French rail link between Bordeaux and Lyon ‘to return in 2024’

Trains could start running between the French cities of Bordeaux and Lyon for the first time in a decade, if a co-operative business has its way. Railcoop, a co-operative of 13,771 members including a number of local authorities, has been running freight services since 2021 after the French rail network was opened up to new services. It intends to start running direct trains between the two cities from June 2024. At present customers using SNCF services from Bordeaux to Lyon cannot go direct and must instead travel via Paris.The €4.1 million in funding is required to cover necessary tangible and intangible investments, including the purchase of an additional X72500 three-coach train, Railcoop said in a statement following a meeting of its members. It is currently raising funds in two ways, one in shares (via its website) and the other in equity securities, aimed at members and non-members (on the platform).Under early plans, the 7.5-hour journey – Railcoop’s first passenger service, which will include stops at Périgueux, Limoges, Guéret, Montluçon, and Roanne – will initially be limited to a single one-way trip per day, followed by a return journey the following day. Eventually, Railcoop hopes to offer two round-trips a day.