Around eighteen months ago, French rail operator SNCF launched a tender procedure for the acquisition of new EMUs for operation on ‘classic’ intercity lines. The French government requested SNCF to do so. Today, the news has been published that CAF from Spain has submitted the winning bid, which will be formally presented to the members of the board of SNCF Mobilités on 24.10.2019. When they approve the project, the final contract can be signed.
The project will start with the delivery of 28 EMUs for medium and long-distance routes:
- Paris <> Clermont-Ferrand
- Paris <> Limoges <> Toulouse
The contract includes options for another 75 units, of which 15 could serve on the axis Bordeaux <> Marseille. The first units should enter service in 2023.
The CAF trains will have a maximum speed of 200 km/h, will be PRM friendly, and will feature Wifi, and USB plugs. There will be room for bicycles and ‘logistics space for high-quality catering.’
And yes, part of the order will be executed in France. Since 2008, CAF has a factory in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Its workforce will grow significantly, from the current 100 employees to 350 in the near future. CAF wants to invest around 30 million in upgrading its facilities.