KEITH FENDER describes SNCF’s ambitions to counter competition and increase investment
The French railway industry is in the throes of its biggest changes for decades, with the Macron government’s signiicant reform proposals having become law in June. French national rail operator SNCF, whilst remaining state-owned, is being restructured into a public company (a société anonyme, akin to the British plc model). Whilst infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau is part of the new group the opportunities for new passenger competitors to enter the market have increased signiicantly thanks to the reform package (part of which implements the EU Fourth Railway package liberalisation requirements). Under the new law regional services will open to competition from December 2019 and long-distance services a year later.