FRANCE: Alstom has been selected as preferred bidder to supply up to 1 000 large-profile metro cars to operate three lines of the automated Grand Paris Express network, project promoter Société du Grand Paris announced on May 2.

As part of its 2010 mandate to deliver the infrastructure for Lines 15, 16 and 17, SGP is also responsible for procuring the trains to operate these lines in conjunction with transport authority Île de France Mobilités which is funding the acquisition. Following a competivice tender process, the two agencies will now begin final negotiations with Alstom, and hope to sign a formal contract in the summer. Île de France Mobilités will make the rolling stock available to the future operating concessionaires, which are to be selected through competitive tenders to be launched shortly.

The package covers the supply of up to 133 six-car trainsets for Line 15 and up to 50 three-car sets for lines 16 and 17. According to SGP, these will be the first steel-wheeled trains to be built for fully-automatic operation in France — the existing automated lines in the capital all use rubber-tyred stock. The automation and train control equipment is to be procured separately, along with the passenger information and communications systems which will be made available to the manufacturer for installation.

The 2 800 mm wide driverless trainsets will be 108 m or 54 m long, with capacity for 1 000 or 500 passengers respectively. Each vehicle will have three sets of doors per side for rapid boarding and alighting, and there will be wide gangways between vehicles. Trains and stations will be fully accessible for persons with reduced mobility. Two out of three vehicles in each train will be motored, taking power at 1·5 kV from an overhead line. Maximum speed will be 110 km/h, with SGP envisaging a commercial speed of around 60 km/h.

The package also includes the supply of three-car trainsets to be instrumented for infrastructure monitoring; SGP says these will be made available to the future infrastructure manager responsible for operating and maintaining the network.