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Ride the - private - rails in France

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Ride the - private - rails in France

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The launch date has been announced for the first private passenger rail service in France competing with the state owned SNCF.

An Italian and French joint venture will start running overnight trains between Paris and Venice from 11 December, to be followed by a Paris-Rome service in mid-2012.

Thello is the first private operator to run on the French network since competition was introduced on international passenger lines in 2009.

Freight services have been open to competition since 2007.