Anne-Marie Idrac

2006-2008: Reform

From 2006 to 2008, Anne-Marie Idrac served as the first woman chair of SNCF and the first female vice-chair of UIC, the International Union of Railways. She reformed the special retirement system for railway workers, introduced minimum rail service during strikes, and launched the new TGV Est high-speed line linking Paris and Strasbourg—a huge hit with passengers. And on 3 April 2007, SNCF set a new world speed record of 574.8 km/h.

Taking inspiration from German models, Ms Idrac worked to improve SNCF Group’s freight and logistics operations and expand their European reach, and she modernized TER and Transilien regional transport as well.