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SNCF and Alstom forge 'innovation partnership' for the next generation TGV.

Posted by Luke Upton on Sep 8, 2016

 SNCF and Alstom create an "innovation partnership" for the next generation of the TGV.SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français) France’s national state owned railway company and industry giant Alstom are combining their expertise with the launch of an "innovation partnership" to create the next generation of the TGV, the nation's intercity high-speed rail service first developed in the 1970s.

This partnership aims to develop a unique, high-quality travelling experience while meeting the new economic and environmental challenges of high-speed travel. It will also aim to reinforce France's position as a high-speed rail leader, in a time when China's high-speed technology is expanding into overseas markets. 

Rachel Picard ( @RPicard_SNCF ),CEO of Voyages SNCF, and Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud, President of Alstom France, this week in Paris inaugurated a shared workspace for this ambitious co-operation which will unite a team of multidisciplinary experts from the two companies.

The SNCF-Alstom innovation partnership will design and produce the new TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse: high-speed trainwith a planned entry into full commercial service in 2022. The partnership aims to develop a new technological, commercial and industrial strategy for high-speed rail. It will offer a real breakthrough in terms of competitiveness, with a major objective of reducing investment and operating costs and enhancing the train’s appeal on the mobility market, providing a new experience for passengers in terms of comfort and on-board services.

A challenge for technological, industrial and commercial innovation.

The ambitions for the new-generation TGV are high:

  • Reduce acquisition and operating costs by at least 20%.
  • Optimise the environmental footprint, with a material recyclability rate of over 90% and a reduction in energy consumption of at least 25%.
  • Develop the commercial offer to improve passenger experience: a 20% increase in capacity enabling more on-board services and/or more passengers. The trains will also offer greater modularity in terms of interior layout and carriage composition, offering enhanced quality in terms of customer service, comfort and connectivity.

The results of this collaboration will complement the high-speed trains of Alstom’s Avelia range (partially developed in the context of the "TGV of the Future" programme co-financed by the state).

Innovative, agile and collaborative working methods.

The SNCF-Alstom innovation partnership will be conducted in three phases:

  • Joint definition and specification of the new TGV, until the end of 2017.
  • Detailed design, industrialisation and approval, for a duration of approximately 4 years.
  • Production, train delivery, and entry into commercial service scheduled for mid-2022.

 An integrated, multidisciplinary team of 20 experts from SNCF and Alstom ( @Alstom ), fully dedicated to the project, is from now on working in a single, stand-alone site located on Avenue du Maine in Paris. This method of working plans to enable rapid decision-making, simultaneously taking into account all aspects of the project: passenger services, operation and maintenance, technical and industrial feasibility and costs.

The SNCF-Alstom team, working in close conjunction with the internal resources of both companies, is also open to the outside. It regularly invites experts and guests to contribute their knowledge, particularly in terms of innovative working methods and advanced technical solutions. The team is thus enriched through successful collaborations with engineering and design schools, as well as other industrial companies and start-ups.

 SNCF and Alstom create an "innovation partnership" for the next generation of the TGV #1.

An alliance between two flagships of French industry.

In order to carry out this major innovation project successfully, SNCF ( @SNCF ) and Alstom will pool their expertise, knowledge and skills.

  • SNCF will provide its wealth of experience and its knowledge of passengers. The new-generation TGV will be conceived on the basis of its customers and their changing habits. SNCF will share its ambitions in terms of service, its expertise in the commercial operation of high-speed trains accumulated over more than 30 years, and, more generally, its knowledge of the mobility market.

The entire expertise of SNCF is being put to use for this purpose, including engineering at Le Mans, technical centres, marketing, on-board services, maintenance centres and train operating services. Together, these contributors represent an experienced team of over 250 agents in support of the project.

  • Alstom will provide its expertise in train design to accompany SNCF in its ambitions of  passenger service, sustainability and profitability .Eight out of Alstom’s 12 sites in France are involved in the design of the new train: Belfort for the power cars, La Rochelle for the carriages, Villeurbanne for the computer  monitoring and control system, passenger information and on-board equipment, Ornans for the engines, Le Creusot for the bogies, Tarbes for the traction, Petit Quevilly for the transformers, and Saint Ouen for the design, signalling, logistical support and services support.

This project will generate a total of 4,000 jobs for the French rail sector. 


Alstom are a Lead Sponsor and Guillaume Denis their Urban Solutions Director is an expert speaker at Smart Metro (incoporating the 7th Annual CBTC World Congress, which returns to Copenhagen on 1-3 November 2016. At SmartMetro you will learn from our 40+ expert speakers about how you can improve your metro, bus and rail services for the benefit of your passengers. Join our senior-level attendees at the definitive technology show of the year! Book before October 7th to make the most of our discounted early price.


For more high-speed rail stories like this...

Life in the fast lane; ranking the world’s 20 high-speed trains.

11 dead following first fatal accident in high-speed TGV’s 34 year history.

100% refocus on rail for Alstom as €12.4bn energy division sold to GE.

€100 million UK Network Rail resignalling contract secured by Alstom.

Could the bitterly disputed €9bn Lyon-Turin line be back on track? 

Read the Rail and Metro Innovation Guide 2017

Topics: Rolling Stock

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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