Have you thought about

checking our FAQ ?

Who can benefit from the NFI services?

4 specific cases:
  • Foreign companies in all sectors looking to expand in Hauts-de-France
  • French companies with no site in Hauts-de-France
  • Hauts-de-France companies with a succession plan
  • Foreign-owned companies in Hauts-de-France with a development project
Our services are not intended for :
  • French or international self-employed entrepreneurs
  • French companies wishing to export
  • International companies seeking distribution networks only

Why as the help of Nord France Invest?

Nord France Invest provides you with completely tailored, free of charge and confidential support. We centralize all the information you need to analyze your project. We facilitate your process to find a site, partners or land. We organize site visits. We accelerate your networking with future regional partners. Find out more about the agency's services on this page.

What type of project can support you in?

The agency supports job-creating investment projects. The nature of projects varies according to 3 main categories:
  • Start-up projects
  • Expansion of existing sites in the region
  • takeovers of regional businesses by international companies.
Nord France Invest's services are not aimed at capital investments.
Check the FAQ

Do you have an expansion project?

Leave us your contact details and we’ll get back to you by e-mail.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Top !
HomeBusiness SectorMobilityThe rail industry in Hauts-de-France

The rail industry

in Hauts-de-France

In Hauts-de-France, we’re at the heart of tomorrow’s transport systems. As the leader in France and a major player in Europe, our region has a robust, tightly-knit rail industry, anchored in a broad range of R&D skills. Its members include Alstom, Siemens and other world-class companies.
Nord France Invest

France plays a key role
in the European rail industry

Even as rolling-stock markets decline in Latin America, the Africa/Middle East region and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, their counterparts in Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are growing. And France is the world’s third-largest rail market, thanks to its tightly-woven rail ecosystem and major orders for regional and intercity trains.

  • #3 market worldwide, after China and Germany
  • €4bn in sales
  • 30K jobs in the French rail industry
  • 30% of all export production

Locate your business in
France’s #1 rail region

The international rail market is largely concentrated around the industry’s top two full-line suppliers and manufacturers worldwide: Germany’s Siemens and France’s own Alstom Transport—two leading players with a presence here in Hauts-de-France.

Their success has benefited a number of international equipment manufacturers as well as a multitude of second- and third-tier subcontractors.

4 world-class manufacturers in Hauts-de-France


urban transport, metros, interconnected regional and national transport


urban public transport


freight wagons


passenger train and freight equipment

Fast facts on the Hauts-de-France rail industry

world-class vehicle manufacturers

world-class vehicle manufacturers

  of all rail output in France


of all rail output in France

  rail industry jobs


rail industry jobs

in sales

€ bn

in sales

  specialized suppliers and subcontractors


specialized suppliers and subcontractors

Leading equipment and component manufacturers

  • Akiem: rail maintenance
  • Barat Sofanor: seats / interior fittings
  • Deprecq: sheet metal
  • Faiveley NSF: ventilation, heating and air conditioning
  • Forges de Fresnes: triangular brake beams for freight cars
  • MG-Valdunes: wheelsets and axles
  • Outreau Technologies: crossings
  • Railtech: welding equipment and technology
  • Stratiforme Compreforme Groupe: composite parts for locomotives and rail cars
  • Studia, Technifrance: consulting and research support

Finding talent & skills
in Hauts-de-France

Fast facts: Rail industry labor in Hauts-de-France

  • Total labor pool: 50,000 available workers
  • 2,000 students enrolled in mobility-oriented programs
  • 10% of French engineers are trained in Hauts-de-France

Advanced training in sustainable transport

Thanks to a wealth of rail training and education programs, Hauts-de-France is home to a broad pool of qualified labor.

We’ve got every kind of educational institution—from trade schools to universities and engineering schools—right here in the region, and they offer both higher education and vocational training.

Leading educational institutions:

  • ENSIAME, France’s national school of energy mechanics engineering in Valenciennes: 180 engineering graduates annually / specialized master’s degrees in rail and transport
  • ICAM (Catholic trades institute): 200 engineering graduates a year
  • HEI (school of advanced engineering studies): 300 engineering graduates a year
  • Opal Coast International Rail Training Center: a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurotunnel Group and the first private training center dedicated to rail
  • SNCF Rail Driver Training Center in Lille: SNCF’s largest training center for train drivers in Europe”

Regional partners for
your rail project

Hauts-de-France has been a rail region from the beginning, giving the local industry time to organize, become more competitive and develop synergies.

Meet the key players who lead the industry and support rail development projects.

ERA: European Railway Agency

ERA is responsible for drafting the Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI), a set of key technical standards applied throughout the European Union to make the European rail network fully interoperable.

Railway Industry Association (AIF)

The AIF (Association des Industries Ferroviaires) is dedicated to strengthening and promoting the rail industry in Hauts-de-France.

Railway Testing Centre (CEF)

The CEF (Centre d’Essais Ferroviaires) is a one-of-a-kind test track for locomotives, electric rail and metros.


CERTIFER is France’s only rail certification authority, specializing in rail and guided transport. It’s also the world leader in independent safety assessments for rail and guided transport systems.

R&D support from
leading rail innovators

Hauts-de-France is the rail region par excellence, and many of the industry’s innovators have chosen us as the best R&D environment.

These pacesetters bring rail companies together and support research and development projects. Key players include:



Tap the expertise of Transalley, a world-class industrial and scientific cluster, specializing in sustainable, innovative mobilities. It has also developed an ecosystem that sparks innovation, through incubation.

5 strategic goals:

  • Help rail and automotive companies succeed
  • Develop tomorrow’s rail infrastructures
  • Jump-start new mobility and logistics systems
  • Make testing and approval resources available to business
  • Look ahead to new forms of mobility and the business models they’ll bring with them


Join I-Trans, a world-class cluster for sustainable transport. Its mission is to invent, design, produce and sell the transport systems of the future.

5 focus areas:

  • Rail freight
  • Passenger mobility
  • Rail infrastructure
  • Rail rolling stock
  • Automotive equipment


Need to test your equipment? Railenium is the institute for excellence in technology research—a European center for R&D, innovation and testing that specializes in rail infrastructure.

3 research areas:

  • Reduce investment costs for infrastructure, maintenance and renovation
  • Cut energy consumption and shrink carbon footprints
  • Expand the capacity of existing infrastructure and reduce disruptions to operations

4 test installations:

  • 5-km test loop with a heavy train running at 120 km/h
  • Test track for urban rail transport
  • Rail-wheel test unit
  • Fatigue test track


For questions about intermodality, ecodesign and safety in the transport industry, turn to the International Campus on Safety and Intermodality in Transportation (CISIT)—a pacesetter in the drive to build tomorrow’s vehicles and transport systems.

4 strategic goals:

  • Optimize management of multimodal transport chains
  • Meet new challenges to design clean, safe, light vehicles
  • Promote intelligent, safe mobility
  • Develop morpho-adaptive safety technology

Find the right site
To settle your company

Mobility industries
in Hauts-de-France