Paris RER Line B Mi79 train

Photos: Niran91, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

FRANCE: National passenger operator SNCF Voyageurs and Paris transport operator RATP have confirmed their selection of a consortium of Bombardier Transpoartion and CAF as preferred bidder for a contract to supply 146 suburban trainsets for the jointly operated north-south RER Line B.

The €2·56bn order financed by Île-de-France-Mobilités would cover 146 MI20 trains. The consortium was first selected as the winner last year, but Alstom challenged the decision and on December 17 the Judicial Court of Paris partially suspended the award of the contract. RATP and SNCF Voyageurs decided to contest this verdict in the Cour de Cassation, France’s highest court of appeal, while also putting into effect the initial decision by giving bidders until January 4 to submit supplementary tenders.

An appeal by Alstom to the Administrative Court of Paris was rejected on January 13, enabling RATP and SNCF Voyageurs to confirm the contract, subject to the regulatory standstill period.

CAF said the contract would be its first to supply passenger trains for the Paris RER network. The Spanish company said it had a clear commitment to the French market, where it won an €700m order in 2019 to supply 28 electric multiple-units for 200 km/h medium and long-distance Intercités services on the Paris – Clermont-Ferrand and Paris – Limoges – Toulouse routes, with an option for 75 more.

It has also won orders to supply trams to Nantes, Besançon and St Etienne, and to modernise Lyon metro Line D trains, and in 2017 won a contract to supply battery-overhead electric locomotives for shunting and maintenance trains on the RER network.