Budget TGV link to be extended
OuiGo will add more destinations in 2016, as SNCF announces other improvements to the long-distance experience
THE SNCF'S low-cost rail service, OuiGo, will expand in 2016 to serve twice as many destinations, SNCF chief executive Guillaume Pepy has announced.
In an interview for RTL/Le Figaro/LCI, Pepy said he wanted a third of TGV journeys in France to cost no more than about €40 by next year. There is no word yet on SNCF fare rises in 2016, as the budget is still awaiting approval by the transport ministry.
OuiGo launched a no-frills rail link from Disneyland Paris (Marne-la-Vallée) to Lyon and Marseille in 2013. New OuiGo destinations in 2016 will include Nantes and Rennes.
Pepy said that the SNCF was about to sign deals with the big three mobile operators to guarantee internet on-board 90% of all French trains by 2020. Other improvements to the TGV experience will include reversible seats allowing passengers to always face the direction of travel, and more efficient air conditioning.
He estimated that this year's terror threats could have a long-term cost to the French rail operator in the region of €200-300million in lost revenue. Rail use in the week following the Paris attacks was down 40% across France but is gradually returning to normal levels, he said.
New security barriers have been installed on Thalys rail platforms, at a cost of €2.5million per platform per year.