ILE DE France transport authority STIF has approved in principle a €324m upgrading of the northern section of Paris RER Line B, and expects to give the formal go-ahead in September.

By upgrading the existing RFF long-distance tracks which parallel Line B Nord and building an additional track from Villeparisis to Mitry-Claye, the project would quadruple the route throughout, permitting enhanced services from 2009-10. RFF envisages using the same tracks to carry the CDG-Express airport shuttle (p219).

To simplify service patterns, the present mix of five different stopping and semi-fast services operating at 15min intervals would be replaced by two all-stations services. Running every 6min to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Mitry-Claye, these would give a 3min service to all stations west of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Bidirectional signalling would be installed on the Aulnay - Roissy branch to provide operating flexibility.

At the southern end of Line B, STIF has approved plans for a €68m reconstruction of Massy station as a multi-modal interchange.

  • French National Railways expects to announce in June or July the preferred bidder for a framework contract to supply a new generation of Transilien suburban trainsets. Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens are bidding to supply 330 single-deck EMUs at a cost of €3bn. Deliveries would start in the second quarter of 2008 and run at two to four sets per month for the next decade. The NAT (Nouveau Automotrice Transilien) sets are needed to replace 1960s-built stainless steel EMUs used on routes from Paris Est, Nord and St-Lazare.