Today the President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Transportation, Pierre Lortie, welcomed Daniel Percheron, President of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region, Louis Gallois, President of the French National Railways (SNCF), as well as representatives of the French Regions, to Bombardier's Crespin production site in France for the introduction of the Autorail Grande Capacité (AGC) high-capacity Regional Express Train (TER). Messrs. Percheron and Gallois personally drove the trainset on the track at the Centre d’Essai Ferroviaire at Valenciennes and were very pleased with its dynamic qualities.
The delivery of 279 AGC trainsets to 18 French administrative regions will take place as planned, starting in early 2004 and continuing through December 2007. The global contract signed with SNCF in December 2001 involves the delivery of 500 AGC trainsets intended for TER services.
The AGC represents the new generation of regional trains designed to meet current needs regarding the development of urban and intercity rail transportation. Technologically innovative and powerful, it puts the client at the centre of the design process. The AGC is available in numerous versions. The seating capacity of the trains can range from 160 to 220 seats, depending on the number of cars. Modular interior design exists in the High Class and Intercity versions. The trains can run on either diesel fuel, electricity or a combination of the two. The AGC will travel at 160 km per hour. Thanks to its articulated architecture, it sports wide carbodies and inter-circulation gangways, as well as a continuous low floor. These features provide excellent access for travellers, make it easier to move about in the trains and deliver greater comfort, visibility and security. The AGC not only meets the expectations of mass transit operators and users, but also respects environmental requirements and operating economics.
The AGC was designed and built by teams at the Crespin plant, in Nord-Pas-De-Calais, where Bombardier has developed a global centre of excellence by integrating the various railway trades and by making a significant investment to upgrade the industrial facility.
"Today it gives us great pleasure to present you with the AGC trainset, a forerunner of the commercial trainsets to be delivered to you starting in early 2004. This project is proceeding according to our initial schedule and we assure you that our employees are doing their utmost to respect all of our contractual commitments. An excellent balance between cutting-edge technology, aesthetic concerns, modernity and Bombardier Transportation's expertise, I have complete confidence in the future of this new equipment," Pierre Lortie told his guests.
Bombardier Transportation in France operates primarily at its Crespin site in the Valenciennes region, where it employs more than 2,100 people. In the French market, Bombardier Transportation participates in all TGV programs and manufactures a wide range of rolling stock for public transport. Among these products are the MF 88 and MF 2000 vehicles for the Paris metro, the Strasbourg, Nantes and Saint-Etienne tramways, the Nancy and Caen trams-on-tires, the recent vehicles for the RER network and the TER2N NG regional transport railcars.
Bombardier Transportation is the global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its wide range of products includes passenger rail cars and total transit systems. It also manufactures locomotives, freight cars, propulsion & controls and provides rail control solutions.
Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, the Corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 stood at $23.7 billion Cdn. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F).
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