THE first TGV M fourth-generation power car for French National Railways (SNCF) was unveiled at Alstom’s Belfort plant on May 26. The ceremony was attended by Mr Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, president of Alstom France, Mr Christophe Fanichet, chairman and CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, and Mr Alain Krakovitch, managing director, Voyages SNCF.

“This eco-designed TGV, the first trains of which are scheduled to enter service in 2024, has benefited from the know-how of the best experts from Voyages SNCF and Alstom, brought together on a common platform during the definition and co-specification phases of the project,” Alstom says. “This new way of designing a more innovative and efficient train is a first in Europe.”

Thanks to a more compact, simplified and streamlined architecture, TGV M will have lower acquisition and maintenance costs compared with the existing TGV Duplex double-deck train whilst gaining 20% in capacity. The return of energy to the catenary during braking, eco-driving and the aerodynamic shape of the nose allow overall energy savings of around 20%.

The new trains, which will also benefit SNCF’s Ouigo offer, will introduce several major advances:

  • modularity, making it possible to adjust the number of coaches according to precise market needs with seven, eight or nine-car trains possible
  • modularity will also make it possible to convert first class seating areas into second class areas and reconfigure them by adding or removing seats or bicycle and baggage storage areas
  • on-board floor space will be increased by 20%, amounting to 740 seats compared with 600 in current TGV Duplex trains
  • improved energy efficiency and carbon footprint per journey with a 97% carbon recyclability objective - Alstom says TGV M will have the lowest carbon footprint on the market 
  • access to online scalable services to meet passenger needs, such as on-board Wi-Fi and real-time information
  • real-time provision of information on components allowing preventive maintenance, and
  • 100% accessibility for all passengers - from the start, TGV M was the first TGV to be designed in close collaboration with wheelchair user associations and will be the first TGV to provide fully autonomous train accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

Alstom says the key features of TGV M are:

  • 32% reduction in CO2 emissions
  • 97% of train materials can be recycled
  • 20% reduction in energy consumption through more efficient aerodynamics and traction equipment
  • 20% lower acquisition costs
  • 30% lower maintenance costs, and
  • a 100% online train, with an optimised on-board internet network capable of integrated all future technical improvements.