French gov't prepares to reduce train services to save energy

Energy consumed by country's official rail company, SNCF, corresponds to 1-2% of annual consumption, says local media.

French gov't prepares to reduce train services to save energy

Due to the energy shortage, French authorities are reportedly working on scenarios to significantly curb train services.

According to an exclusive report by the daily Le Parisien, government officials have instructed national rail company SNCF to consider potentially cutting the number of trains in the event of a major power outage.

Citing a company official, the newspaper reported that "company members were shocked by the instruction from above."

"Actually, the transportation plan has been adapted to the needs of passengers. Nothing more or less," the newspaper quoted one of the firm's executives as saying.

Still, complying with the government's request will be a priority for the SNCF, added the executives.

The annual energy consumed by the SNCF, with its fleet of 1,000 High Speed ​trains (TGV) and 14,000 Regional Express Transport (TER), corresponds to 1-2% of annual electricity consumption of France. That is more than the consumption of the capital Paris and city of Marseille, according to the report.

Difficult without additional measures

According to the report, SNCF officials had a hard time seeing how to cut back on train services without additional measures, such as "obliging their employees to work remotely."

Otherwise, problems such as long queues at stations and crowded trains could emerge, they warned.

The SNCF reportedly spends about €400 million ($398.1 million) annually on electricity, despite a series of measures taken to increase savings.