From: , Green Progress, More from this Affiliate
Published October 24, 2007 07:41 AM

The World's First Hybrid Train Officially Enters Commercial Service

FRANCE - Champagne-Ardenne regional and transportation authorities and Bombardier Transportation today inaugurated the first dual-mode and dual-voltage AGC (Autorail Grande Capacite, high-capacity railcar) in the presence of French National Railways (SNCF) CEO Anne-Marie Idrac. This event is a world premiere in that the hybrid AGC combines certain operating features for the first time ever in a train.

Dual-mode (electrical and diesel) and dual-voltage (1500 and 25000 V) technology enables the Hybrid AGC to glide seamlessly across the entire railway network and to access electricity from any available source. This will result in energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions, as well as negating infrastructure constraints and the need for passengers to change trains.

The Hybrid AGC also dovetails with the sustainable-mobility agenda, enabling operators to streamline vehicle management, enhance service quality, and protect the environment. The latest variant in the AGC range is at the cutting edge of railroad technology. As of today, 21 French regions have ordered and/or operate 698 AGC regional express trains.

SNCF will be operating the Hybrid AGC on Champagne-Ardenne lines between Paris - Troyes - Culmont and between Culmont - Saint-Didier - Vitry.French and foreign VIP guests travelling on Hybrid AGCs from Paris and Dijon to the presentation ceremony in Troyes had an opportunity to enjoy this train's top-quality features and efficiency - in particular the imperceptible switches from electric to non-electrified tracks.The Regional President of Champagne-Ardenne, Jean-Paul Bachy confirmed, "This technological breakthrough demonstrates the Regional Council's determination to remain at the forefront of progress in the rail sector in Europe. This substantial investment from the Region meets the demands of users in terms of both safety and reliability. At the same time, it combines modernity with protection of the environment."

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Andre Navarri, President Bombardier Transportation, said: "This hybrid AGC is a new leap towards sustainable mobility. It reflects our ability to bring groundbreaking technology to authorities, SNCF and passengers. And it further increases the environmental edge that trains have created over other transportation options."

Jean Berge, President Bombardier Transportation France added, "We are especially proud of this train, which was engineered and built in our plant in Crespin, in the Valenciennes area. The many foreign delegations that have joined us at the event reflect the interest that this environmentally friendly technology has generated. We see that as an encouraging sign for our efforts to harness this trailblazing expertise to augment our exports from France."

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