Australia Intercity trains back on track

20:55  23 february  2021
20:55  23 february  2021 Source:   liberation.fr

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A Saint-Chély-d'Apcher. © Bálint Pörneczi In Saint-Chély-d'Apcher.

They were once forgotten , even abandoned . The regional balance trains ( TET ), which connect the big cities where the TGV and TER supply is not sufficient, are now back in the spotlight. And for good reason, these mainline trains (formerly called "Corail Intercités"), night and day, operated by the SNCF but managed and financed by the State, aim to offer an "ecological and social transport offer " while allowing " to open up the territories ", explains to the Ministry of Ecological and Social Transition. Arguments supported by the Citizen's Convention for the Climate, then relayed by Emmanuel Macron last July .

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In accordance with the 2019 mobility orientation law, the government must submit to Parliament an study on the development of new TET and night train lines. Originally scheduled for June 2020, the rendering of this report has been shifted “early spring”. In the meantime, the Minister Delegate in charge of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, announced the return of the Paris-Nice night line from April 2021 and of Paris-Tarbes for 2022. The latter benefiting from a credit of 100 million euros. euros as part of the recovery plan. "My ambition is around ten night trains in 2030" organized around four large "corridors" (Bordeaux-Marseille, Dijon-Marseille, Tours-Lyon via Ile-de-France, and Paris-Toulouse), explained the minister in an interview with Le Parisien on January 31, adding that “in France, the development of the TGV has eaten up the night trains and the supply has deteriorated. We have to change that ”.

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"Ecological fad"

If these announcements are rather good omen for the unions, they nevertheless call for caution. "There are speeches and actions", warns Erik Meyer, federal secretary of SUD rail, who believes that "the state is greenwashing" through the promotion of these lines. "Two years ago, we were talking about their removal and now it is becoming a priority," says sarcastically. They want to make it their ecological fad. " The trade unionist takes as proof the "insufficient" investments granted to rail freight "while the head of state explained last summer that he wanted to massively redevelop the sector" .

Same observation for Rémi Aufrere-Privel, member of the federal office of the CFDT railway workers for whom the government "was awakened by European news" around night trains . While this renewed interest in TFWs may be both "very interesting" and "surprising" , according to him, "still lacks" proof of a very concrete commitment. "We don't want declarations of love, abounds. Between the announcement effect and the realization ... We have seen this with the Citizen's Climate Convention, we have reason to doubt. "

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A report eagerly awaited

The unions therefore call for a ten-year financing and programming plan, both for daytime TFWs which require investments in rail infrastructure and for night trains where there are today 'hui “a problem of supplying rolling stock, specifies Rémi Aufrere-Privel. We don't have a sufficient number of passenger cars and it will take a few years to get sorted out. "

Many questions remain to this day unanswered. Will the state alone finance the new lines announced in the years to come? Or will there be an opening up to competition when the Nantes-Lyon and Bordeaux-Nantes lines have not found a taker ? How often will these trains run? How much will the seats cost? The eagerly awaited government report should shed some light on this.

Vaccine rollout to get back on track: Hunt .
As the boss of a vaccine contractor steps aside over the Brisbane dosage bungle, Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident the program will get back on track.The federal health minister's confidence comes despite Healthcare Australia CEO Jason Cartwright stepping aside after one doctor gave two people at a Brisbane nursing home too large a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

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