Deutsche Bahn: no plans to raid French rail market

15th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

Too many "restrictions" exist in France to make it profitable for the German rail company to enter the French market despite the new European Union regulations.

Paris – German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has no plans to compete directly with French rival SNCF in France even though competition on international routes opened up in Europe in January, a company official said Thursday.

Too many "restrictions" exist in France to make it profitable for the German rail company to enter the French market despite the new European Union regulations, said Deutsche Bahn European affairs director Joachim Fried.

"We see almost no chance to launch (international links) in competition with SNCF. Chances are almost zero, owing to the economic data," Fried told reporters in Paris.

The main constraint he cited is a limit set on transporting passengers between two cities in France during a trip linking Germany and France. The sales and passenger totals in the domestic portion of the trip must represent less than half the international route.

The rise in toll fees rail companies must pay to use high-speed rail lines and the costly material needed to make trains capable of using tracks in both countries also make such routes expensive, he said.

"Cooperation with SNCF is the only way to serve these routes," Fried said.

Deutsche Bahn and SNCF are partners in the Thalys and Alleo train services for routes between France and Germany.

AFP / Expatica

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