The Council of State ruled in favor on Tuesday of eight French metropolitan regions which had attacked SNCF Réseau to contest the prices of its rail tolls, announced the highest French administrative court. “The Council of State judges today that the company SNCF Réseau did not respect the procedure provided for determining the fees owed by the regions to operate regional express trains (TER),” he said. in a press release, giving the rail network manager until October 1 to review his copy.

The court considered that, on the one hand, “these transport organizing authorities were not able to express an informed opinion in advance due to lack of information and, on the other hand, that the timetable adopted was not “did not allow their observations to be effectively taken into consideration,” according to the press release. At the beginning of January, the Council of State examined the appeals of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Centre-Val de Loire, Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France, Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Grand regions. -East.

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The latter contested the increases required for the years 2024, 2025 and 2026 by SNCF Réseau to operate the TER trains that they finance, in addition to the tickets and subscriptions paid by users. The increase in tolls will reach 8% on average for the year 2024 for this type of transport, SNCF Réseau then indicated, after years of increases below inflation. A subsidiary which manages and maintains the expensive SNCF rail network, this company had the objective of achieving financial balance in 2024 with these increases.

“SNCF Réseau takes note of the decision of the Council of State”, indicated the company in a reaction sent to AFP, arguing that the pricing “is not called into question on the merits”. “Indeed, the decision of the Council of State is motivated by the procedure for adopting pricing but the Council of State rejects all the other means which challenged its principles, including the establishment of a fixed price for the regions,” underlined SNCF Réseau.


If the Council of State decided to “cancel(r) the pricing of the reference document of the national rail network for 2024”, it explained to postpone this cancellation until October 1 “in order not to seriously undermine the balance financial institution of SNCF Réseau, and allow the adoption of new pricing,” the administrative jurisdiction specified in its press release. For its part, the SNCF subsidiary said that it would “adapt its consultation process to meet the transparency requirements formulated by the Council of State and will reconsider its board of directors on a new tariff project in compliance with the regulatory deadlines and deadlines recalled by the Council of State.

When it was created in 2015, SNCF Réseau (formerly Réseau ferré de France) inherited part of the SNCF debt, while the government took over 35 billion euros.