Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SNCF calls for second Paris-Lyon HS line

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IRJ at the UIC 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail, Philadelphia: The president of French National Railways (SNCF) Mr Guillaume Pepy today called for the construction of a second high-speed line between Paris and Lyon to relieve congestion on the existing railway.

"Our main problem today is congestion," Pepy told delegate at the UIC 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail, Philadelphia. "We operate 280 trains a day between Paris and Lyon. We have tried to avoid building a second line by operating double-deck trains, having very long operating hours, and by building new stations, but a new line is now a necessity."

Pepy suggests a new line could be built as using the public-private partnership structure adopted by the French government for TGV Sud Europe Atlantique and the Nimes-Montpelier bypass.

He also stressed that high-speed rail in France is profitable. "The Ebita of the high-speed network is above 12%, although we have some way to go to achieve our goal of 20%," he says. "We pay 100% of operating and maintenance costs and 70% of infrastructure costs with the state paying the rest. Thanks to our excellent yield management system we have a load factor of 83%, which is comparable with the low-cost airlines."

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