CNR built 14 wide gauge locks between Lyon and the Mediterranean Sea from 1952 to 1977 to develop navigation on the Rhone. What are the locks for? They facilitate river transport and make it safe for both passengers and goods. Since 2012, these locks have been remotely controlled from the Navigation Management Centre. Installed at Châteauneuf du Rhône there is no other such centre in France. It operates 24/7.

What is the purpose of the navigation management centre?

  • To guarantee maximum safety on the river: better monitoring of the installations;
  • To improve information for river tourists on the Rhone: real-time information on traffic;
  • To improve the level of service provided to skippers: lock passages in less than 20 minutes.

With a monitoring system operating 24h a day (video, VHF, telephone), the Navigation Management Centre ensures constant vigilance over the entire navigable length of the Rhone and reinforces the safety of lockage operations.

The management of the Rhone in key figures

19 locks

including 14 wide gauge locks downstream of Lyon and 5 locks for pleasure craft upstream

3.7 million tonnes

of goods transported between Lyon and the Mediterranean

190 m

is the maximum authorised length of the boats on the Rhone

195 m

is the maximum length of the lock chambers (excluding Port-Saint-Louis)

7.88 m

is the maximum clearance under the bridges (6.30 m being the minimum clearance)