coradia-polyvalent_1.jpgDynamic testing of the four-car bi-mode multiple unit is due to begin at the end of the month, and from next January the train will undergo a period of extensive mainline testing with the aim of achieving certification for a March 2013 launch in the Aquitaine region. Ten pre-series trains will undergo trials throughout France during this period.
The trains are being procured on behalf of the regions by SNCF which signed an Euros 800m contract in October 2009 for an initial batch of 100 Régiolis, with options that could take the fleet to more than 1000 trains. So far 11 regions have placed orders for a total of 166 trains of various configurations. Deliveries will commence in March 2013 and will continue until mid-2015, although if all options are exercised production will continue into the next decade.
The trains are based on Alstom's Coradia Polyvalent platform and are offered as three, four or six-car units configured for suburban, regional or intercity operations, with a choice of bi-mode or multi-system electric propulsion. Both variants will be able to operate on the standard French 1.5kV dc and 25kV ac systems, and Alstom is offering a cross-border version equipped for 15kV, which will allow operation into Germany and Switzerland. Alstom says the bi-mode Régiolis will also be approved for operation under diesel power in Belgium.