The new Regiolis SNCF trains already under fire from critics

A meeting between unions and SNCF is scheduled for Thursday morning to discuss the setbacks of the new six-car Regiolis trains on the Paris – Dijon – Lyon line. The passengers and the CGT welcome the comfort of the trains, but raise several problems, starting with that of the toilets.

The scene takes place this Monday, August 1, aboard the Regiolis between Paris and Lyon Part-Dieu via Dijon. Shortly before the Laroche-Migennes stop, the controller made an announcement: “all the toilets are out of order, we are going to make an extended stop so that all the passengers can go to the toilets”.

Benjamin, passenger of the train, attends the event a little taken aback. “I hear someone behind me saying that the toilets at the station are paying. That’s what prompted people to go to the toilets everywhere, on the platform, on the tracks, behind the bushes. We’re We left an hour late, and the same problem happened in Beaune. We were at least forty people queuing to use the station toilets.”

These famous toilets, they have a major defect for Jean-Christophe Gossard, regional delegate of the CGT Cheminots: “The toilet tanks are 125 liters instead of 500 liters in the old Corails, and there are fewer toilets, so after a while the toilets are automatically blocked when there is no more water, and we are witnessing somewhat grotesque scenes, worthy of the last century, even the century before.”

At the SNCF, we are well aware of the problem, these scenes are “deplorable”, comments Nabil Djaafer, in charge of communication at the regional level. In its defence, the company claims that the context is not favorable: the trains are crowded in the summer, platform A, at Dijon station, where Regiolis trains can normally empty the water from the toilets, is under construction, and the emptying machine at Paris-Bercy station, broken down.

Immediate measures

Faced with this situation, the SNCF promises emergency measures, applicable for some from this Friday, August 5: for clear water, mobile fillers will be used quickly to be able to supply the tanks. And for black water, that of the toilets, new procedures will be put in place to make it easier to transport the machine to be emptied, including on the quays which are not provided for this purpose. On the other hand, there is no question of replacing the existing tanks with larger tanks, the group intends to adapt to this new equipment, with its teams. This is called the “break-in” period, a break-in period during which problems appear, and are taken into account gradually.

box of coffee

As for the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, targeted in this case by a press release from the CGT Cheminots, it claims, through the voice of its vice-president Michel Neugnot, that we are not mistaken in our target. “I find a little strong coffee that a union which claims to defend the SNCF house attacks at all costs, and especially attacks the region, which finances more than 300 million euros for this equipment, but has never been to the origin of its design, since it is the work of the constructor Alstom, and of the SNCF.

Be that as it may, Michel Neugnot calls for nuance to the phenomenon. On several hundred journeys since the introduction of the six-car Regiolis, there have been problems “over eight trips.”

Less space in the Regiolis?

Another subject on the table of the meeting this Thursday between unions and regional management of the SNCF: the number of places in the trains. According to Jean-Christophe Gossard, there are fewer in the new Regiolis. This is more or less true, according to Nabil Djaafer, most trains between Paris-Bercy and Lyon are doubled, which brings their capacity to twelve cars and more than 700 passengers, a figure equivalent to the old Corail.

As for the places reserved for bicycles, insufficient according to some passengers, the SNCF assumes: a free online reservation service has been set up, but whatever the case, priority will always be given to the space reserved for users.