New bi-mode units replacing last diesel-hauled Intercités

FRENCH Railways (SNCF) has ordered 64 of the Alstom-built ‘Coradia Liner’ bi-mode units for operation of subsidised Intercités routes.

The first batch contained 34, with a further 30 trains in the second batch.

In early morning light IC 3852, the 07.47 Bordeaux-Nantes, operated by SNCF BB67436, crosses the Dordogne river on the imposing 2,178m-long viaduct at Cubzac-les-Ponts on September 3. The railway bridge was opened in 1886 as part of the now discontinued route from Paris to Bordeaux via Chartres. It is one of four river bridges in the Cubzac area – the most recent being the new high-speed line, which opened on July 2. KEITH FENDER

The first 19 trains entered service on the Paris-Troyes-Belfort route from February, completely replacing loco-operated trains hauled by CC72100 diesel locos (see feature last month).

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The next 15 units will be used to replace smaller BB67400 locos working on the Nantes to Bordeaux route, plus weekend Bordeaux to Ussel services.

They started operation between Bordeaux and Nantes, where they will be based, in early August.

It is likely the second batch of 30 trains due for delivery from September 2018 will replace BB67400 diesel locos working between Amiens and Boulogne, operating Intercités services from Paris Nord.

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