FRENCH cooperative Railcoop entered receivership on October 16, with the operator lacking available cash to pay its creditors.

It will now undergo a six-month “period of observation,” during which time it is hoped that further funding for the company can be secured.

At a meeting on October 7, 85% of shareholders voted to continue activities and to pursue negotiations with venture capital company Serena Partners to secure enough money to carry out Railcoop’s plans to launch a passenger service from Bordeaux to Limoges and on to Lyon.

A total of 800 shareholders also agreed to provide further capital to the company.

Railcoop launched a daily common-user freight service between Capdenac and Toulouse Saint Jory in November 2021. The service used two G1000 diesel locomotives hired from DB Cargo France and a rake of curtain-sided wagons leased from Ermewa.

The train often ran completely empty “to show that the company could run a reliable service” and never carried more than a few pallets for a chocolate manufacturer before it ceased operation on April 30.

At the time Railcoop said it was shifting its focus to the launch of passenger trains in 2024.

The cooperative announced in March that it would start operating between Bordeaux and Lyon in June 2024, making it the first new entrant in the conventional domestic passenger market that is currently the preserve of French National Railways (SNCF). It first planned to launch passenger services on the route on June 26 2022 but the launch has been delayed several times due to difficulties in obtaining funding and securing rolling stock.