What’s next?

Like travelling in quieter trains? Over the last 20 years, we’ve reduced train noise by ten decibels, and we plan to eliminate another ten by 2020. Continuing to reduce noise is one of our top three R&D priorities, along with energy consumption and disposal of equipment and infrastructures. The ultimate goal is cleaner, less costly equipment that’s more comfortable for you and more ergonomic for our employees.


Plathée: the green locomotive

In 2006 SNCF joined Ademe, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, and a number of industrial and scientific partners in launching a project called Plathée—a French name that stands for “platform for energy-efficient, eco-friendly hybrid trains”.

The goal is to develop a locomotive platform that combines various technologies—a clean diesel engine plus a fuel cell and batteries to store energy, for example—and then use an intelligent onboard energy management system to match supply to demand.

As we harness these innovations, we’ll be able to bring you new services and modes of transport that are cleaner, more eco-friendly and more comfortable. Our Plathée project went into final testing in 2010. Here's how it looks so far:

  • 20% less fuel consumed over long distances
  • 40% less fuel consumed during station shunting and 85% less on standby
  • 60-99% reductions in emissions of regulated pollutants
  • 20-40% less CO2 emitted and 85% less on extended standby.

Not bad for a start. Now it’s up to rail equipment manufacturers—guided by SNCF’s constant dialogue with them—to put these new ideas and innovations to work, and make tomorrow’s green locomotives a reality.


of our passenger trains are low-noise (International Union of Railways indicator).

Clean energy comes from sources that generate little pollution or waste.


More on the subject