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High Speed Trains increase Competitiveness

10/01/2006

High-speed rail transport has been steadily growing in Europe during the last 20 years. All conditions are present for this growth to keep on at an equivalent or higher pace in the future.

With a forecast of approximately 12 billion Euros of investment in the Swedish network in the period 2004-2015, Sweden wants to develop a railwaysystem allowing higher speed for passenger traffic.

By 2030, the following routes are planned to be opened and / or upgraded:
- New high speed line (East Link) between Stockholm and Linkoping
- New / upgraded link on the West Coast
- Upgrade of tracks from Stockholm to the West and North

As far as rolling stock investment is concerned, the most promising market is for Very High Speed Trains (300-350 km/h). The primary market includes about seven million rail passengers, mainly travelling from Stockholm to the Öresund region and Gothenburg. These are mostly business trips and leisure travels.
There is a market for High Speed Trains (200-250km/h) with 3 million potential passengers business-travelling in the region Gävle-Mjölby.
Last but not least, there is a need for Regional High Speed Trains as well to transport about one million people to and from work every day, mainly in the regions Mälardalen, Östergötland och Skåne.

However, the most critical issue in term of high speed rail transport remains the infrastructure. In order to upgrade a conventional line and allow a maximum speed of 200-250 km/h, significant investment has to be carried out on items such as level crossings (to be removed), track layout (to be improved), power supply (to be reinforced) and signalling (to be improved as well).

A very high speed train system (300-350 km/h) represents a greater investment, such that private investors are not capable of implementing it alone. Political authorities must participate financially. Governmental donations for land development are possible. The investors need facilities to land acquisition as well as support in spreading information on the positive effects for people and regions.



Ridership often exceeds the most optimistic forecasts

And in fact it definitely has a positive economic impact. Experience shows that shortly after a new line is opened, ridership often exceeds the most optimistic forecasts as the system generates new kinds of users such as people commuting between cities within 1 hour, which is too far away for any other transport means.

In France for instance, the city of Le Mans, 180 km from Paris but only 55 mn by TGV, attracted new inhabitants when the high speed line opened, previously living in the Paris area, now commuting to the capital and enjoying a better quality of life than in the suburbs of the capital.


Furthermore, as the trains are modern and fully equipped with e.g. internet and telephone lines, the time passengers spend on the train can be used effectively and even counted as working time. Regions grow and get closer together.This might help to get people into work and thereby to strengthen the countries economy.

Customised and mastered High Speed and Very High Speed Solutions

Whatever type of high speed application is specified, ALSTOM proposes rolling stock solutions matching all Customer needs.

With the Pendolino, which is operated in 11 countries throughout Europe (including Finland) and soon in China, ALSTOM is the leader on the high speed trains market. As of today, 226 train sets (1556 cars) have been sold. The fleet runs at 200-250 km/h. The Pendolino is a wide, internationally well-proven product family, combining technological innovation and passenger comfort. The Pendolino is available as tilting or non-tilting version.

ALSTOM has also a unique experience in very high speed trains. The first TGV (train à grande vitesse) was delivered in 1978. Since this date, 536 train sets (5319 cars) have been sold. The fleet runs at 300 to 320 km/h today and is operated in 9 countries. The TGV also exists as a double-decker version (TGV Duplex). It is in traffic since 1996. The TGV holds the world speed record on rail since 1994 (515 km/h in a test).

With the new AGV, ALSTOM applies the EMU concept to the TGV – traction equipment previously concentrated in the end cars is now distributed in the underframe of passenger coaches. This third generation of Very High Speed Trains meets diversified traffic needs and runs from 270 to 350 km/h. The AGV offers more comfort and capacity and is more reliable and available than former trains. It builds on a modular concept. The operation costs – including energy consumption – and the acquisition costs per seat are reduced.

Train conquers Market

What is the best solution for the Scandinavian Triangle ? In Sweden, a decision on the maximum speed on new lines is to be taken in 2007. But the choice depends also on other factors: infrastructure investment, geography of the line and distance between the stops.

Whatever the decision is, it is a fact that if the operators implement an attractive system, trains can compete effectively with car or plane. With a departure every hour for a 1h25mn trip from Paris to Brussels, the Thalys trains quickly attracted most of the air traffic, in such a way that today you cannot fly any longer between these cities. It is a major investment which gives a great benefit to everybody: profits for the operators through increased ridership, improved travel conditions for the passengers through more comfortable trains and shorter travel times, economic growth for the regions and, last but not least, benefits for nature when people prefer to take the train instead of car or plane.

The Speaker: Hugues Menissier
Hugues Menissier has been working within the ALSTOM Group for 15 years. He began in the Power Generation sector where he was in charge of the purchase for export projects in Europe and Asia. Then in 1994 he joined the Transport sector as Project Sourcing Manager in the La Rochelle factory, on a strategic Diesel Multiple Unit project. In 1997, he moved to ALSTOM Transport's headquarters in Paris where he was in charge of Market Intelligence for the rolling stock worldwide. Recently, he joined the North Europe organisation as Rolling Stock Marketing Manager.

The Speaker: Hugues Menissier

Hugues Menissier has been working within the ALSTOM Group for 15 years. He began in the Power Generation sector where he was in charge of the purchase for export projects in Europe and Asia. Then in 1994 he joined the Transport sector as Project Sourcing Manager in the La Rochelle factory, on a strategic Diesel Multiple Unit project. In 1997, he moved to ALSTOM Transport's headquarters in Paris where he was in charge of Market Intelligence for the rolling stock worldwide. Recently, he joined the North Europe organisation as Rolling Stock Marketing Manager.

The Company: ALSTOM Transport

With more than 35 product lines and a presence in more than 60 countries, ALSTOM Transport offers complete products and services for new rolling stock, signaling, and electrical and mechanical infrastructure as well as maintenance and rehabilitation services to four distinct types of customers: urban transit authorities and operators; intercity passenger rail operators and rolling stock owners; rail freight operators; and intercity railway infrastructure owners. ALSTOM Transport, with sales of 5,1 billion euros in financial year 2004-2005, is among the world's leading suppliers to the railway industry.