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The Innovation Train is a big success

To celebrate our 80th anniversary, an Innovation Train made stops in 15 French cities, attracting 20,000 visitors. This travelling exhibition included presentations by TECH SNCF of its work on the Autonomous Train and the Hybrid TER in the "Gallery of Machines" car.

An exceptional exhibition and thousands of visitors

After travelling around France for several weeks, the Innovation Train ended its tour on 14 October. Thousands of visitors came out to see this exhibition that retraced the past and present of mobility and looked ahead to its future in models, objects, photos, 3D displays and videos from the archives.

Each of the train’s seven cars was transformed into an exhibition space for a specific theme to celebrate 80 years of mobility.

Learn more about our history

Key figures for the Innovation Train:

  • 6 cars with themed exhibitions
  • 1 car for talks
  • 15 stops in 12 regions across France
  • 20,000 visitors
  • 62 school groups and 1,150 students


Car 1 – Looking back over 80 years of history

In 1938, SNCF was created by merging several railway companies from around France. During the eight decades since, our trains have helped to bring people together while contributing to technological progress through a spirit of constant innovation. Plunge into this human and technical adventure and discover the uniforms worn by the Group’s personnel, a retrospective of the Group’s logos, models of iconic trains, cult objects, photos, documents, and videos from the archives.

Car 2 – Gallery of Machines

It took incredible technical and human ingenuity to go from steam locomotives travelling at 10 km/h to the TGV, which still holds the world speed record of 574.8 km/h. The new generations of rolling stock are meeting the challenges of ecology, comfort, and service. Tomorrow’s TGVs and RERs, the autonomous train, the hyperloop… the future of travel holds many surprises for us.

Car 3 – Network of the future

When you are comfortably seated on your train and watching the countryside stream past, you are not thinking that SNCF Réseau is keeping an eye on billions of bits of data to see that you travel in complete safety as it orchestrates the movements of the 15,000 trains that operate on our network each day. Drones, sensors, satellites, data centres, artificial intelligence… learn about the digital revolution that is reshaping future mobility.

Car 4 – From past to present

In an installation featuring an image of the iconic clock at the Gare de Lyon in Paris, see how our stations have been thoroughly transformed in just a few decades. And find out more about the digital revolution and the new services that are changing the way we travel.

Car 5 – SNCF Group

SNCF is present in 120 countries, with over 50,000 employees outside France and 34% of its revenues earned abroad. Set out on a spectacular trip around the world and discover how the Group is making its presence felt on five continents thanks to its subsidiaries Geodis, Keolis, Systra, and Arep.

Car 6 – Factory of memories

Reuniting on a station platform, leaving on summer holiday, the countryside passing by outside the train windows: train trips bring back memories for all of us. Come share your memories and drop off your archives at the Collection Counter. Visit an exceptional photo exhibition and watch old films. Don’t forget to take a photo of yourself and leave with a souvenir from the Grand Train.

Car 7 – Rendezvous with History

Attend talks given by historians and university professors in the programme of the association Rails et Histoire, then use your smartphone to see a history wall in augmented reality.