EIB and Rhône-Alpes Regional Council sign EUR 200 million loan for purchasing regional express trains

With the aim of upgrading the regional express rail service by purchasing new trains, a EUR 200 million loan agreement was signed by the Rhône-Alpes Region and the European Investment Bank (EIB) by Jean-Jack Queyranne, President of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, and EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, in the presence of the Region’s Vice-President with responsibility for transport, Eliane GIRAUD.

This loan will supply half of the finance to purchase 40 Régio2N electric trains. These new 350-seat double-deck units will provide customers with a high quality service in terms of comfort, safety and accessibility for people with reduced mobility. The new trains will be delivered between 2014 and 2016 and will mainly be used on the Saint-Etienne-Lyon-Ambérieu and Villefranche-Lyon-Vienne lines.

Philippe de Fontaine Vive said at the signing ceremony: “I am delighted that the EIB is financing this project to purchase new rail rolling stock. Supporting innovative sustainable transport is one of our priorities. Europe means, above all, making a practical commitment to fostering economic development and improving people’s daily lives at the heart of nations”.

Jean-Jack Queyranne emphasised that “this project means that by the end of 2015, 95% of the regional express train fleet will be modernised across the network. An increasing number of inhabitants of the Rhône-Alpes region are expecting to see a strong public transport policy, which requires particularly heavy investment. Drawing on innovative financing models, such as this loan from the EIB, enables us to meet this expectation while taking care to balance the Region’s books.”

Buoyed by the increase in its capital and its AAA credit rating, the EIB is currently stepping up its support for innovative, job-creating projects. Against the background of shrinking credit markets, this long-term (30 years) loan on attractive terms will make it possible to optimise this regional project’s overall finance plan.

This loan forms part of the EIB’s priority action in the sustainable transport field, an integral part of which is encouraging the switch from road to rail. The aim is to increase the fluidity and safety of road traffic while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

regional express trains

Source : EIB

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