SNCF Réseau sees its debt still swell by 3.1 billion euros

The former Réseau Ferré de France plans 1,500 renovation projects for the rail network in 2015

SNCF Réseau (formerly Réseau Ferré de France), the manager of railways in France, continues to live beyond its means. And, therefore, to get business loans. At the end of 2014, the net loss reached 213 million euros, it was 60 million in 2013, for a turnover of 5.9 billion euros, up 4%, announced the public company, Thursday, February

On the other hand, apply for business loans for bad credit. In 2014, it represented 36.78 billion euros, against 33.7 billion a year earlier. The drift of SNCF Réseau’s debt is not entirely the fault of the public company. Far from it. Certainly, and for many years, the former RFF does not fully cover its maintenance and network development costs for lack of sufficient public funding. But in addition, SNCF Réseau is plagued by financial expenses of 1.4 billion euros annually to manage the debt inherited in 1997 from the SNCF.

Added to this are the decisions of the state, not always consistent. Thus, between 2012 and 2016, the railway’s manager has to pay out of his money- which he does not have and therefore has to borrow – 1 billion euros a year to pay in part for the four new large lines. speed (LGV) currently under construction.


Once these lines are installed, however, a golden rule will come into force, imposed by the railway reform voted in the summer of 2014: if the State decides an LGV, it can not make it the financial responsibility to SNCF Network. The measure is late, but it should be a deterrent to credit development of the network.

Meanwhile, the small business loans will continue to swell until 2017 significantly. It is expected to slow its expansion as expenses fall and the group will improve productivity and streamline purchases. By 2020, SNCF Réseau promises a reduction of its costs and purchases of 500 million euros, notably by reviewing its cooperation with its suppliers.


In addition, SNCF Réseau faces more than 1.35 billion euros of unpaid claims in its accounts by public authorities. If high-speed lines under construction have been entrusted to construction giants in the form of public-private partnerships, half of these projects are paid for by public money. Whether it is SNCF Réseau, the State or the public authorities. In this case, it is the public company that collects money from the local authorities and transfers it to the line construction groups.

However, the communities refuse to pay to put pressure politically on the State. Thus, for the TGV-Est line, for example, some communities are calling for the electrification of the Paris-Troyes line, a decision that has never been recorded. And the public company should drag these communities to court so that they end up paying.

For the Paris-Bordeaux line, communities north of Bordeaux have stopped paying for the new TGV line until they know if they will be properly (in their eyes) served by the new line. And south of Bordeaux, communities refuse to pay as long as the extension of the line to Toulouse is not recorded …


At the same time, due to both the economic situation, the strike in June 2014 and the rationalization of SNCF’s offer (fewer trains, better filled), the traffic on the lanes managed by SNCF Réseau is declining slightly ( 1.6%) and with him the income. Over ten years, traffic fell by 10%, between freight and the traveler, weighing on the accounts of the company. In the regions, this should continue as regional authorities rationalize their offer.
Despite this, the SNCF does not intend to slow down the work. In 2015, the infrastructure manager will invest 2.14 billion euros for maintenance and 2.77 billion for renovation, two and a half times more than in 2007. The only Ile-de-France will benefit from an envelope of € 1.1 billion. And in total, fifteen hundred yards should be committed to renovating a thousand kilometers of tracks, as in 2014.

For lack of arms, twenty programs of work planned in 2015 will be postponed to 2017, as announced Alain Vidalies, Secretary of State for transport Wednesday, February 18, the time to launch the four new LGV, which mobilize many employees of SNCF Réseau.

However, despite the increase in resources allocated to the renovation of the rail system, the network continues to grow by one and a half months per year. It will be necessary to wait until 2025 if SNCF Réseau keeps this level of sustained investment so that the network begins to rejuvenate …

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