Large-Capacity Carriages for Ile-de-France Commuter Trains
In early 2008, the first of altogether 344 modern one4 couplers will be delivered to Bombardier by Voith Turbo Scharfenberg. The rail vehicle manufacturer has received a major order from SNCF French state railways for a total of 372 trains. 172 “Ile-de-France” commuter trains will be in service in Greater Paris from as early as December 2009.
The main reasons for awarding this order to Voith Turbo Scharfenberg were safety, reliability and state-of-the-art technology. Being a key component of the vehicle, the low-maintenance Schaku one4 coupler had to meet the requirements stated in the crash test standard EN 15227, which is indispensable for rail vehicles. The one4 easily exceeded the energy absorption capability of 600 kilojoules required by the vehicle manufacturer. Several dynamic tests at Bombardier demonstrated its safety.
In France alone, more than 20,000 couplers in operation prove the reliability of Voith Turbo Scharfenberg’s products. The Schaku can be found on all TGV high speed trains as well as TER2N NG regional trains and the Paris Metro vehicles MP05 and MF 2000.
For the Ile-de-France project, the design of individual coupler components was adapted such that the usual maintenance intervals of eight to ten years could be generously exceeded. For the train operator these longer maintenance intervals mean a higher train availability and considerably reduced costs.
Unusually for commuter trains, the Ile-de-France vehicles feature particularly spacious carriages with large and comfortable seats. The doors open wide, allowing the passengers to easily get on and off the train. The seven- or eight- car trains can be operated as single, double or triple units, depending on the number of carriages required.