INITIAL testing of the first four-car bi-mode Alstom Coradia Polyvalent France-Germany cross-border train is underway at DB Systemtechnik’s test centre in Minden, Germany.

The tests, the first of the certification and approval process, include mechanical trials to see how the train performs in curves. Traction, braking, electro-magnetic and acoustic stress tests will subsequently take place at the Velim test circuit in the Czech Republic. Testing on the German conventional network will commence in 2022.

French National Railways (SNCF) and the Grand Est Region ordered 30 of the trains in October 2019. Financial support was provided by the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Wurttemberg as well as the European Research and Development Fund. 

The 160km/h trains are fitted with dual voltage (15/25kV ac) traction systems as well as diesel engines. They are also equipped with ERTMS, France's KVB signalling system, supplemented by PZB STM used in Germany.

Alstom says certification and validation teams at its Reichshoffen site will work closely with DB Systemtechnik throughout the entire certification process, which will run for two years. Both Certifer, France, and AEBT, Certifer’s German subsidiary will ensure the results comply with European railway regulations.

Delivery of the first train is scheduled for 2024.