The progression of fully automatic train operations in Paris is continuing with an announcement from the city’s public transport operator RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) that Siemens will equip the 27 stations of Paris Metro Line 4 with signalling and operations control systems. Once in operation, this system can increase the capacity of this line by up to 20% because trains will be able to run at shorter headways. Line 4 is one of the sixteen lines of the Paris Metro rapid transit system and with around 700,000 passengers a day, is one of the most frequented sections of the whole Paris mass transit network.
The order volume totals around €70 million with work on the line scheduled for completion in 2022. Speaking at the announcement, Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Mobility; “Siemens has equipped about 300 route km worldwide with signalling technology for fully automatic operation, making it the market leader in this field. Automatic operation will enable Line 4 to offer a service interval of 85 seconds. At the same time, the automatic control will allow to reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent.”
To upgrade the twelve kilometers of Line 4, Siemens will supply the Trainguard MT automatic train control system that uses communications-based technology to achieve fully automatic, driverless operation. All train movements will be supervised via the operation control center, which will also be supplied by Siemens. Special doors at the platforms will ensure additional safety at all 27 metro stations.
Line 4 is the most important north-south metro link in the city, connecting the stations of Porte de Clignancourt in the north of the city and Mairie de Montrouge in the south. On its way through France's capital it stops at three major long-distance railway stations including Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est and is also the only line with transfer terminals to all 16 other mass transit lines.
Apart from Line 4, Siemens has also equipped Metro Lines 14 and 1 for driverless operation. Siemens equipped the original stretch of Line 14 for automatic operation back in 1998 and thus established the first fully automated metro line with driverless trains in Paris. This was agreed to be extended in 2014, as reported here on SmartRail World. Metro Line 1 is the oldest and most heavily frequented underground line in Paris. It links the east and west of the city along 17 kilometers of track. Siemens has likewise recently supplied important signalling components and systems for Lines 3, 5 and 9.
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