MORE than 4,000 jobs will be created after SNCF confirmed an order for 34 new Coradia Liner trains to replace ageing and unreliable Corail inter-city trains.
The order for Alstom trains comes as plans for 91 new single and double-deck trains are announced for the Ile-de-France rail network.
Rail passengers will benefit from the new Alstom Intercités trains from the end of 2015 and the new Francilien trains will be brought in progressively until 2017, starting on the south-west and Saint-Lazare network.
Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier yesterday signed a €510million deal backing the order for the Coradia Liner trains plus the building or conversion of new maintenance depots. Six of Alstom’s 10 sites in France will build the trains – Reichshoffen, Ornans, Le Creusot, Tarbes, Villeurbanne and Saint-Ouen – and these areas will see the bulk of the job creation.
The Coradia Liners sit between the TERs and TGVs and will replace diesel Corail trains that average 35 years old. They will be able to take 267 passengers and cut energy consumption by 30% and are intended to serve Bordeaux–Nantes; Nantes–Lyon; Bourges–Montluçon; Paris–Amiens–Boulogne sur Mer and Paris–Troyes–Belfort.
Funding for the project was intended to come from the new Ecotax, but the government decided to push ahead with the order despite delaying the new HGV tax until at least 2015.
Ile-de-France region president Jean-Paul Huchon announced plans for the 91 new Francilien trains to ease pressure on the saturated SNCF rail network. The contract, which is due to be voted by the Syndicat des Transports d'Ile-de-France next Wednesday, will be an investment of €900m for the four million who use the network each day.
Rail builder Bombardier has won the contract for 43 single-decker trains and 48 double-deckers. The trains will be delivered at the rate of two or three per month.
In addition, Mr Huchon announced that another 12 trains are to be ordered for use on Metro lines 2, 5 and 9.
Photo: Alstom Transport-Design&Styling