The €585m order – the first for the 200km/h inter-city variant of the Omneo - is an option from a framework contract for up to 860 trains awarded to Bombardier in 2010. The Normandy order takes the total number of trains on order to 253, securing production at Bombardier’s Crespin plant in northeast France until 2021.
Deliveries will start in 2019 and certification of the trains for passenger operation from the French Railway Safety Authority (EPSF) is expected by September 2019. The first Omneo Premium sets will enter service in early 2020, replacing locomotive-hauled Corail stock on inter-city services. Each 135m-long set will seat 470 passengers (including 40 on folding seats) with onboard features including passenger Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, and power sockets. The project will involve a number of Normandy-based suppliers ncluding Compin (seats) , Paulstra (secondary suspension), Hypertac (connectors) and Seim (paint).
The trains will be maintained at Sotteville (Rouen) and facilites at Caen will also be upgraded in preparation for the introduction of the new fleet.
Normandy signed an agreement with the French government on April 25 to take over the operation of five loss-making inter-city services from SNCF in a deal which included a commitment by the French government to fund the renewal of rolling stock.
Under the agreement, which represents the first transfer of so-called Balance of Territory (TET) trains currently operated by French National Railways (SNCF) to regional control, Normandy will assume responsibility for Paris - Caen - Cherbourg, Trouville - Deauville, Paris - Rouen - Le Harve, Paris - Granville, Paris - Evreux - Serquigny, and Caen - Le Mans - Tours services by the beginning of 2020.