Two billion euros. This is the colossal sum committed by the Normandy region, led by former Minister Hervé Morin since 2016, for the improvement of its rail network. The tip of the iceberg is the order for 40 trains of a new generation of OMNEO train from the Canadian company Bombardier, three of which were put into service on February 17. But there is also a less visible, more structuring part of the project: the desire, with the SNCF, to establish services and technologies in Normandy. For this, a SNCF Normandie technicentre was built in the Sotteville-lès-Rouen yard for € 70.5 million, financed up to € 50 million by the Normandy region, € 13 million by the SNCF, € 7 million by the State and € 500,000 by the Métropole Rouen Normandie.
Project planned in three stages, its most striking feature is the workshop building of 10,848 m2. It contains three long maintenance tracks and a breakdown track for trains of one or two levels. New generations, its design and ergonomics allow a great natural light, better insulation, LED lighting and it benefits from a 40 m3 tank allowing to collect rainwater to clean the workshop.
Morin annoyed by Bombardier
At its maximum efficiency, four whole trains will be able to return at the same time, speeding up rotations in the region instead of waiting for the return of the trains of other technicenters scattered in France. Still under construction, the site will include during the first quarter of 2021 equipment for the removal and reconditioning of bogies thanks to a pit lathe which will allow machining of worn wheels, a washing station and a service station for “product train” operations. (oil changes, WC, full sand and windshield washer).
Tuesday, June 30, surrounded by Jean-Philippe Dupont, the regional director of the Normans Line SNCF Voyageurs, and Yvon Robert, the president of the Rouen Normandy Metropolis, who was doing one of his last public outings, Hervé Morin s’ visited the site for a complete site visit and an inauguration during which the elected representative recalled that “after being so abandoned, because we do not have a high speed line, we are trying to upgrade our network railway ”.
“This involves the purchase of new trains, but we cannot be happy to have been a little deceived on the timetable by the Bombardier company,” also annoyed the region president. I sometimes have very nervous discussions with its president. Yes, there has been pension reform, yes there is the Covid, but that does not excuse everything! We, through the opening of this technicenter, we are ready despite a hypertensive schedule. Here, the train is essential and there is a real future ”.
According to forecasts, the objective is to see more OMNEO run in September and the whole in 2021.