SNCF's long-standing plans for a sizeable fleet of tram-train cars have made further progress after the company placed an order for 31 Alstom Citadis Dualis dual-mode cars.

The €100m order includes an option for a further 169 vehicles, which could ultimately take the value of the contract to €650m. Of the first batch, seven are destined for the Pays-de-la-Loire region to operate the Nantes - Châteaubriand line, and the remainder for the Rhône-Alpes region for services around Lyon. Further batches are likely to serve Alsace and the Ile-de-France region. Deliveries are scheduled for 2009.

The 100 km/h Dualis is a development of the modular Citadis family, and will succeed the RegioCitadis tram-train design (RG 9.04 p585) employed on tram-train services around Kassel in Germany and on RandstadRail services in the Netherlands.

Citadis Dualis will be available with three power combinations: 25 kV 50 Hz/750 V DC 1·5 kV DC/750 V DC and 750 V DC/diesel generator. According to Alstom, it will be equipped with main line-compatible signalling equipment that 'allows an evolution towards European ERTMS standards'.

SNCF already operates a fleet of 15 Siemens Avanto tram-trains between Bondy and Aulnay in the outskirts of Paris.