(20 November 2021) – On Monday (15 November), the citizens-led cooperative Railcoop inaugurated its first freight line between Toulouse and the Aveyron rural region in southern France, ahead of the opening, planned for 2022, of a passenger line between Bordeaux and Lyon. This citizens-led experience is a first in Europe.
On 15 November 2021, for the first time, a train managed by a cooperative society provided a commercial link between two French cities. Businesses in Capdenac-Gare (4,500 inhabitants) are now connected by rail to the Toulouse metropolis, the main outlet for their products, 150 km away.
But for the members of the cooperative (9,600 members, including a hundred companies and associations and a dozen local authorities), this first line opening is only the prelude to a much more ambitious programme aimed at restoring the credentials of the railways in the face of the road, wherever SNCF, the French national railway company, is falling behind.
Railcoop‘s flagship project is the reopening to passengers of the Lyon-Bordeaux line, which was closed by SNCF in 2012. Later, the company plans to open a Thionville-Lyon link, via Dijon, or Lille-Nantes via Rouen and Caen. (Mediapart)