The first reflex when addressing the issue of competition between the two modes in France in the 1930s is to describe it simply as brutal confrontation, the revenge of road over rail, with road transport and the advent of the motor car symbolising all that is modern and desirable and rail a debt-ridden relic from a bygone era unable to adapt to the times. Obviously this description is a vast over-simplification and far too superficial to be true. At the beginning of the twentieth century, relations between the ‘new’ road transport and rail were far from confrontational and tended on the whole to be cordial, each recognising the other’s welcome complementarities. By replacing horse-drawn carriages, motor vehicles were able to take up where railway lines left off, giving rail access to places hitherto beyond its reach and a chance to modernise its operations. In return, trains were helpful to motor vehicles by creating traffic flows and entering into official partnership agreements.