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Rural areas of France could lose their TGV service
Posted on 18/10/2017


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It has been reported that SNCF plans to reduce the number of stations serviced by the high-speed TGV. Critics say if the plan is to go ahead rural areas in France will be adversely affected.

TGV stops in rural areas may cease altogether

TGV stops in rural areas may cease altogether
©Leonid Andronov/123RF

It is likely that if the station cuts go ahead, the move will have a major impact on commuters living outside of France's major cities. In rural areas of the country, local politicians have previously campaigned very strongly to get a TGV stop within their vicinity. Consequently if the service is taken away it will be a real loss both economically and personally for local communities.

SNCF is no stranger to controversy and problems that plague the TGV service. Statistics show that only 60% of TGVs actually run on the high-speed tracks which allow the trains to reach their high velocity. The other 40% of TGVs run at the 'normal' speed of regional trains, and are thus far more expensive to manage and run. However, this is only one of several contributing factors to SNCF's debt, which reportedly amounts to 45 billion euros and is growing by 3 billion euros year on year.

France's high-speed TGV trains run as part of the country's intercity rail network, operated by state owned rail company SNCF. The TGV currently serve 230 stations across France, connecting Paris to Bordeaux, Limoges and Toulouse amongst other key cities, but it is rumored that the TGV service could be facing a fairly drastic shake up.

In an attempt to cut costs and reduce their debt the French rail authorities have proposed reducing the number of stations which are served by TGV trains. The stations to be cut would be those in more rural areas of France with the TGV service being prioritized for larger urban centers. Elisabeth Borne, transport minister for France, justified this move in The Local by comparing the situation with that of the air industry in France: "Airbus A380 planes do not serve Brive".

As yet, there is still no official information regarding how many stations are to be cut, however it has been reported that some TGV drivers have already began implementing the initiative. On Monday a TGV heading to Lyon missed its stop at Montélimar.