Taking the train rather than using the car would be an ideal solution to contribute to carbon neutrality ambitions. But unfortunately, more and more small stations and lines are abandoned and closed because their traffic potential is too low to continue to maintain them. An impasse that the SNCF intends to remedy with innovative solutions!
The railway company says it itself, ” the TER are sometimes “oversized” compared to the reality of the traffic » and many rural areas whose lines are underused face problems of insufficient rail services. The users of these territories thus very often do not have the possibility of favoring rail over road, which can hamper the efforts of thousands of French people to reduce their carbon footprint. At a time when climate change and purchasing power are at the heart of concerns, a solution to move better and cheaper would be welcome.
This is what SNCF seeks to offer, by innovating and developing solutions which require less operating and maintenance costs related to their use. These new options aim to make the rail service more competitive than the car, in particular for transporting people individually, which is currently far from being the case.
The transport of the near future
In addition to the current TER offer, the SNCF has, for example, imagined an amazing 100% electric shuttle that would revitalize the rail network. It is called Flexy, and looks like a small car but can run on rails like a train, and also on the road! The principle is simple: in order to better serve areas with low population density, and to avoid users having to use the car, Flexy will be able to cover the first and last kilometers of a journey, in order to bring them closer to the stations.
Moving at a maximum of 60 km/h on the railway, these small vehicles will make it possible to reopen closed small railway lines, and to halve the costs compared to conventional rail options. Its experimentation will begin in 2024, and the national launch should take place the following year!