Managing rail traffic

To ensure the optimum allocation of rail network capacities, SNCF Réseau stays tuned to the needs of its customers and effectively coordinates traffic.

Coordinating rail traffic in relation to precise criteria

To allocate line capacities as best as possible and coordinate their use, SNCF Réseau simultaneously accounts for:

  • the need to set aside works-intervals (periods reserved for maintenance work),
  • meeting the various requests for transport,
  • optimising train paths (time slots for trains to travel from one point to another).

A wide variety of tools to balance network uses

To effectively manage rail traffic, SNCF Réseau must remain closely attuned to its customers’ needs. For this reason, opportunities have been created to discuss train path allocation. Consultative conferences are set up every year to identify the challenges tied to regional, national and European rail traffic.

The SNCF Réseau teams deploy various means to allocate rail capacities as best as possible. They propose, for instance, a catalogue of pre-constructed train paths, i.e., slots that have been defined in advance. They can also free up new paths as a result of the frequency of service, i.e., trains circulating at fixed times and at regular intervals, improving the coordination of traffic. These tools contribute to producing, in as far as possible, the definite allocation of time slots.

Key figures
  • more than 6 million train paths requested each year
  • 15 000 passenger and freight trains circulate every day
  • 30 000 km of lines open to commercial traffic