Flixtrain has decided to postpone its plans for the French railway market. The reason for the postponement seems not to be linked to the Covid-19 emergency, but to the high fees required for the access to the French railway infrastructure, which in this specific case is the conventional network and not the high-speed one.

flixtrain

Flixtrain was supposed to take-off in France in early 2021

Flixtrain is a ‘sister company’ of the long-distance bus operator Flixbus, as both are under the umbrella of Flixmobility. The group was willing to introduce its low cost services on five French inter-city routes starting in January 2021, in line with plans announces during 2019.

As pointed out on Railway Gazette, the consideration about French fees was a key finding in a market study completed in March, and is not linked to the spread of Covid-19. ‘The result of this assessment was that conditions for new market entry are, at this point in time, not favourable for operating a FlixTrain service in France. FlixTrain will therefore not submit an application (for paths) in 2021’, Flixmobility is quoted as stating.

Flixtrain already offering rail journeys in Germany

Yvan Lefranc-Morin, FlixBus Director-General in France, told AFP: «With such high costs, it seems to us that it is simply not feasible for a new entrant to offer users an affordable rail service similar to that which Flixtrain provides in Germany».

Currently the railway company of Flixmobility is regularly operating in Germany where it always operates on conventional lines always with locomotive compositions plus coaches. Among the connections operated we could mention Berlin-Stuttgart or Berlin-Cologne or Hamburg-Köln with a network that includes, among others, cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Hanover, Aachen, Leipzig, Erfurt and Dusseldorf.

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