The State will invest 450 million euros in the purchase of twenty new trains to replace the old Corail on the Bordeaux-Toulouse-Montpellier-Marseille line, announced Thursday the Minister Delegate for Transport Clément Beaune. "It is one of the most difficult lines in France, in terms of delay and quality of service. The State will take charge of a very strong investment of 450 million euros (...) to buy new trains and set up a maintenance center, "said Clément Beaune to the daily Sud Ouest. "Twenty trains will be ordered to equip the line, with delivery in early 2027," he said.
75 optional trainsets
The announcement of this order was eagerly awaited, because the old Corail trains in service on this route are out of breath. SNCF has already bought on behalf of the State 28 trains from the Spanish manufacturer CAF, intended for the Intercités Paris-Limoges-Toulouse and Paris-Clermont lines. The contract includes 75 optional trainsets, part of which is planned for Bordeaux-Marseille. These trains are to be built in the Alsatian factory of Reichshoffen, which CAF recently bought from the French group Alstom.
While waiting for the delivery of the new trains, Clément Beaune said he had asked the SNCF "improvements in the very short term". "We will strengthen air conditioning maintenance. We will test the white paint on trains to fight against the heat (as in Spain, editor's note) and equip all stations with water fountains, "he said. "We will also increase the security staff by 25% and the number of agents per train which will be two on 75% of the journeys."
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The Bordeaux-Toulouse-Montpellier-Marseille transversal is part of the "trains d'équilibre du territoire" (TET), better known as Intercités, subsidized by the State and operated by SNCF Voyageurs before a forthcoming opening to competition. On the local ground, Clément Beaune indicated that the Bordeaux RER project should receive 150 million euros from the State, out of an envelope of 800 million envisaged for all metropolitan RER over the period 2023-2027. As for the high-speed line between Bordeaux and Toulouse, "all the ingredients are there for the project to start" starting with the railway developments around these two cities, he said. The Bordeaux-Dax branch "will be done a little later", according to him.