French railways take new track
Wednesday 22 January 1997
Under a bill presented to parliament yesterday, the company is to be split into two: Reseau Ferre National (RFN), a state-owned version of the British Railtrack, will own and take responsibility for the track and infrastructure, and a revamped SNCF will be responsible for running and managing the trains.
RFN will take over the bulk of SNCF's debt to the tune of 134 billion francs, and receive a government subsidy of F8bn in the first year to offset interest payments. SNCF will have to pay RFN for the use of the track, while RFN will have to pay SNCF for managing it.
Six "volunteer" regions are to take over the running of local railway services on an experimental - and "fully reversible" basis.
The railways bill, in approximately its present form, was to have been presented in October, but was delayed without explanation amid reports that officials judged the industrial climate too volatile. In autumn 1995, train drivers brought the national rail network to a halt and spearheaded six weeks of public sector protest that immobilised the country and threatened to topple the government.
That the government has now presented the bill - albeit starting with the upper house (the Senate), which is a "safer" bet for its first reading than the National Assembly - is a sign of its confidence that the sting of trade union protest might now have been drawn.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...