Industrial muscle concentrated in the north
Both Alstom and Bombardier have large assembly plants in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, and both are currently busy with large orders.
The Bombardier plant at Crespin is turning out AGC sets for regional services on the French network under a framework contract with SNCF for 500 units; these are being built in diesel, electric and electro-diesel versions. According to General Manager Rémi Causse, more than 700 sets may eventually be built.
Destined for similar services on electrified routes, TER 2N NG double-deck EMUs are being produced by both Alstom and Bombardier. Another shared contract covers the latest order for double-deck M6 coaches for Belgian National Railways.
The Alstom plant is currently producing metro cars for Lausanne, Caracas and Singapore's Circle Line. The Singapore cars use the latest aluminium profile construction techniques, but the Caracas vehicles retain bodyshells of an earlier design so that they are compatible with the rest of the fleet in Venezuela. n
CAPTION: AGC trainsets are rolling off the production line at Bombardier's Crespin factory. General Manager Rémi Causse expects the company to build more than 700 AGC sets
CAPTION: Bombardier is supplying a further build of M6 double-deck push-pull coaches to Belgian National Railways. This driving trailer bodyshell was undergoing static tests at the company's Crespin plant during April; 38 additional Type M6 cars are also being supplied from Alstom's factory in Valenciennes
CAPTION: Cars for Singapore's Circle Line on the Alstom production line at Valenciennes; like the cars for the North East Line, they will be tested at the Petite Forêt site, which is adjacent to the plant