SNCF prepares new TGV M maintenance centres
SNCF Voyageurs is embarking on a vast programme to modernise its maintenance centres to accommodate the future TGV INOUI, the fifth generation of French high-speed trains. The aim of this work is to adapt the maintenance facilities to make them compatible with the future train, in particular by incorporating automated benches capable of checking several hundred parts in a few seconds. The Introduction of the first TGV M trains is scheduled for 2025.
The Technicentre Sud Est Européen (TSEE), where the first TGVs arrived in 1981, will be the first to receive the future INOUI TGVs. With a team of 850 employees, it maintains around a quarter of the SNCF Voyageurs TGVs running in France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Germany.
The TSEE modernisation project represents an investment of almost 300 million euros, spread over the period from 2023 to 2027. It embodies the model of a new generation of maintenance technicentres for SNCF Voyageurs, resolutely more modern, connected and respectful of the environment, like the TGV M.
The environmental aspect plays a major role in the investments says SNCF, with a strong focus on energy-efficient solutions. 64 per cent of the heat for the TSEE buildings will come from renewable energy sources, and 4,000 m2 of solar panels will adorn the future roof of the technicentre car park.
The first steps in modernising TSEE 4.0 focused on adapting the 2 Voies workshop, which will be home to the future TGV INOUI from July 2023. For this phase, train manufacturer Alstom provided its expertise to SNCF Voyageurs to take into account the specific features of the TGV INOUI. The INOUI promises to “revolutionise” TGV maintenance by becoming a communicating train, capable of providing permanent, remote technical data and clear information on the state of health of each component, says SNCF. This will make it possible to plan maintenance operations based on the actual condition of components and to anticipate breakdowns in the doors, air conditioning systems, and all the elements that contribute to train operation and passenger comfort.
The future arrival of the INOUI TGVs will also change the nature of the work of maintenance technicians, who will then be able to “talk directly to a train capable of explaining its problems”, states SNCF. This will result in more accurate diagnoses and easier work organisation thanks to the analysis of all the data, making it possible to anticipate needs in terms of tools, tasks to be carried out and necessary intervention time.
Alstom, for its part, is also launching several industrial innovations for this fifth generation of TGVs. These include the creation of a single, multi-purpose line dedicated to the new TGV power train at Alstom’s Belfort site, thereby reducing the footprint and consumption of electricity and heating. At La Rochelle, a new passenger car assembly line has been set up, following the principles of continuous improvement, aimed at increasing efficiency, simplifying assembly, guaranteeing operator safety and improving the ergonomics of workstations. In addition, Alstom has created a test laboratory called “Train Lab” at the La Rochelle site, where functional validation of the train is carried out using a “digital virtual train,” thus eliminating the need to validate on a physical train.