French postal service is back on the rails

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The French postal service La Poste has reached agreement with SNCF, the national rail company, to create a joint rail-based high-speed courier service. The planned joint venture was announced on Monday by the two state-owned businesses.

La Poste's return to rail was prompted by stiff competition and rulings of the European Commission. In the late 1990s, mail train services were largely replaced by road and air shipment. Faced with European prohibitions on night flights, and the harmful effects of carbon emissions, La Poste changed its policy.

There will be 3 TGV high-speed mail trains in the new fleet, soon expanding to 10. Environmentally speaking, the trains will contribute a reduction in atmospheric pollution from fossil fuels.