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#INNOVMAT – Innovation and Rolling Stock

The first edition of InnovMat, a four-day exhibition organised by SNCF Innovation & Research and SNCF Rolling Stock, was held at SNCF headquarters in Saint-Denis.
Demonstrations, mini-talks, immersive experiences, and meetings with project managers introduced the more than 1,000 visitors to the many innovations that go into the design and development of trains, factories, maintenance, and energies of the future.

Objective: Invent the trains of the future

The TECH SNCF team identifies and analyses new technologies and their industrial potential and then defines uses that can be tested with the Rolling Stock department. If the results are positive, Rolling Stock teams develop and test them before their industrialisation.

The train of the future is the next example of this collaboration. It will be:

  • Autonomous – this will mean more fluid and regular traffic, and lower energy consumption, with trains capable of detecting and recognizing their environment;
  • Connected – this will facilitate maintenance through the use of IoT sensors that regularly supply data on the condition of the train’s major components; and the connections will be with 5G;
  • Zero emissions – this will be achieved by using new energy storage solutions (batteries, for example) and new energy sources like hydrogen.

Additive manufacturing, IoT, Big Data, cobotics, augmented and virtual reality… all these technologies are bringing changes at a pace not seen since the advent of high-speed rail. This fourth industrial revolution is providing crucial leverage at a time when the sector is gearing up for the opening of passenger rail transport to competition.

The 31 projects presented at InnovMat will be getting underway very soon.

“We are further advanced than our competitors”, says Carole Desnost, director of SNCF Innovation & Research. “We have all the technological building blocks needed to be well positioned in terms of competitiveness and to gain a lead in the future race.”