France to invest €100bn in rail infrastructure by 2040

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The French Government has announced that it plans to invest up to €100bn in rail infrastructure by 2040 to modernize and expand the ageing network, as part of the country’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and encourage more people to take the train.

The investment was announced by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who noted that it will help make the train “a real alternative to the car” across France. “Preparing for the future of our transport means making strong choices to enable changes in usage,” Borne said. “With €100bn for rail by 2040, we will move towards more efficient and low-carbon daily transport.”

The rail investment plan covers the upgrade of the existing rail network and the addition of new rail lines, including new night train routes and expanded commuter rail networks in cities.

Borne noted that new express commuter trains like the Paris RER system will be launched in other major cities. These would add to existing urban rail lines and the TER regional train network.

According to Borne, the planned investments will be made together with national rail operator SNCF, the European Union and local governments.

“For our fellow citizens, modernizing the network will mean more trains, better punctuality and shorter journey times,” Borne said. “It is under these conditions, and under these conditions only, that the train will be fully an attractive and credible alternative to the car.”