It now seems almost certain that Luc Lallemand, managing director of rail infrastructure company Infrabel, will move to Paris to take over the French equivalent, SNCF Réseau.
Yesterday the company’s directors gave the green light to the appointment of Lallemand, leaving the last word for the French rail regulator. That decision is expected to be announced towards the end of this month.
Born in 1966, Lallemand began his career in shipping with the merchant navy, before joining the Rossel group, publishers of Le Soir, as an accountant. He went on to work for DHL before joining the rail authority SNCB. He also worked for several socialist ministers before taking up the leadership of Infrabel in 2005.
Lallemand is no stranger to French rail, having been a member of the board of the forerunner to SNCF Réseau, then known as RFF, as well as being a director of Thalys, which runs high-speed trains in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
His coming appointment to SNCF Réseau was announced by Belga news agency on Sunday, reportedly taking the rail authority SNCB by surprise. Technically, he is at present officially only standing in at Infrabel, as his second official mandate as managing director expired in November 2019 and has not yet been renewed. Assuming the French rail regulator has no objection, he should be able to take up his new post in February.