SNCF, à nous de vous faire préférer le train ?

The French National Railways want us to believe their service is so good you will ditch your car and take only trains. At first I thought so as the SNCF indeed enabled me to avoid a tonne of CO2 emissions in 2008.

But between their often prohibitive tariffs and their repetitive and long-lasting strikes I am tired. I am also fed up of waiting between two trains, sick of the time it takes to just to just get there…

I am not the only in thinking that the service proposed by the SNCF could improve dramatically and that a little competition would do wonders.
As a matter of facts, their service is so unreliable that their freight activity lost over a billion euros [Fr] in 2009 alone. Indeed, as a manager I wouldn’t trust the SNCF to transport my precious goods.

This situation is truly enraging as our roads and highways are literally packed with trucks. I am sure that among the thousands of containers going from one part of Europe to another – and thus crossing our country – an important fraction could go by train.

A more reliable rail service would literally slash oil consumption and greenhouse gases emissions. France has 21st century infrastructure and trains, it is high time the public company improves too…


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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