The Board of Directors of the French railways, SNCF Mobilités, has approved a firm order for 100 Avelia Horizon very high speed trains at its meeting on 26 July 2018. It is the official confirmation of a plan announced earlier this year.
It is the first Alstom and SNCF use the product name ‘Avelia Horizon’ for this ‘next generation’ HST – Today Alstom also released new design impressions showing a double-deck train with end cars with a exterior design similar to the Avelia Liberty for Amtrak USA.
The train has the newest current black/white/silver livery with magenta accents, that SNCF has been introducing to its current InOui and IC fleet over the past years. InOui is the new brand which was officially introduced this year for SNCF’s higer level high speed train services (while retaining the ‘Ouigo’ branding for low-cost trains).
With the new trains, SNCF wants to be ready for future competition. This has resulted in a strong focus on lowering costs (-20% acquisition and -30% in maintenance compared to the previous generation TGVs) and increasing passenger capacity (+20%) resulting in a single unit to accommodate up to 740 passengers in the highest-capacity configuration chosen by SNCF. The Avelia Horizon will consume 20% less energy than existing TGVs.