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04.11.2011 11:08
Siemens equips Paris with driverless metro system
French capital's longest established Metro Line 1 now fully automatic

  • © Phil

The first driverless trains have entered service on the Paris Metro's oldest line, equipped with the fully automatic Trainguard MT CBTC train protection system from Siemens. Metro Line 1 is steeped in tradition and is at the same time the French capital's most heavily frequented line. It connects the east and west of the city along 17 kilometers of track and carries up to 725 000 passengers every day. The trackside operations control system and the complete telecommunications were installed without disrupting services. Modification of vehicles and setting up the operations control center was also carried out by the rail automation unit of Siemens, who was awarded the order by the Paris transit authority RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), in November 2005.
Metro Line 1 is popular with tourists wishing to discover the sights of Paris located along the line, including the Hôtel de Ville (city hall), the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and the high-rise district La Défense. "This is a world premiere for us. It is the first time we've automated such an important and heavily frequented mass-transit route without disrupting normal services" said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens' Rail Automation Business Unit.
The fully automatic system supplied by Siemens will ensure shorter headways and faster conveyance of passengers than conventional driver-operated systems. Trains on Line 1 can now be spaced at 85 second intervals instead of the previous 105 seconds, and train frequency can be adapted flexibly to suit ridership. This is particularly important during special occasions such as sports events or trade fairs.
RATP will start off with mixed running on the line, but by the beginning of 2013, all 49 vehicles are due to be modified for driverless operation. Train movements are controlled by the control center, which was also supplied by Siemens. Special doors on the platform will ensure additional safety at all 25 stations.
The driverless Trainguard MT CBTC rail system facilitates especially energy-efficient and environmentally friendly operation. Metro line 14 in Paris, which was also equipped with Siemens technology, is currently making power savings of 15 per cent ever year. Line L in the New York subway (USA), Line 9 in Barcelona (Spain), Line 4 in São Paulo (Brazil) and Line 1 in Algiers (Algeria) are also operated with this system. And the Hungarian operating company BKV Zrt. has also ordered Trainguard MT CBTC for Lines 2 and 4 in Budapest.

TAGS: Paris | metro | automatization | driverless metro system | line 1 | Siemens 

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