After National Assembly French senate also approves the railway reforms

After National Assembly French senate also approves the railway reforms :On 10th July France senate voted for the draft legislation to restructure French Railway Industry. The legislation passed in the senate with 188 votes in favour and 150 votes against it. The vote was held in the National Assembly on 24th June, with 355 votes in favour and 168 against it.

The bill aims to integrate French National Railways (SNCF) and French Rail Network (RFF), ending the existing arrangement which the government argues results in additional costs and complexity.

Within this context a public railway group will be established as SNCF. The SNCF will be the “mother” public body and will be responsible from strategic control. It will have two infrastructure divisions; infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau and train operator SNCF Mobilités. To form the infrastructure manager merging of RFF, maintenance business SNCF Infra and the traffic control directorate DCF is considered. On the other hand train operator will be responsible from the station management.

The legislation also seeks to strengthen the role of regulator Araf to ensure free and non-discriminatory access to the network.

The government expects this new structure to generate savings of €1.5bn a year. The bill also includes new provisions on debt control and railway finances, on basis of performance contracts for the operator and the infrastructure manager. Rail regulator ARAF gains additional powers and increased independence. On the other hand, government is required to draw up a National Transport Plan every five years.

Now the bid will be read once in each house. The final version of the bill will be issued by a joint committee and then need to be signed by the president before it becomes law.

After National Assembly French senate also approves the railway reforms

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