France announces EUR 100 billion investment in rail

new rail dealThe prime minister of France, Elisabeth Borne, has unveiled a “new rail deal” under which EUR 100 billion will be invested in the rail sector by 2040 to create a more efficient and low-carbon transport system.

The plans aim at the decarbonisation of the transport sector, which is the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions  and the development of a better and energy efficient daily transport to reduce territorial divisions and improve the lives of the citizens.

After discussing with the decision makers from the transport sector the Infrastructure Orientation Council (COI) has presented several scenarios to improve the transport sector based on ecological planning which will create the basis to fight against climate change.

Following the presentation, Elisabeth Borne announced the decision in favor of investment in rail sector particularly in the development and modernisation of the national rail network, including in the rural areas. “Beyond the train, this involves building with the communities a complete offer of transport networks for the French, likely to promote modal shift,” the prime minister said.

Alongside with SNCF, local authorities and the European Union, the state will implement a “new rail deal” (in French ‘nouvelle donne ferroviaire’) strategy which will approach the projects to modernise and develop metropolitan RERs (Réseau Express Régional) as announced by the President Emmanuel Macron. The prime minister also announced that the know-how of the Société du Grand Paris would be put at the service of local authorities, alongside SNCF, to support the project management of these new metropolitan RERs. In March discussions will start with the local executives to determine the timetable, the operational and financing methods for the new metropolitan RER projects. “Behind the concept of metropolitan RERs, it is the use of the train that will evolve, with more trains, more regular and better serving the living areas. The metropolitan RER system is not just talking about trains, it is about building complete transport networks for the French. It means getting closer to a station or developing public transport where it is absent,” Elisabeth Borne explained.

For nearly six years, we have conducted an ambitious transport policy. As Minister of Transport, I introduced a mobility orientation law to adapt our transport to the needs and expectations of the French. Major projects have also been launched in the rail sector, with the reform of the SNCF and the relaunch of investments in the network,” the prime minister said.

France will increase the investment in the existing network with an additional EUR 1 billion per year for the renewal and regeneration of the infrastructure and EUR 500 million each year for the modernisation of the network.

France has followed two major directions in the transport sector including the development of the “daily transport” policy to provide increased access and cohesion of the territories and the decarbonisation of the transport sector which emits a third of conuntry’s total GHG emissions.


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