SOME of France's loss-making long-distance train routes could be subsidised by the French state to ensure their survival.
The SNCF is in talks with the government about the cash injection for Corail and Intercités routes as well as Lunéa night trains.
SNCF president Guillaume Pépy said that, excluding TGVs, only four routes are profitable: from Paris to Clermont, Toulouse, Le Havre and Cherbourg.
He said the other routes, which between them are losing €200m a year, were preventing the rail operator from investing and growing ahead of the arrival of new competitors in the French rail market.
A deal with the government is due to be signed by the end of this month, according to reports. TER services are already part-funded by regional councils.
The proposed bailout has been criticised by Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator which is examining the case for launching its own routes in France.