The story of
French rail

From its beginnings in 1827, the French rail industry has been driven by colourful personalities, cultural revolutions and ingenious solutions to technological challenges. Learn more about the history of French rail and the people behind it.

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  2. 2001
  3. 2007
  4. 2011
  5. 2012
  6. 2013



25 January: SNCF reaches a new milestone as the number of high-speed rail passengers carried hits the 2 billion mark.


We displayed the countdown on a giant screen at Paris Gare de Lyon station and celebrated the occasion in 17 stations around France, compiling a giant photo album featuring thousands of passenger portraits.

It took us 22 years—from 1981 to 2003—to carry our first billion high-speed rail passengers, but only ten more to double that.