French and Luxembourg rail operators the SNCF and CFL explained on Friday that to date some nine double-decker trains are equipped with the system, of which seven are in operation. SNCF expects two more trains carrying the equipment to enter into circulation in the next two weeks, bringing the total number to 11. A twelfth train expected at the end of December.
“We will have 12 equipped trains on 1 January,” SNCF TER Grand Est deputy director Jacques Weill was quoted as saying by our colleagues at Paperjam. “The principle will be that these trains will reach Luxembourg in the morning and then shuttle between Luxembourg and Thionville.”
It means that passengers arriving from the Lorraine section before 7:25am will benefit from a direct line as is currently the case, while the following passengers will have to change trains in Thionville.
To ease the process of changing trains at Thionville, SNCF will ensure connections can be made on the same platform. The schedule leaves a transit time of five minutes between arriving in Thionville and leaving for Luxembourg, to allow time for the movement of passengers between trains. The arrival time at Luxembourg will be unchanged, according to Paperjam.
The system will run temporarily until 6 April, when SNCF expects to have enough trains equipped with the ERMTS system to return to current rail movements. By the start of the 2020-2021 school year, SNCF expects to have 25 ERMTS system equipped trains operational on the Lorraine line.