There is no final data regarding SNCF’s traffic growth in the summer season yet, but the representatives of the state-owned French company are already excited.
The final outcome will come after the summer’s last weekend, but the railway sector in France is already excited with the news.
For this summer, SNCF was expecting a traffic growth of 3% for TGV and Intercity, but there was a 7% growth instead. The number of passengers who used the regional express trains has also increased by 6%.
Ouigo was SNCF’s “drive” in the summer season
This trend is explained by two major phenomena. First of all, there is the success of Ouigo trains, the low cost TGVs that now run in Toulouse too. 17 million passengers will choose the Oiugo trains by the end of the year, by six million more passengers than last year. The average price of the tickets sold by SNCF is slightly reducing by 2%.
The second reason of SNCF’s increase is the air transport rejection movement started in Sweden. It is called “Flygskam” in Swedish which means air travelling shaming. This movement caused visible effects in less than six months.
The effect is mostly visible on Paris – Biarritz route on which trains are carrying more passengers than planes. The same happened for routes from Paris to Montpellier, Perpignan and Toulon. Rail transport to Nice also increased by 2%.
Soaring temperatures made rail transport difficult
This summer, SNCF faced serious problems because of extremely high temperatures, especially in July. In this summer season, the tracks overheated up to 60 degrees Celsius. There were also problems with the climate control rooms.
Consequently, all norms must be revised or as French railway men say, trains should be “hispanised”. This is one of the projects that SNCF PresidentGuillaume Pépy will launch before the end of his mandate. He announced he would leave the company by 31 December, after eleven and a half years as head of SNCF.