Presents part of ongoing research into French Railways (SNCF) and the introduction of Socrate, a computerized reservation and ticketing system. SNCF bought Sabre from American Airlines in order to build Socrate; one of its aims was to transform commercial activities through the instigation of a new philosophy of selling, based on a technological investment, importing techniques, such as yield management, used in the airline industry. Seeks to understand the links between the strategic and political aims and the technical choices, as well as how actors interpret and appropriate technical tools. Argues that Socrate is an integral part of the problematic adoption of a new rail transport model based on the deregulated airline industry.
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