The Réseau Express Régional (RER) D and E lines in Paris are welcoming the introduction of new New Generation RER (RER NG) commuter trains.
RER D and E are two of the five lines in the RER (Regional Express Network in English), which is a hybrid commuter rail and rapid transit system serving Paris and its suburbs. The gradual introduction of the RER NG on the E line will ensure that engineers can make the train as reliable as possible before being deployed on the whole line, including the new extension to Nanterre.
The train will then start running on the D line at the end of 2024.
Alstom describes the trains as being more spacious, brighter, more accessible and more efficient, and points out that it has been specifically designed for dense areas. As such, the company is confident that the train will bring lasting improvements to travel conditions for the hundreds of thousands of people who use the RER D and RER E lines each day.
Alstom designed and built the new trains at its Valenciennes-Petite Forêt and Crespin sites in Hauts-de-France, with contributions to the project from nine of the company's sixteen sites in France.
On Monday 13 November 2023, Ile-de-France Mobilités, SNCF Voyageurs and Alstom, which have worked closely with each other on the project, launched the train at Haussmann Saint-Lazare station in Paris, with elected representatives and passengers present.
Île-de-France Mobilités is the brand name of the Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France, the authority that coordinates the different transport companies which operate in the Paris-area public transport network and the rest of the Île-de-France region. It has been pursuing a policy of upgrading all rolling stock on its railway network, and sees the arrival of the RER NG commuter train as an important milestone. It commissioned Alstom to design the train specifically for the Île-de-France region and its nine million daily commuters.
The design incorporates the following features:
- optimum capacity and passenger flows: Fully open architecture and wide doors allow passengers to enter and leave with ease and offers distinct travel areas.
- high level of comfort: Air conditioning, ergonomic seats, LED lighting adapted to the time of travel (day/night/station stops), USB sockets and information screens help to enhance passengers' experience.
- accessibility: Each end car contains a platform offering direct and rapid access for passengers in wheelchairs to adapted areas.
- reliability and efficiency: Acceleration and braking performance optimise station stopping times, train frequency, and therefore the line's capacity and regularity.
- automation: The trains incorporate the new NExTEO train automation, control and supervision system, helps to which will increase train frequency.
Nine hundred Alstom staff have been working on the project on a daily, with two thousand involved at the start. alstom believes that the launch of the train demonstrates the expertise of its workforce.
Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO of Alstom, said, “It is with immense pride that we are today celebrating the commissioning of the RER NG commuter train on Line E. It is a very special moment in the life of a project when a train meets its first passengers. It is also a source of pride for all Alstom employees, as this is the pinpoint of a great deal of hard work from each and every one of them, serving a major project for the Île-de-France region and its inhabitants”