CONTRACTS are due to be placed later this year for 330 single-deck EMUs to work Paris area suburban services. Tenders from Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens are being evaluated by SNCF, which will operate the trains for Syndicat des Transports d’Ile de France. At a board meeting on March 29, STIF also announced plans to refurbish two further tranches of rolling stock totalling 1147 cars.

Known as Nouvelle Automotrice Transilien, the initial tranche of 180 EMUs is needed to replace the stainless steel-bodied Z5300 and Z6100 EMUs and the RIB-RIO push-pull sets, starting in 2009. Options for up to 150 more sets may be ordered later to replace other Paris suburban stock from 2015 onwards.

A refurbishment programme planned for 2006-16 will be carried out in two phases. The first will cover refurbishment of 127 Type Z20500 EMUs operating on RER Lines C and D and on suburban routes from Nord, Est and St Lazare stations. Costing €108m, this should see the first trains enter service this year.

The second phase, likely to start in 2009, will cover 110 Type Z5600 and Z8800 EMUs used on RER Lines C and D. These will receive the same treatment as the trains in Phase 1, with better seating, lighting and anti-graffiti film applied to the reliveried exteriors. In addition, Phase 2 trains will be fitted with CCTV, improved cooling systems and better passenger information.