ALGERIA: Minister of Public Works & Transport Abdelghani Zalene attended a ceremony on March 2 to open buildings at Alger’s Agha station and mark the entry into service of national railway SNTF’s first Alstom Coradia Polyvalent electro-diesel multiple-unit. Public services between Alger and Oran were scheduled to start the following day.
SNTF and Alstom signed the €200m contract for the supply of 17 six-car 160 km/h inter-city trainsets on July 29 2015. The vehicles are being built at Alstom’s Reichshoffen site in France, with Saint-Ouen undertaking design work, Le Creusot supplying the bogies, Ornans the traction motors and alternators, Tarbes the drive system and Villeurbanne the on-board electronics and passenger information systems. Dynamic testing has been undertaken in France and at the Vélim test centre in the Czech Republic.
The first trainset was delivered to the Port of Alger on January 28, and underwent testing on the SNTF network ahead of entry into passenger service. The rest of the fleet is scheduled to be delivered this year.
The SNTF trainsets are the first from Alstom’s Coradia family to be supplied to Africa. They units are similar to those operated by France’s SNCF under the Régiolis brand, but are protected against sand, and feature powerful air-conditioning which has been tested in the climate chamber at Alstom’s La Rochelle site to verify performance in temperatures up to 55°C.