First automated train on Paris metro Line 1

On Thursday, 3 November, Pierre Mongin, Chairman and CEO of RATP inaugurated the commissioning of the first automatic trains on Line 1 of the Paris metro in the presence of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing and Jean-Paul Huchon, President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France.

The commissioning of the first automatic trains on this line, the Paris Metro’s oldest and most popular line, with 725,000 passengers per day, is a world first in terms of ‘technology and organisation’.

For the first time, a subway line has been automated without any major interruption to services.

Until December 2012, when all trains will be automated, RATP is combining both automatic and manually driven trains on the same line.

This is a ‘true challenge’ for RATP’s engineers given the importance of the line.

Starting this autumn, eight automatic trains will run in tandem with classic trains, and the integration will continue at a rate of two new trains per month.

This technological change has become necessary to deal with the steady increase in passenger traffic.

With the automation, Line 1’s passengers will benefit from a more responsive and regular transport service, ensuring greater safety and comfort.

One of the main benefits of automation is the Line’s ability to react instantly to an increase in passengers and provide the number of trains required for the optimum operation of the line.

The installation of 954 platform screen doors on all the lines’ platforms will contribute significantly to the smooth running of the line, avoiding interruptions associated with track intrusions, while also enhancing passenger safety.

Intercoms have been installed to allow contact with a supervisor at the command center (PCC) at all times.

Onboard cameras will allow supervisors to instantly assess live situations and make realtime decisions while remaining in contact with passengers.

Line 1 will also benefit from a newly developed and colourful design: a ‘red floor and multicoloured stripes on the seat covers, new lighting to accentuate the impression of space, and four screens in each car which will provide passengers with continuous information’.

The automation of Line 1 was undertaken in the context of the overall modernisation of the subway, and financed entirely by RATP for a sum of €600 million, which was only an additional 4% compared to the investment that would have been necessary to replace the Line’s current equipment.

Approved by the Syndicat des Transports Île-de-France (STIF), the Greater Paris region’s transportation union, this project was also supported by staff.

Drivers were offered ‘customised professional development’, or work on other lines, or the automatic system.

Invisible to passengers, the sophisticated technical equipment required for the automated line was developed with industry partners, all leaders in their areas, whether in computerised signalling, automatic trains or civil engineering.

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