March 20, 2009 / 7:32 AM / 11 years ago

SNCF "very interested" in running railway in US-paper

PARIS, March 20 (Reuters) - France’s state-owned railway SNCF would be “very interested” in operating a high-speed railway network in the United States, French newspaper Les Echos reported on Thursday.

In France’s experience, high-speed railway systems are most efficient when they link large cities 1,000 to 1,500 kilometres apart, Les Echos quoted SNCF International president Jean-Pierre Loubinoux as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Indiana.

Such conditions exist on the U.S. East coast, in California, in the centre of the United States, in Texas and in Florida. “We could have more than a track, we could have a network,” Loubinoux said. “If there is the possibility (of operating this network), we would definitely study it with great interest.”

U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to inject billions of dollars into infrastructure projects is expected to benefit the country’s rail infrastructure. The SNCF could take part in the U.S. rail network in a variety of ways, from a simple transfer of technology to operations maintenance or commercial contracts, Loubinoux added. (Reporting by Sophie Taylor; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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