“We are going to add 20,000 extra seats per week on the Paris-Bordeaux TGV”

With 4.2 million passengers on the Atlantic axis throughout the summer season, TGV attendance jumped 10% in contrast to 2019. A sufferer of its success, SNCF has had to cope with overcrowded trains, inflicting grumbling amongst customers and a few elected officers. Gironde senator Nathalie Delatre thus condemned the “substantial deterioration of service high quality” and, together with different elected officers, requested SNCF’s CEO for extra trains.

In an interview 20 minutesTGV Atlantic axis director Franck Dubourdieu introduced a 9% capability enhance from 2023.

We’ve seen crowded trains all summer season on the Atlantic axis, what’s the report for attendance?

Travelers typically returned by practice, and notably on the Atlantic axis, with robust mobility throughout the Southwest. In the interval from June to August, we generated +10% of consumers to attain 4.2 million vacationers in contrast to 2019. This is a report. We see that this mobility is confirmed in September, particularly on weekends, but additionally throughout the week thanks to the conduct that has advanced from Covid-19, who select to transfer to cities situated subsequent to the LGV.

What has modified in conduct since Covid-19?

In the “enterprise” market, the variety of day journey vacationers is way decrease. These spherical journeys had been typically related to one or two conferences, which had been changed by video conferences. Business journeys now take two or three days. In addition, a number of firms determined to transfer their headquarters to the province and staff determined to go away the Paris area and reside in Niort, Angoulême, Poitiers, Bordeaux or Arcachon. But not additional south. In this vacation spot we have now an actual explosion of merchandise from day by day prospects, with individuals who come to Paris a few times a week, which is mostly a consequence of teleworking.

On the different aspect of the coin, the TGV is a sufferer of its personal success, and there have been voices this autumn about the lack of trains on the Atlantic axis, notably on the Paris-Bordeaux line. Are you going to repair it?

We did not look ahead to letters from elected officers to notice that our trains had been full, and we have been working on this for a number of months… We already provide one practice each hour, with reinforcements each half hour throughout rush hour. We take into account that this stage of frequency is passable, on the different hand, adequate for us to enhance the variety of double trains as a result of, after supply delays, we are taking supply of 5 further Ocean trains till 2023. This would give us the equal of 4 single practice pairs, which might due to this fact change to double trains, corresponding to 1,100 extra locations every time. From 2023, we are going to due to this fact enhance capability in the Southwest by 9%, i.e. 3,000 to 4,000 further seats per day, on the Paris-Bordeaux part and past for a complete of 20,000 further seats per week. This is essential, however now we want to proceed working with the area to optimize our connections to the TER community, as this community generates extra visitors on the TGV.

Why this alternative of double trains, somewhat than including?

There are a number of causes for this, however primarily as a result of the power utilized by a double practice is sort of the identical as a single practice, particularly on Paris-Bordeaux the place there are no stops. It is essential in the present context.

Are these power points worrying you?

Of course, we have now a program referred to as Opti-Conduite, which consists of a simulator to optimize electrical traction in accordance to the line profile. This makes it attainable to know the “name for energy” requested from the TGV. Our drivers have been educated, and we are in the technique of deploying it to be prepared by subsequent winter, with the ambition of saving up to 10% of the traction power of a TGV.

And if the presence in the Atlantic axis continues to develop, what’s the undertaking after 2023?

I consider we have now to reside by means of 2023 first, as a result of we are entitled to query our progress stage in the coming months. We are already betting on including 9% capability and we are going to adapt relying on what occurs in 2023.

In addition to the TGV’s frequency issues, a sure “deterioration of service” has additionally been identified in current weeks. What are your observations?

Safety is paramount to us, and all our choices are primarily based on it. In phrases of high quality, I consider we had been primarily criticized for the regularity downside. It should be understood that we have now had a really tough summer season due to excessive temperatures, however when temperatures exceed 35°C, we are pressured to apply velocity limits to our trains south of Bordeaux. Instead of operating at 160 km/h, they generally solely run at 100 km/h, inflicting delays for trains down from Bordeaux and likewise for trains up to Bordeaux. As we have now trains that generally journey up to 3,000 km per day, this could trigger a cascade of delays alongside the complete axis to Brittany.

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