French government pledges €4 billion for rail freight, Alliance 4F welcomes positive change

French government pledges €4 billion for rail freight, Alliance 4F welcomes positive change
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The government plans to provide €4 billion in funding by 2032 and increase annual aid to the sector to €200 million by 2030. This investment is aimed at modernizing and expanding rail infrastructure to support the growth of rail freight and combined transport in France.

The French Ministry of Transport has unveiled a series of measures to support the rail freight industry. The government has committed to a comprehensive financing plan of €4 billion by 2032, accompanied by an annual increase in sectoral aid of €200 million until 2030. These investments respond to the demands made by the 4F Alliance over the past three years to modernize and develop the infrastructure needed to accelerate rail freight and intermodal transport across France in the coming decades. 

The timing of these announcements is crucial as they send a positive and reassuring signal to a market that has been anxiously awaiting rail freight solutions to reduce its carbon footprint. Industry stakeholders have faced months of uncertainty due to strikes and escalating energy costs, making these government initiatives all the more significant.

During the recent meeting, the Minister reaffirmed his commitment to rail freight and announced an investment plan of €4 billion by 2032 (€2 billion between 2023 and 2027, followed by a further €2 billion between 2027 and 2032). For the Alliance 4F, this announcement is finally in line with the need for a modal shift in favor of rail freight, which is essential to reduce the energy impact of the French logistics chain. The investment plan will make it possible to achieve the objective of an 18% modal share for rail freight by 2030, a significant increase compared to the current 10%. This funding will respond to the growing demands of shippers, which the industry has struggled to meet due to inadequate and substandard infrastructure.

"This announcement of concrete measures by the government illustrates the recognition of the ecological and energy benefits of rail freight. In the particularly challenging context of recent months marked by strikes on the network and rising energy costs, the 4F Alliance has been calling for coherence and sustainability in the commitments made in favor of the sector. We reiterate our confidence and determination to achieve an 18% modal share for rail freight by 2030,” commented Raphaël Doutrebente, President of the 4F Alliance.

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