France’s next-generation high-speed train will be in service by the 2024 Olympic games in Paris, the SNCF has confirmed.
Dubbed the “train of the future,” the first of the new TGV “M” trains will roll off the production line in winter 2023, according to Alain Krakovitch, managing director of SNCF Voyages.
It is anticipated the newly-designed high-speed trains will then be in service by June 2024.
“It’s a train that will be rolled out for the Olympic Games,” Krakovitch told AFP news agency.
Environmentally-conscious, spacious, modern and cheaper to run than previous generations, it is hoped the latest TGV, designed by French manufacturer Alstom, will revolutionise rail travel.
The SNCF ordered 100 of the next generation trains, known as the Avelia Horizon, in July 2018.
In a nod to sustainability, the trains, which will be constructed first at Alstom’s plant in La Rochelle before being fully assembled in Belfort, will be made from 97 per cent recycled material.
The vehicles have been praised for their eco-friendliness, with their design helping to cut CO2 emissions by 32 per cent, energy consumption by 20 per cent and maintenance costs by 30 per cent.
New design features included a concept bar with seating on two levels and TV screens. Passengers will also be able to order refreshments from their seats.
The TGV “M” has also been designed to allow passengers in wheelchairs to embark and disembark autonomously without any assistance from staff, thanks to a built-in elevating platform. Toilets have also been reimagined to allow increased mobility, Krakovitch added.
The new trains will accommodate 740 passengers, 20 per cent more than the current carriages in circulation.