FRANCE: National operator SNCF has awarded Alstom a €346m contract to supply 34 Coradia Liner electro-diesel multiple-units. These will replace locomotive-hauled stock on trains d'équilibre du territoire inter-city services on the conventional network from December 2015.

Alstom said the Coradia Liner would be 'half-way between' TER regional express trains and TGV high speed trainsets, and 'designed in such a way as to provide inter-city lines with a specific identity, more comfort and services with an improved performance.'

The 34 units ordered on September 30 will be six-car sets 100 m long, configured to have a capacity of 267 passengers. They will offer platform-level boarding for easy access, large doors and gangways and 'spacious passenger areas' with partitions to reduce noise. They will have large windows, indirect interior lighting and new seats with upholstered armrests, power sockets and coat hooks.

The Coradia Liner will be operate at up to 160 km/h under 25 kV 50 Hz or 1·5 kV DC electrification or powered by six roof-mounted 350 kW MAN diesel engines. Alstom said the units would be lighter than SNCF's existing locomotive-hauled inter-city trains, with better acceleration and braking and 30% lower energy consumption. Technical equipment will be mounted on the roof to facilitate access for maintenance, and Traintracer monitoring software will be used to provide diagnostic information.

Six of Alstom's 10 French sites will be involved in the Coradia Liner project, with Reichshoffen responsible for assembly, Ornans providing traction motors, Le Creusot the bogies, Tarbes the traction systems, Villeurbanne onboard computers and Saint-Ouen design. Production is scheduled to begin in July 2014.