Next year France’s railway network will be modernised at around 1000 locations, as part of a plan to renovate the whole rail structure by 2016. Most of the modernisation work will take place at night, so the impact on rail freight is likely to far greater than on passenger services.
The network management company indicated last month that 88% of global train slot applications had been granted, but for freight, the figure was 70%. The company is looking for solutions for 12-15% of the freight train slots requested for 2012, but was committed to offering firm bookings for these slots at least two months before trains were due to operate.
Reflecting the depressed state of the rail freight sector, slot applications for freight trains in 2012 were down 5% on this year, RFF added.