TRANSPORT authority Île-de-France Mobilités has signed an agreement with Transilien SNCF Voyageurs, the division of French National Railways (SNCF) that operates Paris commuter services, to provide €590m to upgrade the rolling stock maintenance facility at Villeneuve Saint-Georges.

A total of €685m is being spent under the “Villeneuve Tomorrow” programme to prepare the facility for the new fleet of 82 RER NG double-deck EMUs being supplied by Alstom for RER Line D. The Île-de-France region and the French government are together providing €95m for the project.

Preparatory work is already underway on the 55ha site at Villeneuve that currently maintains the fleet of 80 Régio 2N double-deck EMUs that operate on Line R of the Île-de-France suburban network, as well as inter-city and regional rolling stock which will be maintained elsewhere in future.

The upgraded facility will be dedicated to maintaining the Régio 2N trains and the new RER NG fleet due to enter service on Line D from April 2024.

Onboard equipment on the RER NG is located in the roof to provide more passenger capacity, although this requires maintenance facilities to be reconfigured to improve access for staff.

The first long RER NG arrived at Villeneuve in December 2022 to enable operating personnel to start training on the new EMU type. Photo Credit: Ile-de-France Mobilites

The Villeneuve upgrade is due for completion by the end of 2027 and includes building new maintenance and stabling facilities, reconfiguring existing facilities, and improving depot access by means of four new connections to the Paris - Lyon main line.

The power supply system will be upgraded and a new signalling centre built to control movements within the depot and to and from the main line.

The upgraded facility will maintain half of the Line D RER NG fleet and the entire fleet of Régio 2N EMUs operating on Line R.

In order to reduce the environmental impact of the project, a conveyor belt will be installed to handle spoil, replacing between 20 and 30 lorry movements a day when construction work is at its peak.

Similarly, the project partners have set a target to recover and reuse 75% of the water used for train washing when the depot upgrade is completed.

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