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Title    Private Company Entering High-Speed Rail
Date    Monday June 10, @09:11PM
Author    hubie
from the dept.

quietus writes:

Historically, high-speed rail travel by Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV) in France was the monopoly of the French national rail service, SNCF.

Under EU rules, all national operators have to make their rail system available to other willing operators. So in 2021, Trentalia, a unit of Italy's state rail operator, decided to offer high-speed train rides in France too.

Now a third company has decided to enter the fray. The difference is that this is a private company named Proxima, backed by a (French) private equity firm (Antin Infrastructure Partners) to the initial tune of $1.1bn.

Proxima will offer high-speed rail trips between Paris and four cities in western France - Bordeaux, Nantes, Rennes, and Angers, using 12 Avelia Horizon Trains. This will add 10 million new passenger seats on these lines, per year. According to the company,

"Travel between key cities in France has increased over the last 10 years, reflecting new ways of living. High-speed rail is the answer favored by the French, and train occupancy levels are at all-time highs.

As France's first independent high speed train operator, Proxima aims to reinvent the experience for its different customers groups by listening to their needs, and reflecting the changes in consumer behaviour and changing ways of life. These include trends to teleworking and the erosion of the business/leisure boundary, as well as the demand for better on-board connectivity and relevant services on-board."

It might be noteworthy that earlier this year, the EU decided to speed-up the implementation of the TEN-T network. The TEN-T is an EU-wide network of rail, inland waterways, short-sea shipping routes, and roads. It connects 424 major cities with ports, airports and railway terminals. When the TEN-T is complete, it will cut travel times between these cities. For example, passengers will be able to travel between Copenhagen and Hamburg in 2.5 hours by train, instead of the 4.5 hours required today. You can find an interactive map detailing the project(s) here.

While in 2021, the deadline for completion of the network's core was set at 2040, a recent update stated that the core transport links must be finished by 2030. It is speculation, but it could be -- given that Proxima's service will start in 2027 -- that the current initiative is in anticipation of that completion.

Related: Highspeed to the Future

Original Submission


  1. "quietus" -
  2. "enter the fray" -
  3. "Avelia Horizon Trains" -
  4. "here" -
  5. "in 2021" -
  6. "recent update" -
  7. "Highspeed to the Future" -
  8. "Original Submission" -

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