Alstom SA, the French maker of rail equipment and signaling systems, is starting to develop larger, more comfortable and more efficient high-speed trains to win rail contracts at home and in the U.S., Spain and the U.K.
“The goal is to reduce energy consumption by 35 percent per train,” Ana Giros, the head of Alstom Transport France, told reporters in Saint-Ouen, near Paris, on Monday. “We’re not in a race for speed; the idea is to work on the passenger experience and the cost per seat.”
Alstom, which is selling its power equipment businesses to General Electric Co. to focus on rail equipment, is preparing for the outcome of a tender from U.S. operator Amtrak for 28 high-speed trains for its Washington-Boston service. Spain is considering a tender for 40 bullet trains, Giros said, while the U.K. is set to offer a range of contracts for the country’s 50 billion-pound ($76 billion) High Speed 2 rail line.
Alstom, based in Levallois-Perret, France, has enough work for its French high-speed train factories though 2019, Giros said. The national pipeline for slower regional and intercity trains runs to 2017, and the company has developed a new suburban train which is competing in a “very important” tender for the Paris RER lines, she said.