Cash helps French trains to roll

The European Investment Bank has provided a loan of 200 million Euros to the French national railway company SNCF to allow it to purchase twenty two Duplex (double-deck) trainsets.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a loan of 200 million Euros to the French national railway company SNCF to allow it to purchase twenty two Duplex (double-deck) trainsets.

These are intended to cater for the rapid increase in traffic on the French high-speed (TGV) rail network. The project represents the first phase of an investment programme to expand SNCF’s entire TGV fleet.

As well as being much quieter, the 22 Duplex trainsets boast a passenger capacity up to 40% higher than standard trains, depending on the layout of seating. They will initially be deployed on the Paris-Mediterranean line (especially the highly congested Paris-Lyons section), thereby freeing existing trainsets for other lines, particularly the EIB-financed TGV Est européen.

Over the past five years, the EIB has provided 3.4 billion Euros to finance the upgrading of main lines and rolling stock in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Portugal, as well as in ten Central and Eastern European countries.

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