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Updating
the Network

Between now and 2017, SNCF and RFF will continue to update the rail network, carrying out some 1,000 major projects each year.

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A Better Journey
Tomorrow

At 30,000 kilometres of line, the French rail network is the second-largest in Europe, with more trains running faster, going farther and getting closer. And you’re travelling more than ever, choosing rail for both work and play. In the past decade, rail traffic has grown 30% for TGVs, 50% for our TER regional trains, and 30% for the Paris region’s Transilien service, and by 2020 the number of passengers is projected to rise by another 30%.

To be ready for the increased demand, SNCF has joined the French State, local and regional governments, and Réseau Ferré de France (RFF, the owner of the French rail network) in a sweeping network modernization programme.

We have three main priorities:

  • modernize the network to improve reliability
  • build new high-speed lines
  • make your travel more punctual and comfortable.

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LOOKING AHEAD

Despite regular maintenance, over the past two decades the French rail network has aged, causing slowdowns and delays.

That’s why the French State partnered with Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) in 2008 to launch an unprecedented programme of network upgrades.

By 2015, nearly €2.5 billion will have been invested in updating the network. In 2013 alone, some 1,000 infrastructure projects were carried out, with 300 underway simultaneously during certain periods of the year. The 2014 calendar calls for more than 1,500 projects, including 1,000 large ones, with much of the work to be performed at night.

The French State will support this Grand Network Modernisation Plan (Grand Plan de Modernisation du Réseau ferroviaire, or GPMR) by providing RFF with €15 billion in funding over six years.

The works will fall into three main categories:

  • modernizing the existing network—upgrading tracks, signalling, catenaries and structures such as tunnels, bridges and viaducts; replacing level crossings with railway bridges; and more
  • expanding capacity—creating new lines to optimize traffic
  • performing routine maintenance—monitoring the network and replacing selected sleepers, rail sections, points and catenaries.

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SNCF & RFF: Who does what?

SNCF
  • Carries out engineering works through its Infra division
  • Establishes timetables and provides buses to replace train service as needed
  • Provides you with information in the station, aboard your train, and remotely via information technology
RFF
  • Manages rail infrastructures
  • Improves network safety and performance by organizing 1,000 modernization projects annually
  • Plans train movements to make your journey more relaxed.



MAJOR UPGRADE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE

In the first weeks of 2014, SNCF employees carried out extensive engineering works to connect the new Nîmes-Montpellier line to the national network. As a result, all rail traffic between Montpellier and Narbonne was suspended from 18.00 each Saturday through 11.00 each Sunday for the four weekends from 11 January to 2 February. To minimize the inconvenience to passengers, work was performed in four 17-hour shifts, with coaches replacing the suspended rail service.

Around 50 SNCF Infra and Colas Rail employees laboured through the night to complete the works, and dozens of SNCF volunteers turned out each weekend to keep passengers informed, providing much-needed support to in-station staff.