Jean-Pierre Audoux - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2012 / 27 November 2012 /
My article in European Railway Review Issue 6 2011 outlined the prospect of a French railway system reform. This subject is still at the forefront of discussions within the industry and so constitutes the main topic of this article.
This agenda must be viewed against the backdrop of a very tough economic climate and of a new political landscape created by the election of a new President of the Republic, a new government and a new parliamentary majority.
Since taking office, the newly-appointed ministerial teams have initiated a review of the planned major transport projects (including railway-related projects) which will impact the regeneration of the country.
The government has confirmed its determination to unveil the main guidelines of the necessary and eagerly-awaited reform of the French railway system. As a result, the French railway industry, and of course the FIF, are challenged by a new situation of crucial importance for the sector’s future.
The reassessment of the major rail transport infrastructure projects will be a decisive factor for the next 30 years.
Issue 6 2011 / 6 December 2011 /
Since 2010, there has been no end to the discussions and questions about the future of the French rail system and about the future of the French rail industry in particular.
The collapse in rail cargo, the constant increase in the system’s debt, the ageing of the railway network, the difficulties in securing funding for rolling stock investment and infrastructure investment: there are so many issues that, in spite of the context of the launch of the national election campaign, appear foremost in the concerns of political decision-makers, unions and also the sector’s socio-professional stakeholders whether they are railway operators, managers or manufacturers.
This situation might seem even more paradoxical given that France has not prioritised railway transport and projects since post-war times.
Issue 6 2010 / 10 December 2010 /
2010 has been one step in the evolution of the French Railway Industry Association’s (FIF) missions and roles. In fact, throughout 2010, the FIF has been involved in guiding a number of major founding issues for the rail sector.
The environment of the French Railway Industry Association (FIF) members today has become much more complex than it was in the 80s and 90s, because France, like every European country, is currently in a long-term transition phase of its railway system. The end of the 90s marked the transition towards a new era, a transition of about 20 years and which admittedly, concerns not only France, but also, and to a similar extent, Europe.
The French Railway Industry Association (FIF) is deeply rooted in the economic and social history of railways in France. Its parent organisation, the Association of Railway Equipment Manufacturers, created in 1899 on the eve of the universal exhibition in Paris where for the first time it exhibited as such, was the official lobbying body for the Trade until 1963 when it changed its name to the present ‘Fédération des Industries Ferroviaires’ (French Railway Industry Association).