New Aquitaine has just voted an investment plan of 160 million euros, for the purchase of 15 TER trains. The objective is to “deal with overloaded TERs” in the region, explains Renaud Lagrave, vice-president of the community in charge of transport. Their delivery should take place in 2025 and 2026.
The deployment of these trains, which will provide 3,612 additional seats, is planned on the regional lines and the metropolitan RER. A participation of Bordeaux Métropole is moreover “expected up to 50% for the trains which will be deployed within the framework of the RER Métropolitain”, specifies the region.
20 minutes comes back with Renaud Lagrave on this investment.
Why invest 160 million euros for the purchase of new trains?
We’ve been working on this file for over a year. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the increase in attendance without stopping since 2017, of the order of 10% per year (excluding the Covid years), and even + 22% in 2022 compared to 2019, which is the year reference. It’s totally unique! We have also decided to offer between 10 and 12% additional service throughout the region, and we must take into account the metropolitan RER projects in the Bordeaux metropolitan area and in the Basque Country. Finally, some of the equipment is aging and needs to be changed. When you add up, we are, for the moment, on an order for 15 trains to meet these challenges.
How will these new trains be distributed over all the regional lines?
The four Regio2N, which are double-decker trains, will essentially go to the Bordeaux star, in particular for RER projects, even if some of these trains will go as far as Bayonne or Pau on one side, and Agen on the other. The eleven Régiolis will be scattered everywhere.
Which sectors are particularly in tension?
We have a lot of overcrowded lines, this is particularly the case for Bordeaux-Agen, Bordeaux-Périgueux, and on Saint-Mariens… While waiting for the arrival of these new TERs, we have also asked the SNCF to rent four additional oars, and we are looking for more. Everything is good to find solutions.
On the metropolitan RERs, what will change the announcements that Emmanuel Macron made in November?
I heard that there would be ten billion euros allocated to all the RER projects in France, which should make around one billion euros for the Bordeaux project. This is obviously welcome, and we can hope that this will speed up the process to have trains every quarter hour rather than half an hour, as is currently planned.
There is the issue of equipment, but also that of the state of the rail network, which remains problematic in New Aquitaine…
We’re at a standstill on this file… I still don’t see any great ambition on the regeneration of the network: we are at 42 euros per inhabitant in France, when many other countries in Europe are above 100 euros. As long as we don’t give SNCF Réseau the means to do the work, I don’t know how to do it… The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is asking for a massive rail investment plan in the coming years.