Paris metro Line 4 automation (Photo Jeremie Anne) (5)

FRANCE: Grade of Automation 4 unattended driverless operation on Paris metro Line 4 was launched on September 12.

There are initially four trainsets running automatically alongside trains with drivers, and more are to be gradually introduced to achieve full automation by the end of 2023.

Catherine Guillouard, the outgoing CEO of operator RATP, said automation would increase the capacity of Line 4 by 20%, with minimum headways reduced from 105 to 85 sec and energy consumption reduced by 15%.

Second busiest line

Paris metro Line 4 automation (Photo Jeremie Anne) (1)

The 14 km Line 4 from Porte de Clignancourt to Bagneux-Lucie-Aubrac is the second busiest on the Paris metro network, carrying 700 000 passengers per day.

The decision to automate was taken in 2012, with the contract awarded to Siemens Mobility in 2015 and work getting underway in 2016.

The project has cost €470m, plus €40m for the rolling stock, which has been fully funded by transport authority Île-de-France Mobilités.

Siemens Mobility has replaced the previous onboard and trackside signalling equipment with its own CBTC. This offers ‘very high standards of cybersecurity’, Laurent Bouyer, CEO of Siemens France told Metro Report International at the launch ceremony.

He said the launch of automated operation was ‘a big day’ for the project, which had to overcome three challenges: installation of CBTC equipment on three types of rolling stock; minimising disruption to passengers; and working during the coronavirus pandemic which made testing difficult.

The previous rolling stock fleet has been replaced with 52 six-car rubber-tyred trains. Of, these 21 Alstom MP89 CA and 11 Alstom MP05 sets have been transferred from Line 14 and there are 20 new Alstom MP14 CA six-car sets.

The CBTC detects the type of vehicle and adapts to its perfomance characteristics.

The 29 stations on the line have been equipped with platform edge screens, provided by Faiveley-Wabtec and Eiffage Energie Systèmes.

Automation expertise

Paris metro Line 4 automation (Photo Jeremie Anne) (2)

The line is the third on the metro network to be automated, after lines 1 and 14, and President of Île-de-France-Mobilités Valérie Pécresse said studies have been launched for the automation of Line 13.

‘The French railway industry has unique knowledge of fully-automated metros’, said Guillouard.

‘This automation of a century-old line is a further demonstration of the unique know-how of the RATP group and its partner Siemens Mobility in terms of automatic metro systems.

‘Other modernisation projects will be carried out with Siemens Mobility, in particular with the implementation of a new automatic control system on Line 14 and its extensions to Saint-Denis Pleyel and Orly Airport’, she added.