FRANCE: SNCF Mobilités announced an order for 12 double-deck TGVs on July 31 as part of its fleet renewal strategy.

Branded TGV Océane by the operator, the Avelia Euroduplex trainsets are to be supplied by Alstom for use on routes between Paris and Metz and Nancy in eastern France, and from Paris to Nantes and Rennes in the west. They will be similar in design to the l’Océane trainsets supplied for the launch of high speed services to southwest France on LGV Sud Europe Atlantique in 2017, but updated to reflect advances in wi-fi and passenger information provision. The trains are expected to enter service in 2021-22.

SNCF is currently taking delivery of 55 Océane trainsets under two contracts placed in 2013 (40) and 2017 (15). The latest procurement has been brought forward in response to a strong increase in high speed ridership in recent months. Reporting quarterly results on July 31, SNCF said TGV traffic was up by 11% against the same period in 2017, 2018 having been disrupted by industrial action.

The TGV Océane order is intended to bridge the gap until the first of 100 ‘TGV of the Future’ trainsets are delivered in 2023. The additional trains will also enable SNCF to accelerate the withdrawal of older high speed trainsets.

The contract value is €335m. Eight Alstom sites are to be involved in production of the trains: La Rochelle (final assembly), Belfort (power cars), Ornans (traction motors), Le Creusot (bogies), Tarbes (traction equipment), Villeurbanne (onboard IT systems), Petit-Quevilly (transformers) and Saint-Ouen (design work).