In its new trains, the SNCF wants to give pride of place to bicycles! On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its low-cost Ouigo service, the railway company outlined its new ambitions on Wednesday by announcing that it wanted to double from 25 to 50 million the number of its passengers on these cheaper lines, and by wishing to reach the 230 million passengers per year on its entire network by 2025. To achieve this, the group will both renew aging equipment and open new connections. But it also intends to facilitate and democratize the boarding of bicycles in its wagons. A small revolution!
This is particularly the case in Ouigo, which now represent 20% of SNCF traffic. “From 2025”, in the new redesigned trainsets, it will be possible to carry “up to 8 undismantled and unfolded bicycles per trainset” suspended from hooks, for an additional charge, the price of which has not yet been determined. fixed. Today, only bicycles disassembled and stored under cover are authorized, provided that the traveler has paid the appropriate supplement set at 5 euros.
For TGVs, the carriage of unfolded and undisassembled bicycles is already possible on certain lines at the price of 10 euros but on which it often happens that the number of places available is insufficient. Because if 48% of TGVs offer the possibility of traveling with an undisassembled bicycle, they are only equipped with 2 to 4 seats per train. That is a maximum of 8 places for the TGV Inoui composed of two trains.
As a result, the SNCF wants to work twice as hard: the 115 new TGV M ordered from Alstom which must be "put into service from 2024" will all be equipped with a minimum of 8 spaces per train.
It should be noted that today, three solutions are already available to travelers: that of boarding a bicycle that has not been disassembled and stored in the dedicated spaces on board trains, that of taking a folding bicycle as simple luggage, provided that it is folded, and finally that of traveling with a disassembled bike provided that it is transported in a cover provided for this purpose and that it measures 130 x 90cm maximum.
Some of these solutions are even free, such as on the TER “within the limit of available places” or on the Transilien network outside peak hours. For the eight Ile-de-France lines H, J, K, L, N, P, R and U, access to trains with a bicycle is indeed possible before 6:30 a.m., between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and after 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
But faced with the explosion in demand, it sometimes happens that travelers are forced to let a few trains pass before they can board. So much so that some regions are forced to set up a mandatory reservation system. This is what happens every summer in Brittany on the TER BreizhGo network. From June 1 to September 3, travelers must pay a symbolic euro to board their bicycle.
And also beware of "augmented" two-wheelers, because not all bicycles are accepted on board the TGVs. "This is particularly the case for recumbent bicycles, tricycles, tandems, cargo bikes, longtail, trailers...", specifies the SNCF.