The future shuttles that SNCF wants to launch on small lines

In Brittany, as in other regions, the SRT users They regularly demand more frequencies in the passage of trains, including the reuse of disused lines in order to better meet the needs of daily mobility, to work or studies, in particular.

Less expensive and low carbon

The SNCF, which aims to double the share of train travel in France by 2030, will develop, in the coming years, innovative light rail projects and rail-road shuttles destined for local areas. A way of indicating to the regions, some of which are beginning to open up their network to competition, that in addition to TER, the group could offer them cheaper and carbon-free mobility solutions for the last kilometers, even in rural areas, by while facilitating connections with intraregional and interregional lines and main lines.

The 80-seater Draisy light rail project in which the SNCF begins to work with industrial partners (SNCF)

A hybrid rail-road shuttle on short lines

Launched as part of the recovery plan’s innovation component, these projects go by the code names TLI, Draisy, or Flexy. TLI for innovative light rail with around 100 seats, less expensive, lighter and less energy consuming than a conventional railcar. And then two even lighter formulas. Draisy is presented as a small 100% electric train with energy storage, with a capacity of 80 seats, of which 30 are seated, capable of traveling at 100 km/h on dedicated lines. As for Flexy, it is a 9-seater rail-road shuttle capable of connecting stations with urban centers through small lines currently closed from 10 to 30 km.

Flexy is a hybrid rail-road ferry that SNCF plans to develop on rail lines currently in disuse.
Flexy is a hybrid rail-road ferry that SNCF plans to develop on railway lines currently in disuse (SNCF)

Expected deployment in 2028

The first experiments are planned from 2024-2025 on pilot lines, and deployment -if these projects worked with industrial partners are economically viable- from 2028. “We make 10% of passengers per km and 0.3% of CO2 emissions today. We want to do even better in terms of carbon-free mobility”, says Carole Desnost, Director of Technologies, Innovation and Projects of the SNCF Group. “Our bet in the territories is to have an approach based on the metropolis, but also to transform the secondary lines into test fields and then solutions adapted to the needs so that people say to themselves: I am far from a station but not far from a road. iron I’ll be able to take the train tomorrow,” she adds.

It is potentially more trains running and therefore an improved offer

Will these innovations promote better synchronization of regional trains? “Less expensive materials, less energy consumption and more services, potentially there are more trains running and therefore an improved supply”, answers Carole Desnost. The SNCF dedicates €100 million a year to innovation, a modest economic quota compared to the industrial investments to be deployed, but “a kind of leverage effect to support the development of a railway sector of the future”.

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