Réseau Ferré de France

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Réseau ferré de France
state-owned company
Industry Infrastructure & Tracks Proprietor, State Administrator
Founded 1997
Headquarters 92, avenue de France
75013 Paris
, France
Area served
Parent Ministère du Transport
Website www.rff.fr

Réseau ferré de France (French: French Rail Network) (RFF), owns and maintains the French national railway network. The trains are operated by SNCF, the national railway company, but due to European Union Directive 91/440, the French government was required to separate train operations from the railway infrastructure.

Unlike other infrastructure managers, RFF does not at the moment provide maintenance services or rail traffic control operations, which are both done by SNCF Infra on RFF's behalf. Furthermore SNCF has retained the ownership of stations. RFF has over €32 billion of debt.[1]


The RFF was constituted with SNCF's infrastructure assets, and debts were transferred from the SNCF book to RFF's. Currently RFF is mainly a financial structure focusing on debt refinancing, and it contracts the majority of its infrastructure management to SNCF. In the future, it is expected to be capable of building, maintaining and renovating the French national railway infrastructure on its own. Signalling on RFF infrastructure is implemented and maintained by SNCF.

The creation of RFF was criticised because of the financial options chosen: RFF is subsidised by the French government in order to pay the interest on debt previously borne by the SNCF. SNCF now has a positive operating income and thus enables competition to be opened.

Control centres[edit]

As of July 2013, RFF has begun project to build 16 regional control centres, replacing over a thousand local signalling centres. The first regional control centre is being built in Pagny-sur-Moselle.[2]

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