THE transport authorities of Toulouse, Brest and Besançon have awarded Alstom a contract for the manufacture of a new generation of LRVs for the three French cities.

The framework agreement has a term of eight years and comprises a minimum order for 22 LRVs, which will be based on the low-floor Citadis platform but will incorporate technology that will reduce energy consumption by at least 25% compared with the current vehicles in service.

An interior view of one of the new-generation Citadis LRVs for Toulouse. Photo credit: Alstom

The joint order will comprise nine vehicles for Toulouse, eight for Brest and five for Besançon, and includes an option for further vehicles to be ordered. The first deliveries are expected to arrive in Besançon in March 2025, with entry into service scheduled for September 2025.

The first deliveries of LRVs for Brest will be in July 2025, with commissioning due to take place in January 2026. The new LRVs for Toulouse are expected to be delivered in January 2026, and enter service in September of the same year.

How the new Citadis LRVs for Besançon will look when they are in service. Photo credit: Alstom

The reduction in energy consumption will be achieved thanks to new traction motors, efficient management of heating and air-conditioning and use of LED lighting throughout. The new LRVs will also be equipped with features reducing maintenance requirements by 18% during their estimated 30 years in service, and are designed to be 95% recyclable and 99% reusable at the end of their working life.

The reduction in maintenance requirements will be achieved by requiring a smaller number of individual spare parts, improved accessibility of components, and sensors distributed throughout the vehicles to allow remote diagnostics and helping to reduce the time LRVs are out of service.

The three cities have joined forces in making the joint order for LRVs to optimise costs and the same objective has led to Alstom proposing variants on its Citadis LRVs which have already been delivered to 70 cities in 20 countries. In France, 25 cities have ordered Citadis LRVs, including Besançon.

An image showing how the Citadis LRVs for Brest in Brittany will look when in service. Photo credit: Alstom

With a length of 32.5m and a width of 2.4m, the new LRVs have four 1.3m-wide double doors together with two single doors per side. Each LRV will provide capacity for 201 passengers.

In compliance with EU accessibility regulations, the LRVs will be equipped with door-opening buttons at the correct height, wider seats and areas reserved for wheelchair users and pushchairs. The interiors will be equipped with CCTV and passenger information screens.

Nine Alstom sites in France will be involved in delivering the joint order: La Rochelle will undertake design and LRV assembly; Le Creusot will produce the bogies; Ornans will manufacture the traction motors; Villeurbanne will supply onboard electronics and cyber security systems; Aix-en-Provence will supply tachometer units; Sens, Gennevilliers and Saint-Florentin will supply brake discs and linings; and Saint-Ouen will undertake design work.

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