Line 1 Automation - Improving service
One year old already...
With its 49 trains, line 1 from western to eastern Paris celebrated one year of fully automated operation on 22 December 2013. So far, around 4 million km has been travelled, equal to around 100 times around the world.
It has already been one year since line 1 became fully automated and has offered a more fluid and more regular service with predictable journey times. Travelling on the line is now a more comfortable experience and it is able to respond quickly in the event of a sudden influx of passengers.
Used by 750,000 people each day, as the structural line crossing Paris, line 1’s strategic route - with numerous connections and districts and employment centres served - made it very sensitive to fluctuations in demand, with recurrent overloading during peak hours. The incidents to which it was subject also made its services irregular. The solution decided upon and implemented by RATP was to automate the line without interrupting the service for passengers.
This shift towards a more modern approach already formed part of line 1’s DNA, once again marking its place in the history of urban transport by being the world’s first line on an ancient network to be modernised in this way by means of a fully automated system.
Following a ground-breaking launch at Bérault station in July 2007, the line has undergone a long period of works and trials across all 25 stations - an operation involving a number of projects executed in parallel.
The most visible of these projects concerned the station platforms.
At each station, it was necessary to reinforce, upgrade and prepare platforms ahead of the installation of sliding doors, with each platform subject to specific works. Between July 2007 and June 2010, the transformation of platforms at all stations on the line required 4,320 tonnes of concrete, equal to the volume of six Olympic swimming pools.
At the end of April 2011, the installation of 954 sliding doors came to an end, representing 5,320 metres of platform facades installed on the 54 platforms of line 1...
Roll-out of the SAET automated train operation system
The installation of the components of this system, which consolidates all of the equipment and automated systems allowing for management of the operation of new automatic trains, required months of tests, trials and checks, while major cabling and signalling works were carried out in the tunnel and service areas of the line. In total, 564 km of cables and optical fibres, 682 markers and 80 base radios and more than 1 million lines of code allowed for the SAET’s various control and command sub-systems to be brought into service between November 2009 and July 2011.
The new trains are manufactured and delivered at the rate of two cars per month, after being tested at the rail testing centre in Valenciennes. The first fully automated journey by a train on line 1 took place at night, without passengers, on 8 July 2010. It was not until 3 November 2011 that the first automatic train departed with passengers.
The trains are more user-friendly and also more comfortable thanks to new fittings.
Equipped with an engine that limits carbon dioxide emissions and a regenerative braking system, they help to protect the environment.
For just over a year, line 1 has operated in mixed mode, with a service combining conventional trains with drivers and automatic trains as MP 05s are brought into service. It successively reached a number of milestones, first of all with evening services starting at 9.00 pm as of April 2012, followed by weekend services, and a 100%-automatic services as of July.
The line became fully automatic at 8.11 pm on 22 December 2012.
New travel habits have been acquired since then. 91% of customers say that they are satisfied, 30% of whom are very satisfied. They like the speed of journeys, the regular service and short waiting time at stations. The new trains have also been very well received.
On board, contact can be made with operations supervisors remotely at any time thanks to the on-board interphones. Trained in new technologies, these supervisors are permanently responsible for ensuring the quality of your journey from the centralised control room. They are also present on the line, where they work on equipment and in service areas. Automation also means the bringing together of technologies.
A unique technical, organisational and social challenge in the world, automation has projected line 1 towards a future that involves the next 40 years.
Another challenge has now come to the fore, that of the automation of line 4.