Alexis Brézet 12:18 p.m., November 29, 2022

Emmanuel Macron announced this Sunday his ambition to develop an RER network in the major cities of France.

An announcement that surprised by the policy of the Head of State, who reveals a passion for the railways.

But for our political columnist, Alexis Brézet "to believe that one can dream of the RER, one must be oddly made. Or else one must never have taken it".


No one expected the announcement of Emmanuel Macron's RER project.

It must be said that there is something.

And not only because of Macron, who had so far mainly stood out for his taste for coaches, has just discovered a passion for the railways as well as a railwayman grandfather.

Admit that, drummed like wonderful news, the generalization of the RER to the whole of France is still a funny idea.

Consider that Clément Beaune, the Minister of Transport, hailed "major projects that make you dream".

"Who make you dream."

I don't know if you know people who are dreaming about the RER, they urgently need to be invited to testify at this microphone.

Because we understand that some people are carried away by the magic of the railways.

Consider Antoine Blondin.

One day we will take trains that are leaving.

We understand that some are sensitive to a certain poetry of the metro.

Think of Gainsbourg, Dutronc or that other great author who was a bit forgotten, of course... Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who lived "moments of grace" underground.

But the RER to believe that you can dream of it, you have to be oddly made.

Or else you must never have taken it.

The RER for everyone means delays, strikes, dirt, incivility and very often violence that we suffer or that we avoid by keeping our eyes lowered.

The suburban train, in real life, is an RER named disaster.

It's not a dream, it's a waking nightmare.

"Medium-sized towns are slowly dying against the backdrop of the closure of small SNCF lines"

The ambition is commendable, even if one can dispute this technocratic vision of a totally metropolitan France where medium-sized towns are slowly dying against the backdrop of the closure of small SNCF lines.

But even admitting that it is necessary to decongest the metropolises, the conditions under which this announcement was made by Emmanuel Macron lead to questions, again.

A Sunday afternoon, on the sly, in shirt sleeves on YouTube, in response to questions from Internet users baptized Xefario or PatLeNerveux?

It was already curious.

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But the best part is that the president did not involve in his decision either the Prime Minister - it was believed, however, that she was in charge of ecological planning - nor the Minister of Transport, nor the Minister for Ecological Transition, nor François Bayrou, the Planning Commissioner, and did not inform any of the local elected mayors, presidents of departmental councils, presidents of regional councils who are nevertheless primarily concerned.

It's no longer a commuter train, it's a ghost train, it's amazing.

And for the rest, let's say it, it's much more reassuring.

“The state dangles credits”

Put yourself in their place.

For once, the state is not trying to cut their budgets, but on the contrary, it is dangling credits at them.

They won't say no.

Some, in Lille and Strasbourg, have already launched their own project.

They tell themselves that there will be a little money recovered.

But from there to believing in all these beautiful promises, there is a step.

Everyone knows it: to carry out these major infrastructure projects, it takes years without thinking about the time needed to proceed, for example, to expropriations, where new RER lines will have to be created.

It also takes billions of which no one knows, and especially not the president who has not said a word about it.

Where will we find them?

Time, money?

That's all Emmanuel Macron lacks.