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French Railways orders 'tram-train'

The Transportation Systems Group (TS) of Siemens AG as been awarded a contract by SNCF, the French National Railways, to supply 15 new Avanto type low-floor light rail transit vehicles with multi-system capability. This is the first time that Siemens has received an order for rail vehicles from SNCF and that the Avanto concept has been sold on the European market. The order is valued at around EUR 60 million and includes an option for a further 20 vehicles of the same type.

SNCF has ordered the Avanto as a dual-system vehicle for operating voltages of 750 V DC (light rail transit) and 25 kV AC (regional rail service). The five-section LRT vehicles (called Tram-Train in France) are designed for an overall length of 37 meters, a capacity of around 240 passengers and a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour. They are due to be delivered between the end of 2004 and the beginning of 2005 and will then operate on an 8-kilometer route between the two towns of Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bondy on the eastern outskirts of Paris.

Orders for the Avanto have already been received from the U.S.A., where this vehicle concept is marketed under the name 'S70'. The cities of Houston and San Diego have ordered 18 and 11 light rail transit vehicles of this type respectively.

Louis Gallois, chairman of SNCF, said: "This contract is a very important step for public transportation, and particularly for SNCF. It clearly demonstrates SNCF values of public service, modernity and Europe, and illustrates our new corporate approach to transporting people in metropolitan areas: developing dual-system vehicles ('tram-trains'), able to run on rail lines in the outskirts of the cities, as well as on inner-city tramways, thus offering our customers direct access to the very heart of those cities. The 'tram-train' concept also allows us to give a new and more urban look to existing rail lines inserted in densely populated areas."

15 July 2002

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