2018-04-07 09:00:39 UTC
"Per kilometre travelled, France has the second highest rail costs in Europe, according to EU figures. French passengers pay a little less than in the UK, but the state pays a vast amount more. The operating cost of French rail comes out at 60 euros per kilometre, versus a European average of 30 euros. British services, for all our moaning, are just under the average and a large portion of the spending goes on infrastructure maintenance and investment.
SNCF is a heavy and growing user of taxpayers’ money. Its total subsidy has risen by 80 per cent in nine years. Payments to pension-holders alone, who number nearly double its current employee headcount, cost £3.5 billion a year. Its 260,000 staff benefit from jobs for life, retirement at 50 or 55 and free travel for “family members”, which in practice extends from grandparents to the milkman."