Kevin Speed and SNCF Réseau pave the way for affordable high-speed travel

Kevin Speed and SNCF Réseau pave the way for affordable high-speed travel

Kevin Speed introduces ilisto, a low-cost high-speed rail service linking Paris with Lille, Strasbourg and Lyon.

In a move that promises to reshape France's high-speed rail landscape, Kevin Speed, a pioneering rail operator, has entered into a strategic Track Access Framework Agreement with SNCF Réseau. This collaboration paves the way for the introduction of ilisto, a new high-speed train service. Targeting key routes from Paris to Lille, Strasbourg, and Lyon, the service will meet the growing demand for economic, high-speed transport in the region.

Kevin Speed has committed to purchasing 20 new trainsets, designed in partnership and manufactured by Alstom. Ilisto is inspired by both the efficient Japanese Shinkansen system and the cost-saving strategies of low-cost airlines. By offering high-frequency services with denser seating, Kevin Speed aims to provide the French population with an affordable yet fast travel alternative.

Initial trials are planned for 2026, with a full launch by the end of 2028. Kevin Speed expects to create around 450 local jobs through the establishment of three dedicated maintenance workshops.

“The French high-speed rail market is the largest in Europe, both in terms of PAX and revenues. Its natural macroeconomic growth is accelerating under the modal shift from car to rail engineered by French authorities pursuant to their 2030 carbon emissions targets. With our fleet of 20 trains, we will satisfy this new demand for affordable, 300 km/h commuting service around Paris,” said Guy Saidenberg, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Kevin Speed. 

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