Cookie Consent by German train firm offers competing lines in France French News and Views in English | The Connexion

German train firm offers competing lines in France

Five new high-speed train line services have been proposed for France by German company FlixTrain, as the country’s rail network prepares to open itself up to competition by 2020-2021.

18 June 2019
By Connexion journalist

The proposed services focus on the routes Paris-Nord - Brussels-Nord, Paris-Bercy - Lyon Perrache, Paris-Bercy - Nice (overnight), Paris-Bercy - Toulouse, and Paris-Austerlitz - Bordeaux, according to documents published by transport authority l’Autorité de Régulation des Activités Ferroviaires et Routières (Arafer) this week (Monday June 17).

FlixTrain is part of the FlixMobility group, of which FlixBus is also a branch. It has been running in Germany since April 2018.

It is the only competitor to have proposed a service on these particular routes, despite SNCF having previously talked about having “two offers” from railway operators.

As in Germany, FlixTrain will focus on planning routes and selling tickets, and will work with partners to actually operate the trains. The trains themselves are to be branded with the company’s distinctive bright green logo colour.

Yvan Lefranc-Morin, director general of FlixBus in France, told the Agence France-Presse: “We are not talking about a TGV model, but rather an equivalent offer to Intercités trains, with more affordable prices. From our data, we know that there is strong demand for a good value offer on these lines.”

According to European regulation around private operators of train networks, the company will now have one month to perform an “economic balance test” to prove to Arafer that their service will not compromise the viability of existing train networks, especially regional offer, the TER.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Income Tax in France 2021 (for 2020 income)*
Featured Help Guide
Order your Income Tax in France guide now for immediate digital access
Get news, views and information from France