The 1994 rail reform implementing deregulation in Germany was highly beneficial to regional rail transport. Today, some ten companies operate over one third of all regional passenger trains, alongside the historic operator. With the financial support of the Federal government, Länder organise their own regional transport on a competitive basis. Over 800 kilometres of passenger routes have been reopened, improving access to many communities. Quality of service is better and rolling stock has been upgraded, including that of historic operator Deutsche Bahn. France’s public rail service market (TER, Transilien, and TET) is gradually being deregulated. What lessons does the German example have to offer for the French market?