"Eating on a train must become a pleasure," says Ms Barbara Dalibard, director general of SNCF's passenger division. "Catering on-board must become an integral part of the travel experience."

SNCF will start to improve its catering immediately with Newrest-Elior taking over the management and training of staff and developing sales. In January a start will be made on giving TGV bar cars a new look and introducing a new range of products.

Well-known gcatering brands will be offered including Illy coffee, sandwiches, snacks and light meals by Monoprix under its Monop'daily brand, and breakfast menus created by Paul. An at-seat service will be introduced in first class, while a range of set menus provided by Boco, which relies on dishes created by five famous French chefs, will be offered to passengers using SNCF's Pro Première service.

Around 30% of products will be organic and the vegetarian range will be expanded. SNCF says prices will remain the same as before, and in some cases will be reduced.