FRANCE: The first of 29 Alstom Régiolis multiple-units which SNCF has ordered on behalf of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region entered service with the December 11 timetable change.

The order placed under a national framework agreement between SNCF and Alstom includes 12 dual-voltage electro-diesel sets for use on routes from Clermont-Ferrand to Nevers, Vic-le-Comte, Thiers and Lyon. Deliveries are underway at a rate of two trainsets per month, and from July 2017 the Régiolis units will also be used on the routes from Clermont-Ferrand to Gannat and Brioude.

The 72 m long low-floor trainsets have four cars with a total of 220 seats, equipped with individual reading lights, power sockets and footrests. The 160 km/h units feature CCTV, two areas each with space for three bikes, and large windows. An automatic passenger counting system is provided to enable better monitoring of ridership to assist with service planning, and a driver assistance system is fitted to help optimise energy use.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has also ordered 17 Régiolis EMUs for use on Léman Express services to Genève from the end of 2019.