Following a successful initial service from Paris Grand Est on March 26, SNCF carried 36 patients on two services operating from Nancy and Mulhouse to Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

SNCF says it took support from all its subsidiaries to operate the services. SNCF Network created a special path for the trains, which ran along the TGV East and TGV Atlantic lines.

Medical equipment was loaded at Paris Est, with SNCF’s security team guarding the train overnight. The patients were transferred to the train in the morning, with an engineer, two attendants and an electrician also on board to ensure the constant supply of electricity for the patients’ ventilators. Non-medical staff travelled in a separate coach to minimise contact.

All staff were supplied with protective equipment including masks, overalls, and glasses, and the trains were fully disinfected before they returned to Paris.