The Ouessant rail
Le "rail" d’Ouessant : an example of modern signalisation
Following this environmental disaster, it was decided to change existing vehicle traffic in the Manche by creating a “Dispositif de Séparation de Trafic” (DST - Traffic Separation Device), made up of 3 actual highways which constitute what is commonly known as “le rail d’Ouessant “ .
This DST was put into service in 1980, its objective being to compel “rising” vessels, transporting hyrdrocarbons and dangerous substances, to use a route situated further out at sea from the coasts.
The 16th of March 1978 is a tragic date for marine navigation and for Brittany. It is the date of the shipwreck of the petrol tanker, the Amoco-Cadiz which, when it ran aground at Portsall off the point of Brittany, released its cargo of 227,000 tonnes of crude oil, polluting 360 km of coastline.