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SNCF: TTG Energymiser

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SNCF: TTG Energymiser

SNCF operates the country’s national rail services—for both passengers and freight— including the TGV, France’s intercity high-speed rail network.

SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français or “French National Railway Company”) is France’s national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country’s national rail services—for both passengers and freight— including the TGV, France’s intercity high-speed rail network.

SNCF also direct the maintenance and signalling of rail infrastructure owned by Réseau Ferré de France (RFF).

The railway network consists of about 32,000 km of route, of which 1,800 km are high-speed lines and 14,500 km electrified. Around 14,000 trains operate daily.


On June 20, SNCF was named Company of the Year during the forum Energy Time – the annual gathering of decision makers in the field of energy – for its Opti-TGV highspeed train.

Of the achievement, Director of Energy at SNCF, Olivier Menuet said, “It is a great pride for the teams of SNCF Voyages and the whole group.”

This project was born from innovative SNCF Voyages, and it’s success has now reached the Direction of Energy and Traction at SNCF level.


Opti-driving is a software program that saves energy by recommending to TGV drivers an ideal speed according to the geographical position of the train.

Firstly, the route of the line is recorded in the software. Next, this data is used to continuously calculate and recalculate the optimum train speed. This allows for smooth acceleration and braking, and of course, a more seamless experience.

Olivier Menuet reinforces the functionality. “Agents already optimise driving in order to reduce energy expenditure, but the software makes it possible to go even further in this direction.”


Opti-Conduite aims to reduce the energy consumption of traction trains by 5 to 10%. The rationale behind this is two-pronged.

Firstly, it serves an ecological purpose, with lower energy expenditure logically diluting stress upon on the environment.

Secondly, it serves a financial purpose. Expenditure directly related to TGV trains is around € 200 million per year (on an overall energy budget of €1.3 billion per year for SNCF). This compares with €220 million per year spent by SNCF Voyages in the past.

There is also an important advantage in terms of maintenance and lifespan of high-speed trains, as braking and acceleration significantly affects the equipment (too much using cruise control affect the equipment and giving a speed reference with Opti-Conduct “allows to use less cruise control”).


Opti-Conduite was tested across 2016, and deployed since early 2017 and today, the software is used on all TGV axes. Elsewhere, intercity, Transilien, TER and Freight have expressed interest in adopting the system. The consensus seems firmly in favour of maximising the longevity of these trains and their associated equipment.

Layers of unconscious bias

Fast forward a few years and Antony joined another rail business where he reactivated his interest in mentoring. After applying to the scheme again he was put in touch with a WiR member who worked as an engineer. 

“The start of our mentoring relationship coincided with the early COVID period, so we would speak every few weeks without ever meeting in person. In fact, we never met face to face until just a few weeks ago when we arranged to attend a WiR event in London. 

“Our conversations usually focused upon how she navigated her role within a large, complex organisation. We would explore strategies for overcoming entrenched ways of operating, as she faced layers of unconscious bias that were inevitable in a male dominated business.  

“Together we would anticipate the ‘how and why’ of colleagues’ reactions to her in certain situations, particularly meetings with challenging individuals, and identify effective responses. We would discuss why certain people might behave towards her in different ways, particularly in their communication behaviours, and come up with tactics to mitigate that.  

“I remember lengthy conversations about how to call out inappropriate behaviour without disrupting the business process that was being undertaken – this was about career progression after all. It is interesting to note that we rarely talked about rail. She encountered roadblocks that were typical to large, historically male workplaces and were generally not specific to the rail industry.” 

Learning to listen

Antony’s WiR mentee achieved considerable success as a senior figure in her organisation, and the two of them still speak regularly. With this in mind, what has he learned from the experience of being a long-term mentor? 

“The process of being a WiR mentor has been very professional and structured. It is a thought-provoking, enriching experience and is absolutely not the mentor simply giving information and the mentee receiving it. I’ve learned to listen more which has been very valuable for me personally.  

“I’ve certainly changed my own approach to communicating with people as a result of the WiR scheme. Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship and not a one-way street, in fact we joke about which one of us is really the mentor. The dedication and extra effort she put into her career made a big impact upon me. 

“I have learned so much about communication from our conversations – I frequently take her ideas and implement them within my own role. For example, we recently discussed strategies she uses to confront issues and achieve collaborative outcomes in large organisations. My colleague Aleksandra Los also finds it necessary to navigate complex relationships in her client-facing role at TTG, so I have applied learnings from my mentoring experience to support Aleksandra in her work.” 

An exciting future relationship

So what does the future hold for Antony’s connection to WiR?  

“This year’s Internation Women’s Day comes at an exciting time for me personally, as WiR are about to connect me with my new mentee. I am invigorated by the prospect of exploring professional perspectives and experiences together, and discovering where they will lead us. 

“Looking at WiR more broadly, I anticipate seeing the organisation keep its foot on the pedal as it progresses female participation across our industry. None of us can sit back and assume change will happen organically, we all have a responsibility to remain energetic and diligent.   

“I enjoyed the recent WiR event in London with Slyvia Baldock presenting her tips on being significant within your workplace. It was so engaging and participative. Unfortunately, I was one of just a handful of men among 150 attendees. I recall wishing there could been another twenty or thirty of us, as we would have all learned a lot!” 

Want to know more about TTG and the benefits of implementing our DAS solution? Contact our team today to start the conversation 

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