Driven by European law, the French rail sector is gradually opening up to competition. While the rail freight sector was privatised in April 2006, with the international passenger transport market following in December 2009, national rail transport is expected to be privatised no later than 2020, for commercial (high-speed) services, and in 2023 for public contracts (regional and intercity services). This is according to the fourth Rail package, which was the subject of a political agreement between the EU Council and the European Parliament on 19 April 2016.

Like all networked industries, this movement towards privatisation, which required the setting up of an independent regulator (ARAFER), has raised several issues, both regulatory and competitive (the organisation and management of competition and the monopoly of the SNCF, network management, fare systems etc.).

Thanks to its strong expertise and industrial knowledge, Magenta can support its clients, whether they are rail companies or licensed candidates, in relation to all the issues they may encounter in their business.


Some of our recent assignments :


Settling disputes on behalf of a number of French regions, concerning the conditions applied by SNCF Mobilités and SNCF Réseau regarding access to passenger stations and station services (ARAFER decisions no. 2015-002 of 3 February 2015, no. 2015-17 of 13 May 2015, no. 2015-028 and 2015-030 of 15 July 2015). Settlement of a dispute on behalf of a rail company against SNCF Réseau regarding the conditions for allocation of capacity in the service infrastructures, and the tariff system for rail fares (ARAFER decision no. 2013-028 of 3 December 2013).

Settlement of the dispute on behalf of three rail companies and a licensed candidate against SNCF Réseau with regard to the conditions for allocating and monitoring train paths (ARAFER decisions no. 2013-016 – 2013-019 of 1 October 2013 and no. 2014-016 – 2014-019 of 15 July 2014), defending their interests before the Paris Court of Appeal (rulings of 17 December 2015).

Settlement of a dispute on behalf of a rail company, against SNCF Réseau regarding the conditions on billing and the supply of traction current (ARAFER decision no. 2012-019 of 3 October 2012).

Assisting a rail operating connection with a liability action resulting from damage caused to its stock.