It is a small revolution that could change the daily lives of millions of French men and women in the countryside. SNCF has just announced the launch of FLEXY, a rail-to-road hybrid shuttle to revitalize small rail lines. Presentation.
The 100% electric shuttle offers an unprecedented solution between train and bus. With its nine seats, the hybrid rail-to-road shuttle will provide a valuable alternative to the individual car in rural areas. Indeed, it will make it possible to cover the first and the last kilometers on the road in order to bring the users as close as possible to their homes, train stations and places of life and activity.
On the track, it will reach a speed of 60 km/h on the small railway lines that are now closed. lines “whose length varies between 10 and 30 km and which offer too low a traffic potential to justify a purely rail service”specifies the SNCF on its site.
90% of the French population currently lives less than 10 km from a station, but today 30% of them are not connected to any service (freight or passengers). The service accessible through a mobile application allows users to book their trip in advance. This tailor-made solution for rural residents should therefore enable them to reconnect with the city centers and bring them closer to the major stations.
An experiment is planned for 2024 with the first FLEXY shuttle on a pilot line in the region. The service could then be put into operation nationwide from 2026.