Quit SNCF’s arms factory to prevent competition

TGV M begins to take form. More than a yr after unveiling the nostril of Alstom’s new high-speed flagship in Belfort, the primary assembled prepare left the factory in La Rochelle this Friday. It is one other milestone for the person who will develop into the chief of SNCF and full the “North” plan aimed toward coping with the arrival of competition. However, the general public rail operator can have to wait one other two years and will likely be ready to begin operational service of its TGV M by the tip of 2024.

The occasion could be seen extra clearly on the Aytré web site, the middle of Alstom’s Center of Excellence for High Speed, situated a couple of minutes from La Rochelle, which was supposed to have fun the primary rowing of a TGV M (Power Car and Passenger Car Meeting). . Under a sky alternating between solar and rain, the stainless white prepare got here out of the shed with all headlights on to dynamic music, revealing its curves on the ground of the friends, bringing collectively native elected officers, Alstom and SNCF managers. , native and nationwide press. Only the ability automotive and the primary automobiles had been seen, with out filming, but it surely was a totally assembled pre-production prepare that was introduced.

An avalanche of statistics for a strategic contribution

Following one another on the rostrum, SNCF Voyageurs CEO Christophe Fanichet, TGV-Intersites director Alain Krakovich, Alstom France president Jean-Baptiste Aimaud and Alstom web site director Bertrand Constanceux in Aitre multiplied the numbers. Their new toys contribute: -20% vitality consumption, -32% CO2 emissions, 97% recycled materials for an environmental dimension. But additionally 20% extra space (divided between extra space on board and extra seats), a modularity that enables to range from 7 to 9 automobiles per prepare and to play on the variety of automobiles assigned to firstclass or second, most 740 in opposition to 634 right this moment. Seat capability (in Oygo configuration) and 5G connectivity for the industrial facet. Finally, upkeep prices have been lowered by 30% with the introduction of predictive upkeep utilizing information supplied by TRAIN or the brand new Automated Maintenance Bench (BAM).

According to Alain Krakovich, the event of excessive velocity in France is sufficient to make TGV M the “armed arm” of SNCF. Or even “strategic property of tomorrow” for Christophe Fanichette, who speaks of a “actual transformation”, even a “revolution” by means of the administration of this new prepare. According to him, it must be doable to understand the dynamic progress of rail visitors that began in latest months, particularly in a document summer season for top velocity with 10% extra passengers than in 2019.

If it’s to contribute to rail improvement, the TGV M should block competition from Trenitalia between Paris-Lyon and Italy, and maybe in the future from Spanish operator Renfe. “The TGV-M would be the primary weapon in contrast to the arrival of the competition, with a design and repair that others won’t have”, declared Alain Krakovich final yr.

Southeast, Italy then the remainder

The 115 TGV M presently ordered will attain a charge of 12 trains per yr between 2024 and the tip of 2032. They will likely be deployed preferentially on the south-east axis, Marseille-Lyon-Paris ie probably the most worthwhile sector and probably the most coveted by its international opponents. Although a two-class configuration (most likely with fewer first-class automobiles than right this moment) would be the most used, a high-density Owego-type configuration can also be deliberate.

From 2026, it’s going to enter service on the Paris-Milan cross-border line on the Italian facet, to compensate for the obsolescence of the present gear which won’t transcend this date. Equipped for the European ERTMS signaling system, the TGV M may even give you the option to tackle Italian high-speed strains, in contrast to present trains.

After that, trains will regularly give you the option to enter different axes as wanted, however no plans have but been introduced by SNCF. This can also be the case with the event of the present fleet of 360 TGVs. A priori, the TGV M will basically exchange the present trains, particularly the latest single-deckers, due to their elevated seating capability.

The worth of the prepare was three billion

If expectations are excessive, funding is substantial. It is estimated right this moment at 3.5 billion euros, which Christophe Fanichet declared as a major quantity for SNCF: “This is an funding that we now have assumed regardless of our fragile financial state of affairs, and we now have maintained regardless of the disaster and threats. »

This contains an preliminary order positioned in 2018 for 100 agency trains for home visitors, in addition to an extra order for 15 agency trains in August for worldwide companies. The unique contract additionally contains an possibility for 100 further trainsets, which may enhance the overall funding to over 6 billion euros.

Added to this are all of the operational preparations required inside SNCF to set up upkeep gear, prepare drivers, on-board workers and technicians or to adapt stations to an extra 2.6 meters per prepare when including a ninth automotive (of its dimension). partially compensated by the shorter energy automotive). This final challenge, which primarily offers with signage, has already began at 70 stations on the south-east axis.

As for Alstom, Jean-Baptiste Eymoud talked about an funding of fifty million euros for the Aytré web site alone. But with such an order, he’s assured of exercise for 10 years, and even till 2040 if all choices are exercised.

Place for testing

To cross this symbolic stage of rowing, the TGV M should now be placed on the dynamic check monitor in just a few weeks, which can happen in Velím, Czech Republic. It will then give you the option to race at 200 km/h, earlier than returning to France to proceed its improvement. Three pre-series trains will participate within the check.

At the identical time, fine-tuning of on-board parts will proceed. Among the tasks in progress, quote with the finalization of SNCF seats (together with exams by consultant samples of individuals), the event of automobiles devoted to folks in wheelchairs – which will definitely enable totally autonomous entry for the primary time – or the bar automotive described by Alain Krakovich as “the flagship of this TGV”.