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The SNCF would prepare a train running on rails as well as on the road

AT the SNCF, it’s time for innovation. The French railway company is actively seeking solutions to address a number of major issues, including the total phase-out of diesel by 2035 or the reduction in the cost of operating trains on routes that do not are not electrified from end to end, especially on short lines. According to our colleagues from The crossthe SNCF is working on a vehicle project that straddles the minibus and the train.

In concrete terms, the Flexy will be equipped with a wheel specially designed by Michelin and will thus be able to travel as far as the villages by road before joining the rails of the network in order to drive its nine passengers to the nearest station. This includes offering regions a solution in areas least served by public transport. According to The crossthe SNCF promises to put these Flexys, which work thanks to an electric battery, into service from 2026 and “many regions are positioning themselves so that the experiments take place on their network”, according to Carole Desnost, director of technologies, innovation and projects of the SNCF group.

Lighter trains to save small lines

SNCF is also working on new ranges of trains, lighter than the TER currently in circulation. On some lines with little traffic, trains rarely carry more than a dozen passengers simultaneously and a machine as large and heavy as a TER is far from necessary. A lighter train will also be more economical, especially on particularly damaged segments of the rail network which would be seriously degraded by the frequent passage of a heavy train.

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Thus, as stated The cross, these new trains, which are cheaper to buy and maintain, could come to the rescue of the small lines which are tending to close. Equipped with electric batteries, these trains would also respond to the problem posed by the fact that half of the rail network in France is not electrified, the trains that circulate there currently running on diesel.

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