FRENCH cooperative Railcoop is expected to be pronounced bankrupt on April 15. The admission was made in late March by the directors of the aspiring passenger operator to a French business magazine, after attempts to raise new capital proved fruitless.

Railcoop was put into receivership in October 2023 and given six months to find at least €500,000. Around €383,000 was promised by the cooperative’s members, but potential external funders were unwilling to invest in the company.

Railcoop says that it owes large sums to rolling stock refurbishment contractor ACC M, which examined nine former French National Railways (SNCF) class X 72500 DMUs acquired by the cooperative.

The cooperative was created in 2019 with the aim of launching a Bordeaux - Lyon passenger service. This was originally scheduled for 2022, but the date was put back several times.

One of the main reasons for Railcoop’s difficulties was the decision to operate freight services while plans for the Bordeaux - Lyon passenger service were developed. The company had over 30 employees by 2022, but its freight trains ran empty most of the time, which might well have deterred potential investors.