SNCF Réseau – the operator of the French railway network
SNCF Réseau is a French EPIC company which – since 1 January 2015 – has included all units responsible for managing the railway infrastructures. It is the single owner and operator of the railway network and brings together all the expertise and skills, which in the past had been dispersed between RFF, SNCF Intra and the Division of Railway Traffic Management (DCF).
As a result of the merger, SNCF Réseau now enjoys clear and efficient governance within a major industrial company under the authority of the French state. This was the aim of the railway system reform. SNCF Réseau works in synergy with the train operator SNCF Mobilités, another French EPIC company which is part of the new SNCF.
A reform to strengthen and modernise the railway service in France
On 22 July 2014, the French parliament gave final passage to the reform of the railway system.
The aim of this law is to modernise the French public service by making it both more efficient for all users and less expensive for French society. It is the culmination of a process which started two years earlier:
- October 2012: Frédéric Cuvillier, Minister of Transport, initiated a modernisation plan of the French railway system following the conclusions of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) on the state of the French railway network.
- October 2013: RFF, in partnership with SNCF, submitted the Grand Network Modernisation Plan (GPMR) to the Minister.
- June 2014: trade unions were consulted and the Minister of Transportation testified in front of the Senate’s Sustainable Development Committee. The law was then submitted to the French parliament.
- 4 August 2014: promulgation of the law to reform the railway system
- 1 January 2015: birth of SNCF Réseau