SNCF presented its digital strategy this Thursday. The group invests two billion euros per year to improve the quality of service and offer new features. “When we want to be the leader in mobility, we have no choice, we must be a leader in tech,” immediately stated the CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, Christophe Fanichet, who is also deputy general director at digital from the SNCF group.
The railway group presented all the digital initiatives developed by its 4,500 employees specializing in these subjects. Among these innovations, the implementation of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), a pan-European signaling system, currently being deployed on the Marseille-Ventimiglia line to allow centralized control of the network and therefore improve reliability and regularity of trains.
This new system “halves the time between two trains following one another on the” Marseille-Ventimiglia line, according to SNCF. Its installation on the Paris-Lyon line in 2025 should make it possible to run 16 trains per hour on the high-speed line between the two cities.
Eco-driving tools – capable of reducing train energy consumption by 10 to 15% thanks to “perfectly balanced acceleration and braking” – and predictive maintenance were also highlighted. “Within ten years, we think that there will be no more breakdowns” thanks to the sensors placed on the tracks and trains to anticipate repairs, even dared the CEO of the SNCF, Jean-Pierre Farandou.
For users, SNCF Connect offers some new features, which are still little known to the general public. First, a “full train alert” which allows you to receive a notification when a place becomes available on a full train. So far, only 300,000 alerts have been set up on the application, which nevertheless boasts 15 million customers and 1.3 billion visits per year. This application also sells transport tickets for the urban networks of 30 cities in France. A feature used half by young people under 27 years old.
A new payment method tested
Finally, in New Aquitaine, the SNCF is testing a new functionality on TERs called JustGowhich, thanks to geolocation, allows you to pay for the train as you use it, without reservation.
After a heavily criticized launch at the start of 2022, SNCF Connect “today sells 40% more tickets than Oui.Sncf”, its predecessor, underlined Christophe Fanichet. “Nine out of ten tickets are now sold digitally for the TGV,” he recalled.