The aim of the so-called innovation partnership is to develop a train which reduces the cost of acquisition and operation by 20% and cuts energy consumption by at least 25% with recyclability of more than 90%. Another focus will be improving the passenger environment with modular interiors and improved comfort and connectivity.

A specification for the new train is due to be finalised by the end of 2017. A detailed design concept will be completed within four years with the aim of introducing the trains into commercial service by mid-2022.
A multi-discipline team of 20 staff from SNCF and Alstom has been assigned to the project.

Thanks to a change in the law in 2014, French state-owned companies can now work in collaboration with private sector partners during the design phase of a project in order to minimise costs. In return, the industrial partner has a guarantee that it will be awarded a contract when the joint development phase has been completed.