Photo credit (banner): Maxime Huriez

Covid-19: Behind the scenes of our high-speed hospital trains

On 26 March, French officials chartered the first high-speed trains to transfer Covid-19 patients to areas with more hospital capacity. Our video looks back at what it took for our Special TGV team to make this challenging operation a success.

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4-minute read

Major logistical challenge

Like so many other companies, SNCF has adapted and reinvented itself to fight the coronavirus epidemic. Our Special TGV team, tasked with organizing hospital trains for critically ill patients, drew on its long experience in customizing our high-speed TGVs to meet client needs.

Their mission: take pressure off hard-hit intensive care units in Paris and eastern France by transporting patients to hospitals with more capacity in Brittany and the region around Bordeaux.

For the SNCF team, it was an opportunity to bring their expertise to the battle against Covid-19. View our video to go behind the scenes and watch it happen.


patients transported between 26 March and April 10


Operating the hospital trains requires meticulous organization, as the SNCF team works to prepare the trainsets, secure the station and line, bring medical staff aboard, and monitor heavy demand on the train’s power supply. In all, it takes some 200 people to move these critically ill patients safely.

Dans les coulisses du TGV médicalisé

  • 10

    runs since the pandemic began

  • 200

    SNCF team members are involved in each run

  • 48

    hours to fit out the special trains

  • 200

    oxygen tanks in each train