SNCF has been given permission to take sole control of Channel Tunnel operator Eurostar under the condition that it doesn’t try and block competitors.

The new agreement will require SNCF to allow rivals to introduce new services between London and Paris.

Eurostar International was established in 2010, jointly owned by SNCF, SNCB and the UK government.

In March, the British government announced the sale of its stake in the operator. The deal allowed SNCF to negotiate the sole control of Eurostar, however, the European Commission raised concerns about how the takeover would impact competition along the route.

Operators will be given access to ticket offices, as well as stations and depots in France and Belgium managed by SNCF and SNCB respectively.

New operators will also be able to use peak time train paths currently used by Eurostar services.


  1. Whilst accepting that SNCF does not have any shareholding in the tunnel their top people may surely have some sort of “backdoor” friendship with Jacques Gounon (Chairman and CEO of Group Eurotunnel S.A). If so, perhaps we could see a little bit of influence being exerted to get Eurostar the best time-slots and priority over any competitors.

  2. Eurostar had a CEO who was planning significant expansion and presiding over a very profitable rail enterprise. What happens to him and what happens with his expansion plans?


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