FRENCH National Railways (SNCF) has revealed plans to launch more frequent “open access” low-cost locomotive-hauled services on major routes, after previously withdrawing all of its 100% Eco low-cost locomotive-hauled services last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Operating under the new Oslo brand, the services will use locomotives and rolling stock made available by the widespread introduction of new EMUs on current or former Intercités services.

Work is said to be well advanced on introducing four train pairs a day on the Paris - Bordeaux route and three train pairs a day on the Paris - Nantes and Paris - Dijon - Lyon routes, the latter of which still has a two-hourly locomotive-hauled TER fast regional service.

Other routes under consideration include Paris - Marseille, Paris – Rennes, and Lyon - Nice.

The Grand Est regional councils currently finances a locomotive-hauled Paris - Strasbourg train while Hauts-de-France has recently introduced a weekend Paris - Lille EMU service.