Photo credit (banner): sNCF

Hybrid TER trains: Coming soon to a station near you

Starting in 2021, our first hybrid Régiolis trains will begin running under actual operating conditions. Thanks to their high-capacity batteries, the new vehicles will sharply reduce energy consumption—and noise.

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Transforming the TER Régiolis trainset

Hybrid trains—greener, quieter and cheaper—will soon be here. Powered by a combination of electricity, diesel fuel and batteries, our new TERs will be tested in 2021 and begin appearing in stations the following year, with a broader rollout slated for 2023. Developed by Alstom in partnership with three French regions—Grand-Est, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie—these next-generation trains are based on a modified TER Régiolis design.

This is France’s first effort to produce a hybrid self-propelled trainset, and SNCF is proud to be a part of it.

Verbatim

The new hybrids will cut energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. No other short-term solution can deliver that much improvement over our current rolling stock.

Franck Lacroix, CEO TER

How hybrid trains work

Hybrid trains draw on three different energy sources as needed:

  • electricity from catenaries
  • thermal power from engines
  • energy stored in batteries

In each trainset, half of the diesel engines are replaced by high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, which recover braking energy and re-use it to power the train—a significant improvement, since braking accounts for around one-third of its total energy consumption.

Result: hybrids don’t need to use diesel traction near stations, reducing both pollution and noise. And the batteries can boost traction power when catenary tension drops below 1.5 kV.

€16.6 million invested in this experiment

Cleaner than cars

Did you know that cars generate five times more pollution than trains? On average, a TER train emits 30.7 g of CO₂/km. When you choose rail, you’re helping to cut annual carbon emissions by 10 million metric tons. And we’re working hard to make SNCF trains even more eco-friendly: current targets call for improving energy efficiency by 20% and CO2e performance by 25%.