A CONTRACT worth €103m for the supply of components for the mid-life refurbishment of 119 four-car RATP Class MI79 and SNCF Class Z8100 suburban EMUs used on Paris RER Line B was awarded to Alstom last month.

The vehicles were delivered by Alstom from 1980, and the manufacturer will now devise an upgrade programme and supply materials for the work which it says will extend their life for a further 15 to 20 years. The modernisation will include new air-conditioning, seats, handrails, ceilings information systems and lighting.

The modernisation of an initial trainset will be completed by March 2009, and this will undergo trials until the third quarter of the year. RATP and SNCF will then undertake series refurbishment of the remainder of the fleet, with the trains re-entering service in the first quarter of 2010 at a rate of up to 46 per year.