FRANCE: SNCF’s first Alstom Coradia Liner V160 electro-diesel multiple-units entered passenger service on the Paris – Troyes – Belfort route on February 6.

SNCF placed a €346m order for 34 six-car Coradia Liners in October 2013. Part of Alstom’s Coradia Polyvalent family, they are intended to replace locomotive-hauled stock on trains d'équilibre du territoire inter-city services on the conventional network which cannot be operated throughout by electric traction. The order included 19 units for the Paris – Troyes – Belfort route, and 15 for TET services from Nantes to Bordeaux and Lyon.

Alstom offers the Coradia Liner V160 as 72 or 110 m long units able to operate at up to 160 km/h under 25 kV 50 Hz or 1·5 kV DC electrification, or powered by roof-mounted 350 kW MAN diesel engines.

The six-car low-floor trainsets have a capacity of up to 269 passengers in two classes, with reclining seats featuring upholstered armrests, power sockets and a coat hanger. There are large windows, with partitions and soft LED lighting intended to enhance feelings of comfort. There is a dedicated area for on-board staff, and an at-seat catering service can be provided. Five of the six cars have toilets, one of which is designed to be wheelchair accessible, and three bicycles can be carried.

Six of Alstom’s 12 sites in France are involved in the production of the units, with design and assembly at Reichshoffen, Ornans supplying motors, Le Creusot the bogies, Tarbes the traction equipment, Villeurbanne the on-board electronics and Saint-Ouen responsible for design.

‘Inter-city passengers will benefit from new trains that are accessible, comfortable and very reliable’, said Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom in France, when the first unit went into service. ‘Coradia Liner has been developed from the Coradia Polyvalent platform which benefits from experience with the 178 trainsets already delivered’.