is the name given to a class of passenger rail cars of the SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...
that first entered commercial service in 1975. When introduced, Corail carriages featured air-conditioning, and superior levels of comfort, suspension and sound-proofing than previous InterCity
InterCity is the classification applied to certain long-distance passenger train services in Europe...
carriages and gave arguably the best ride of any European coach. When introduced, Corail carriages were painted in two tones of grey with a sharp flash of orange on the doors. At the time it was a huge investment by SNCF with more than 3000 carriages ordered, representing a massive leap in quality of service for French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
rail passengers. Most of the vehicles were still in service in 2008. Certain vehicles have been modernised and renamed: Téoz for the day trains, Lunéa for night trains.
The name Corail, which is also used as a designation of service for trains made up of these carriages, can be considered as a combination of 'comfort' and 'rail'.
The carriages were mainly built by a Franco-Belgian enterprise in Raismes
Raismes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.-References:*...
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...
also took part in the programme by assisting with the completion of the second class and buffet cars, and rebuilt between 2004 and 2008 some 2nd class cars with baggage compartments into new B5uxh cab-cars (UK=driving trailers).
Corail carriages are used throughout France on non-TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....
locomotive-hauled services. Their use has gradually been reduced with the development and introduction of the TGV. Refurbished and upgraded Téoz trains are deployed on trunk routes where no TGV services operate. As the TGV network has expanded, Corail trains have been cascaded down onto regional services.
- Overall length: 26.4 metre
- Width: 2.825 metre
- Weight: 42 tonnes (41 LT)
- Seats: 2nd class coach: 80 or 88 (according to type), 2nd class compartments: 88, 1st class coach: 58, 1st class compartments: 54 or 60, buffet car: 44 (other configurations exist).
- Interior installation: 'Vtu' open “coach” (carriage with a single salon), or compartments
- Bogies: Type Y 32 A
- Maximum speed: 160 km/h (99 mph) or 200 km/h (124 mph) (according to type)
Despite having provided many years of reliable and comfortable intercity service, with the expansion of the TGV network the image of the Corail trains began to suffer. The SNCF responded by beginning to modernise the fleet in 1996. A new livery and refurbished interior was introduced as part of the "Corail Plus" programme. The bold orange doors become green for second class and red for first. These refurbishments of mainline Corail trains were soon considered to be insufficient, and in 2003 three heavily refurbished and re-fitted cars were revealed in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
as the new Téoz, featuring multicoloured exterior colour schemes and heavily modernised interiors. Buffet coaches do not operate anymore, however a mobile catering service using trolleys is offered on some Téoz services. On night services, a vending machine is located in the so-called "voiture service".
Surplus carriages were sold to regional councils to be used for TER
Ter is a prefix or suffix designating the third instance of a thing, thus following bis and preceding quater.Ter can also refer to:* River Ter, in Essex;* Ter , the debut album of American rock band Sweet Water...
regional services. Certain regions use Corail coaches geared for 200 km/h (124 mph) operation (the rest are limited to 160 km/h (99 mph)) to operate fast regional services known as TER 200.
In 2005, the Corail family celebrated thirty years of service and they still provide a smoother ride than railway carriages in many other countries. Most cars ordered in the last twenty years have been diesel, electric and dual-mode railcar
A railcar, in British English and Australian English, is a self-propelled railway vehicle designed to transport passengers. The term "railcar" is usually used in reference to a train consisting of a single coach , with a driver's cab at one or both ends. Some railways, e.g., the Great Western...
s, and TGV trainsets, but with the most recent refurbishments, Corail coaches are expected to remain in service for at least another decade.
Lunéa night trains operate on a number of domestic routes, offering a first and second class couchette
The couchette car is a railroad car conveying basic non-private sleeping accommodation.The car is divided into a number of compartments accessed from the side corridor of the car, which in daytime are configured with a bench seat along each long side of the compartment...
service. Passengers travel in compartments of four or six bunks
A bunk bed is a type of bed in which one bed frame is stacked on top of another. The nature of bunk beds allows two people to sleep in the same room while maximizing available floor space...
, and are provided with a pillow, lightweight bedsheet and blanket
A blanket is a type of bedding, generally speaking, a large piece of cloth, intended to keep the user warm, especially while sleeping. Blankets are distinguished from sheets by their thickness and purpose; the thickest sheet is still thinner than the lightest blanket. Blankets are generally used...
. Most Lunéa services also convey reclining seats cars.