“Abandoned”, “cannibalized”, “vandalized”, even “squatted”, trains dating from the end of the 1970s were narrowly saved by the SNCF.
Sent to scrap, they will eventually be restored.
The objective: to put them back on track to relaunch new night train lines.
A titanic work that occupies the technicentre Charente Périgord, located near the station of Périgueux.
The workshop recovered a large part of the 51 cars saved in extremis when the government announced the reopening of night lines in 2020. In addition, there are 71 cars in operation that the State has decided to renovate.
It takes “approximately 4,000 hours of work per car for a sleeping car” and between “2,500 and 3,000 hours of work for a seat car”, explains Julien Polito, rolling stock manager in the technicentre.
Read alsoNight trains: after Paris-Briançon, SNCF opens two new lines
The cars are stripped, asbestos removed, straightened, shot-blasted, if necessary supplemented when parts have disappeared, repainted and reassembled.
Inside, everything is removed, inventoried, refurbished or changed, and put back in place.
"The mattresses (berths) of first are all replaced by new ones", specifies Julien Polito.
The workshop should have finished repairing its 93 cars in March 2023, while the government wants to expand the rail network by 2030 by extending the existing lines to Albi, Aurillac, Barcelona or San Sebastian in the Basque Country. Spanish, and by creating transversal routes such as Bordeaux-Nice, Metz/Geneva – Nice/Barcelona/Bordeaux.
Beyond the Paris-Vienne reactivated last December and the Paris-Berlin announced for the end of 2023, the former Minister Delegate for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, also expressed his desire to "link Paris to other European capitals : Madrid, Rome, Copenhagen, maybe Stockholm”.