Olivier Delecroix, Vice-President Marketing & Sales, Alstom France, and Thierry Mallet, CEO of Transdev, presented to Renaud Muselier, President of the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Region and Deputy Chairman of ‘Régions de France’, the first Omneo train that will operate on the Marseille–Toulon–Nice line, prior to start the homologation tests. Starting at the end of November, this trainset will carry out a series of dynamic overspeed tests on the Velim test track (in the Czech Republic). After returning to Crespin to finalise the static tests and complete the interior fittings, it will then go into pre-operational service in the Sud Region.
On 30 November 2021, the Sud Region awarded Transdev the contract to operate trains on the Marseille-Toulon-Nice line from mid-2025. This route alone represents 10% of the region’s rail services. The Region’s decision is a historic one. It is the first tender for regional trains to be awarded to a competitor of the incumbent operator since passenger rail transport was opened up to competition in France.
Under the public service concession contract, Transdev is to acquire the rolling stock needed to operate the regional train service on behalf of the Region, as well as building a maintenance center near Nice station. This will enable Transdev to ensure that operations are highly safe, that maintenance is controlled and optimised, and that trains are fully available, particularly during peak times.
These new 8-car trains, 110 metres long, will offer 352 seats plus 49 folding seats for passengers making short journeys (a total of 401 seats). This high capacity is achieved by alternating single and double-decker cars. In addition, the modular design means that two trainsets can be coupled together, depending on the number of passengers expected.
Access to the train is on the same level through wide doors and is facilitated by an automatic step that fills the space between the train and the platform (gap-filling system). The smooth flow of traffic on board is also ensured by an architecture that is conducive to movement, based on wide corridors and spacious platforms.
These Omneo trains are based on Alstom Omneo platform, for which 544 trains have already been ordered by 10 French regions (403 suburban and regional trains and 141 Intercity trains).