France: Alliance 4F calls for measures to support the rail freight industry

France: Alliance 4F calls for measures to support the rail freight industry
© fret4f.fr

Alliance is disappointed with the government's response to rising energy costs and believes that the lack of support has led to a reverse modal shift to the road, threatening the survival of rail companies.


Alliance 4F, a group representing all actors in the French rail freight industry, has expressed its disappointment with the government's response to its requests for support in the face of rising energy costs. The group urges the government to take immediate action to address the problem and introduce a real programming law to improve the network.

Although the Ministry of Transport announced on 21 April that SNCF Réseau had authorized freight operators to terminate their contracts as of 1 June, Alliance 4F believes that this measure does not go far enough to provide the necessary support. The group is calling for urgent measures to tackle the impact of rising electricity prices on rail freight and combined road-rail transport.

Alliance alerted the government to the issue in November 2022, presenting two requests: modifying the existing toll assistance system and capping the price of rail traction electricity at €180 per megawatt hour. 

The lack of support for the industry has already caused a reverse modal shift in recent months, pushing customers toward road transport and threatening the survival of rail transport companies, combined operators, and road transporters who use rail services. Despite repeated requests, rail freight still does not benefit from targeted support, unlike road diesel, which has benefited from generous fiscal measures. Alliance is now calling for a strong, long-term signal from the government to ensure effective implementation of investment and support for the sector.

“The members of Alliance 4F are waiting for answers to face the difficulties caused by the increase in energy costs. This requires the announcement of aid adapted to the needs of the sector. It also expects the investments announced by the Prime Minister to be the subject of a programming law to provide for the financing of the infrastructures that are essential in the coming years to achieve the doubling of the modal share by 2030. Alliance 4F remains fully mobilized and involved in this goal,” said Raphaël Doutrebente, President of Alliance 4F.

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