On September 24, 2015, Martin Malvy, President of the France’s Midi-Pyrénées region, Jacques Rascol, Director of SNCF, France’s national rail operator) for the Midi-Pyrénées, and Dr. h.c. Willi Liebherr, President of the Administrative Board of Liebherr-International AG, presented a new-generation air cycle air conditioning system for rail transport at the Technicentre in Toulouse (France).
This eco-friendly technology was developed by Toulouse-based Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS, and is now being tested on a TER (Regional Express Train) train in the Midi-Pyrénées . Derived from aerospace technologies, the air cycle air conditionning systems uses no traditional chemical gases, but only air as refrigerant to generate cooling in the rail vehicles. It brings about substantial benefits to rail passenger transportation as it provides savings in power consumption, enhances cooling performance and finally reduces the environmental footprint of trains. SNCF has launched the in-service trial, which is known as the “Ecoclim” project, to measure these benefits.
Midi-Pyrénées financed the electric multiple-unit train which serves as the platform for the trial on the regional line between Toulouse and Latour de Carol. The railways lines in the Midi-Pyrénées region run both through plains and mountainous areas, which were selected for this trial due to their unique range of outside temperature conditions and the wide scope of testing environments they offer.