The approval, which has involved Eurailtest, Certifer, infrastructure manager French Rail Network (RFF) and French National Railways (SNCF), covers both the bi-mode (class B 83500) and (class Z 51500) electric variants currently on order and enables the type to be used in passenger service from April 22. The first trains are due to be introduced in the regions of Aquitaine, Lorraine, Alsace, and Picardy by the end of next month.

Alstom says that 10 pre-series Régiolis sets have covered more than 350,000km during 1400 days of testing, a process which has involved up to 200 people from 20 different organisations.

Alstom has invested €17m in a dedicated testing facility at Bar-le-Duc in Lorriane, which has a 160km/h test track. Certification of acceleration, braking, noise emissions, and electromagnetic compatibility are being carried out at this location.

So far Alstom has received orders for 216 Régiolis sets, around 100 of which are due to be delivered by the end of this year.