The state will help “to the tune of several billion euros” the SNCF, facing a serious shortfall due in particular to the health crisis, says the Minister for Transport in an interview with Le Figaro.

“Several options are on the table: the recapitalization of the group or the recovery of an additional part of the debt, for example,” said Jean-Baptiste Djebbari in this interview.

“The arbitrations have not yet been rendered. At this stage, we are working on avenues and discussing them with the SNCF. But, if the State invests considerable sums, it expects in return that the SNCF has a high-level economic, environmental and social performance ”added the young minister. “We hope that the rail network will be modernized within ten years; so that passenger trains can run smoothly, day and night, as well as freight trains. For that, we must stay the course of the reform of 2018 ”specified Djebbari

He clarified the government’s position. Continue on the path of “an investment of several billion euros per year until 2022 to regenerate the rail network,” said the Minister Delegate. “At the same time, a sufficiently strong aid could allow the SNCF to return to balance as soon as possible. Clearly, it is about not going back to manufacturing debt ”.

“The State will first finance the renovation of existing rolling stock”

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also indicates that he wants to “relaunch rail freight in France” and in particular have proposed to the Prime Minister “to lower tolls for companies operating on the national network”, following in the footsteps of President Macron on the issue. The government also aims “to relaunch by 2022 two additional night trains with, why not, a Paris-Nice to start,” said the Minister Delegate.

“The State will first finance the renovation of existing rolling stock before considering the purchase of new trainsets to develop a larger European network in the longer term”, he explains. On the “small lines”, “the State will continue to mobilize substantial co-financing to renovate as many other lines as possible”, he promises.