Government to buy 100 state-of-the-art TGVs

Photo: Wikipedia/Ermell

On the day that rail workers head out on strike, order is boost for French manufacturing

The state will order 100 TGVs of the future from Alstom by the end of June, France’s Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire, announced today.

The announcement was made following the merger between train manufacturer Alstom and tech company Siemens, on the day that many of France’s rail workers and train drivers are out on strike over belt-tightening reforms.

"We confirm the State's order for 100 TGVs of the future," said the minister. "This order must be placed before the SNCF Mobilités board of directors either at the end of April or the end of June. In any case the decision is taken, it will be effective."

The next generation TGV, which could enter into service by 2022, is being developed by Alstom and SNCF, and is seen by Alstom's employees as a key project that could make the company's Belfort [Alsace] site sustainable. "I think this is good news for the Belfort site and for the La Rochelle site. I think it's important to hear that this news is confirmed," said Mr Le Maire.

The merger between Alstom, which employs 9,000 people in France, and German firm Siemens, will create the world’s second largest operator in rolling stock and the number one in railway signalling.

When the next-gen TGV was first proposed in September 2016, SNCF boss Rachel Picard said the train would have to be "both more modular and upgradeable over time, more comfortable, more connected, while being able to accommodate more passengers.”

Earlier this month, Alstom signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 21net, a provider of onboard Internet and passenger infotainment for the railway industry.

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