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SNCF can remain in government ownership, but they will be only one of several players bidding for regional and long distance franchises (including probably Arriva, First, Abellio, Stagecoach and all the other usual suspects). It will be as if John Major's government had allowed British Rail to bid for train operating franchises.

Regional services are already planned/commissioned and subsidised by the regional councils, so the leap to competitive franchising won't be that big.

Regional services in Germany are already franchised by Land governments.

Regional rail and local rail traffic is organised and subsidised (as the fares usually do not cover the running costs) by the federal states. Usual procedure under EU legislation is to award the contract to the lowest bid by means of a tender procedure. The respective states are free to announce short- or long-term contracts as well as to stipulate further conditions e.g. on rolling stock. In recent years, many bids were won by private rail companies like NordWestBahn or Arriva, although some states have awarded long-term contracts to local DB Regio subsidiaries.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 10:03:42 PM EST
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