The French National Railway Company, SNCF, has formally approved an order with Alstom for the delivery of 100 of its Avelia Horizon high-speed trains. No details have been released on when they will enter service, but when they do will cost a reported 20% less than the previous generation, reducing the cost of the train to the tune of £22 million (€25 million) for each trainset.
Cost savings will be felt across SNCF’s operations as a result of the train delivery, according to the French train builder, with maintenance costs reduced by around 30%. That's thanks in large part to a remote diagnostic system that predicts when maintenance needs to take place, improving the trains’ reliability and helping avoid small problems becoming major ones.
Re-engineered components used on the new train train will also allow for longer intervals between maintenance interventions and speeds of up to 216 mph (350 kmh) will be possible thanks to an "aerodynamic design that creates a more efficient traction drive”, yet will consume 20% less energy than SNCF’s existing intercity (TGV) trains. The new rolling stock will also be more spacious, owing to a double-deck design that ups the capacity by 20% to accommodate up to 740 passengers in the highest-capacity configuration.
Henri Poupart-Lafarge, chief executive officer of @Alstom, said: “This order is the successful fruit of the collaborative work of SNCF and Alstom. Alstom's Avelia Horizon solution meets the technological, economic and competitiveness challenges of SNCF.”
SNCF executives will be speaking at this year’s SmartMetro in Paris, with Alain Krakovitch, chief executive director of Transilien SNCF Mobilités and Thomas Joindot, I&P chief technical officer of SNCF Reseau both in attendance. Click here to find out more about the October 2018 event.
The fleet upgrade news for @SNCF came around a month after the company announced that France’s landmark station, Gard du Nord in Paris, would be overhauled to bring the station up to modern standards ahead of the 2024 Olympics. When the work is complete it will boost the physical size of the station by three-times, raising the daily capacity of the 114-year-old station by 100,000 to 800,000.
SNCF said that the building project, which will include a much larger departure hall and more extensive Eurostar terminal, would be complete in mid-2023 and will bear a resemblance London’s St Pancras station.
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