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France presented a strategy for the development of rail freight

France presented a strategy for the development of rail freight
photo: SNCF/France presented a strategy for the development of rail freight
20 / 09 / 2021

The French government has unveiled a national strategy for the development of rail freight. The strategy is based on the plan presented in June 2020 by the Alliance 4F group, which unites freight operators. The main goal laid down in this plan is to double by 2030 the share of railways in the French market from 9% (32 billion tonne-kilometers) to 18%, i.e., to a level close to what is set on average for the EU countries.

This goal is currently enshrined in French law. Moreover, the government plans to bring this share to 25% by 2050.

At the 38th International Exhibition of Transport and Logistics in Paris on September 13, 2021, the Minister of Transport of the country Jean-Baptiste Djebbari signed an agreement for the development of freight rail transport with the Alliance 4F group, the Association of Transport Service Users AUTF and the operator of the railway infrastructure. Roads of France SNCF Réseau.

While investments under the Alliance 4F plan are estimated at 15.7 billion euros, of which € 13.3 billion are in the scope of SNCF Réseau, the government's strategy is much less of a financial investment. Thus, the measure to halve the payment for access to infrastructure has been extended for 3 years and is estimated at € 170 million. The multimodal transport sector will receive annual assistance in the amount of € 47 million, the wagon transport sector - € 70 million. All these measures will be reviewed in 2024.

The organization of three new corridors for the transportation of road transport units by trains has been agreed, and other routes for this type of transportation are being considered. The government is offering annual financial support of € 15 million for the development of new terminals in Sete, Cherbourg, Bayonne, and Rungis near Paris. The strategy also provides for the full-scale replication of such transport technologies on the French railway network by 2030.

SNCF Réseau plans to spend 210 million euros on new technologies for the ongoing maintenance of infrastructure in order to completely eliminate the closure of lines during repair and track works, as well as € 120 million on measures to reduce noise levels.

The government is also allocating up to € 10 million a year to accelerate the modernization of secondary lines in order to stimulate the emergence of cargo flows there. Local authorities and business partners should also assist in this.