SNCF: Senate report points to “model breathless” and calls for “courageous action”

At the SNCF, reforms follow one another, but the debt remains. A Senate report sounds – once again – the alarm over the railway company’s financial situation, calling for an overhaul of an economic model that is considered outdated and that would jeopardize the group’s medium-term sustainability. baptized “ how to get the SNCF back on track this document follows Bee counter’s missionOhthe financial perspectiveelan group resstare in 2021 by the Supreme Assemblystare. The rapporteurs Hervé Maurey and Stéphane Sautarel paint a particularly gloomy picture of the budgetary position of the SNCF. Because in addition to the effects of the health crisis, elected officials are targeting a range of structural problems that are responsible for a significant slowdown in development. † Our country has become a brake on development.stardevelopment of theeuropean railway areastarin do they go as far as?‘Bee starwrite. a situation ofall the more alarming because the train is one of the tools to get theeuropean targetstarin dan Rstarreduction of 55 % from stargas missions Bee greenhouse effecthere 2050.

As a reminder, the reforms of 1997 and 2014 have already led to a series of restructurings of the SNCF. More recently, that of 2018 resulted in the abolition of railway worker status and the company was transformed into a limited liability company. At the same time, the State has pledged 35 billioneuros dan estimated debtstarand Bee 55 billion in 2017. Just as muchefforts that the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed † USAis what the figures of the crisis suggest. The group believes Bee 3 billion the amount of lost digits dbusiness on theAnnstare 2020. SNCF Voyageurs, the responsible subsidiarystare of transporting people, accuses the heaviest price : own fault with 80 . increased % in 2020 and a loss of 908 millioneuros dinvestments on the meMrs Annstare.

Reforms already swept away by the crisis?

But according to the senators, the financing model of the rail system also faces a viability problem prior to this crisis. The recovery of the debt would be the tree that hides the forest, in particular it would explain the net profit of 890 million euros recorded in 2021, according to the latest results published by the group. Above all, it has allowed the state to wipe its slate from the SNCF, as “ she really came back Bee award the subsidies a posterioriinvestment that would haveyou every likestarfor 15 years already riotefree a note from the Court of Auditors publishedstare this fall, and citstarand through the report.

The two subsidiaries of Keolis and Geodis, focused on the activitiesstarThe international SNCFs have also made it possible to raise the group in 2021, as their results are 50 . represent % of figure daffairs of the SNCF. A situation that, according to the senators, betrays the financial fragility of the French rail activities. The financial dynamics of peripheral activities mask the company’s financial weakness “States Senator LR Stéphane Sautarel.

So even if the total amount of debt sis contractedstar the recovery keeps the trajectory pointing upwards. “The state is not playing its part as it should. Why is there this debt? Because in France, contrary to what happens in other countries, the SNCF finances both investments in maintenance and modernization, while elsewhere it is the state. For years, the SNCF took care of the TGV, which cost a lot of money and which explains why the network is in this state,” deciphered centrist co-rapporteur Hervé Maurey with the Public Senate.

Trains no longer competitive enough in the face of market opening

Elected officials note a worrying lack of competitiveness, coupled with additional costs. In particular for the so-called “ contracted services againstEast-Bee– say the daily trains : TER, Transilien and Intercitstars. On theactivitystar from TER, the coyouts driving in France are supstarlaughing 60 Bee that of theGermany. This situation tends Bee smake it worse sinceBetween 2006 and 2018, regional contributions to TER increased by 92 % in France whilethey have loweredstar from 34 % in Germany says the report. In France, three times moreagents are nowstarneeded to run a train thatelsewhere in Europe. So that the coyouThe means of transport is estimated at 22 cents per passenger and per kilometer on the trains of the TER, Transilien and Intercités networks, while it is 19 cents in Germany, 14.4 cents in Spain and only 14 cents in Italy.

SNCF Réseau, “black point of the railway economic model”

Currently, the results of the operator SNCF Voyageurs carry 60 . Bee % of SNCF R financingstarbucket, the loaded subsidiarystare of theinfrastructure maintenance. The Pstarrailroad ages, cEast-Beeie the fee for the use of the infrastructure that SNCF Voyageurs pays to SNCF Réseau is supposed to guarantee this financing. But the projections for the increase in the cost of these tolls appear to be “ untenable to zostarnatoren – they are dstarlBee are among the highest in Europe – while the finances of SNCF Réseau “ the black point of the modethe stareconomic railway with a trstarn-sorrystargatif of more than two billioneuros.

this modeethe financing, which means that dstarpending the financial situation and prospects of the SNCF Réseau and the renewal of the railway infrastructure from the profits of the SNCF Voyageurs and the TGV, the balance sheet is neither healthy nor viable and the long-term consequences of the crisis on the profitability of high-speed trains notice starread. she prstartherefore agree to the removal of the filiere SNCF Rstarbucket of the SNCF group to the r . to makestarshe knowsstarto hang, Bee limage of what existsstarlBee in the sector of‘eelectricitystar between RTE and EDF.

An aging network with no solid prospects for modernization

This financial situation has a direct impact on the maintenance and modernization of the network and infrastructures, which have nevertheless been the subject ofa particularly worrying state of affairs in 2018† Refurbishment investments have stagnated since 2016, according to the two rapporteurs advocating increasing the effort to 3.8 billioneuros per year for ten years (compared to about 2.6 billioneuros currently). It must be said that the statutes of SNCF Rstarbucket investment in the rstarGstarnotstarr rationstarbucket a variable dfinancial adjustmenteD. l‘BeeThe average age of the French network is now over 29 years (versus 17 in Germany), a figure that current spending is barely enough to stabilize.

>> Read our article – G . managementares SNCF : Lbusiness is in a financial dead ended starping the Court of Auditors

If maintenance is delayed by SNCF Réseau’s difficulties, infrastructure modernization is not the subject of any program or serious financing model, the report warns. Still, it is an important lever for competitiveness, the senators believe. “The chairman of the SNCF himself estimates that these investments would save 10 billion a year! Hervé Maurey slips out.

Elected officers point to the efficiencies associated with the automation and automation of certain procedures, with the introduction of centralized controls and new signaling technologies. According to them, the replacement of the 2 200 workstationsshunting current with about fifteen turns of the controlOhthe could helpstarachieve performance gain Bee height of 40 % of 13 000 traffic management jobs. “This centralized control of the network would avoid having a lot of switches, some of which are still manually operated at the end of the 19th century,” emphasizes Hervé Maurey. “France is significantly behind, promising to expand to staggering proportions if the state does not address this issue,” Stéphane Sautarel swarms.


This is one of the performance tools regularly mentioned in this report by elected officials, calling for “ courageous measures : thanstarheld upstar da strong contraction labor force. both sostarNators recommend a rhythm of rstarreduction of more than 2 % per year, ie at least 3 000 starfull-time equivalents, savings at least one billioneuros dhere 2026. “Today it is necessary to reduce the SNCF workforce. The modernization of the network alone would make it possible to have 5,000 fewer agents. Of course, this must be done with respect for the staff and the statutes, essentially on a voluntary basis,” defends Senator Maurey. “The Court of Auditors has emphasized on several occasions that the fact that there is no versatility of agents entails an additional cost of 300 million per year, the fact that there are very rigid rules in terms of personnel, it is an additional cost of 200 million a year, etc. We see that this whole archaic system is completely out of breath. From now on, it is up to the SNCF to go beyond the 2018 reform, the opening to competition has begun,” adds Stéphane Sautarel.

at 31 dstarDecember 2020, the SNCF workforce numbered 271 509 employees, including about 119 000 statutory railway workers, the report said. However, it should be noted that the majoritystar staff (40 %) concerns the subsidiaries Keolis and Geodis. But the report rather points the finger at the labor force.” too big who work in rolling stock maintenance workshops.