Line 1 – a project for the future
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A major urban transport challenge: turning the oldest metro line in Paris into a fully automatic line without interrupting its traffic.
The automation operation is being conducted via several projects.
Platform edge doors
In order to limit the number of intruders on the tracks and provide metro users with a safe environment in which the platforms are isolated from the tracks, RATP has decided to install platform edge doors at each of the line’s 25 stations by early 2011. Doors will be installed at the edge of the platforms, which open and close in synch with the doors of the trains when they are at the station.
In order for this work to be carried out, all platform equipment must be removed. In some stations, the tiling on the walls and ceiling is being replaced. The project has thus provided the opportunity to renovate 11 of the line’s stations, including Bérault, Porte de Vincennes and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
|Bérault, the pilot station, is currently the only station on the line to have benefited from this new equipment. A further nine stations will receive a similar facelift by December 2010, namely Saint-Mandé, Porte de Vincennes, Reuilly Diderot, Saint-Paul, Châtelet, Georges V, Charles de Gaulle, Argentine and Les Sablons, where conversion work is underway but cannot be completed until the platform edge doors have been fully installed.|
In order for this new equipment to be installed, the platforms – not originally designed to hold such equipment – must be reinforced, and docking points, electromechanical equipment and the doors themselves must be installed.
The installation work is carried out at night, while the line is closed, over a very short period.
In order to improve access to the trains, it was essential to raise the level of the platforms. This is done by laying concrete slabs whose thickness may vary from 3cm to 15cm. The work takes a weekend, during which time the platforms are closed to the public (to allow time for the concrete to set). The platforms at all stations will have been raised by July 2010.
Each platform screen consists of 18 door modules. Each night, teams install two modules, which will be operational when service resumes the next day. During this period, it is important to be vigilant and not to lean over the tracks at stations where renovation work is in progress. It is also essential to observe the new rules to ensure that the platform edge doors system works as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
While the doors components are being unloaded, be it manually or by machine, the technicians prepare to install them on their support plate. The cables running under the platform edge coping are pulled to their outlet point on the platform, in the area where the technical unit - the motorised component which controls the movement of the sliding doors - is installed. Wires and cables of all colours have to be correctly connected. There is no room for error. The system has to work when service resumes. Otherwise, the doors will be out of action until the following night, because any work done on the tracks will require the power supply to be cut off.
Every night, there is a race against time to complete two functioning door modules at each station on the line. During this installation phase, the line is operating in the traditional fashion – with drivers – but the platform edge doors are also being used as and when they are installed.
|During this period, it is important to be vigilant and not to lean over the tracks at stations where renovation work is in progress. It is also essential to observe the new rules to ensure that the platform edge doors system works as smoothly and efficiently as possible, with a view to improving the regularity of service on the line.|
A video surveillance system is installed on the platforms of each station to monitor the operation of the platform edge doors.
Latest-generation rolling stock
The automation of the line means the use of special new trains. The line’s new fleet will consist of 49 six-car, rubber-tyred MP05 trains, manufactured by Alstom.
The first trains are already coming off the assembly lines.
|The new trains are being manufactured and assembled in Alstom’s plants in northern France. As soon as each train comes off the assembly line, it is delivered to the Railway Test Centre in Valenciennes, where commissioning tests are performed|
The new trains are tested at the specially equipped Valenciennes Railway Test Centre. This is where the majority of tests are performed, before additional tests are performed on line 1 at night to fine-tune the system with the automation system integrated in its real environment.
This 1.8 km test track reproduces most of the configurations found on line 1
The first two trains were transported by road from Valenciennes to the Fontenay workshops in May 2009 and February 2010 for assembly.
|The equipment currently in service on the line will not simply be discarded, however. Instead, it will be used on line 4, replacing the MP59, which will be retired from service after a long and distinguished career (the model has been in service since 1967). A new era thus begins for both line 4 and line 1!|
In order to minimise train downtime, a local troubleshooting centre has been set up by converting the loop at Porte Maillot, formerly the line’s terminal station. This centre can accommodate two trains at once, and will be used for routine maintenance operations on the rolling stock and onboard equipment.
New trains: a sneak preview…
The exterior design of the new trains is very similar to that of the trains used on line 14, another automated metro line. But the level of comfort inside is something else entirely.
- With no driver's cabin, passengers are treated to an impressive view down the tunnel.
- The trains are better soundproofed (-2dB) and are air-conditioned.
- The interior has been redesigned to allow easy movement within the carriages and improved accessibility for people with reduced mobility.
- Enhanced lighting complements the bright, warm colours of the interior.
- Audio and visual passenger information
- A video surveillance system to ensure passenger safety.
The new train is made with recyclable materials, its electric motor limits CO2 emissions, and its braking system reuses energy that would otherwise be wasted.
An accomplished layout, born out of close collaboration between designers and manufacturers.
Automation: the crux of the project
The operation of the new
automatic trains is managed via a series of devices and controls. The system
used is known as SAET: Système de gestion
Automatique de l'Exploitation des Trains [System for automatic management
of train operation]. The installation of a new centralised control room (PCC),
the renewal of the automatic control system (onboard and ground components) and
the complete modernisation of the signalling system are the key aspects of this
The first step was completed last May, with the entry into service of the new PCC for line 1, replacing the oldest in the metro, which had been in service since 1967 and had already been renovated twice.
|In November 2009 and February 2010, the old signal boxes at Porte Maillot and Château de Vincennes were computerised, replacing the traditional systems, dating back to 1957, which were used to operate signals to control the train routes, stabling and de-stabling. 700 communication beacons have been installed on the tracks.|
At the same time, the existing signalling system has been adapted to automated operation. The oldest equipment dated back to 1956.
The PCC will initially be used to manage a “combined operation” phase, during which the trains will gradually be introduced alongside the trains currently in circulation until all the old trains have been replaced in 2012. The new PCC will then be fully operational in its final form. It will control the movement of the shuttles and manage the boarding and alighting of passengers by controlling the opening and closing of the doors at stations according to the movement of the trains.
Audio communication will be maintained at all times between the PCC and the people concerned by it, the passengers and the operating personnel in the stations or on the trains.
Automation: a priority for customer relations
Human beings still have a place in the organisation of the newly automated line. The new line is similar to line 14 and, like that line, will help to improve perceived comfort and efficiency.
Staff working on the line will be redeployed to further improve customer perceptions, by making staff more available in stations and on trains. Staff members will also be present at each surveillance point in the new centralised control room, ready to intervene with answers and assistance whenever required.
The project is creating new, more skilled roles for staff. New technologies call for more highly qualified staff: thus, technological progress helps to foster personal professional development.
Many drivers, for example, have been offered the opportunity to work as first-line supervisors in the new organisational structure. Others will continue their careers as train drivers, moving to other lines to meet increased demand.
|The staff who worked on the line in the previous setup are familiar with the line and the particularities of its management. Working together within the new PCC, they will be able to put this knowledge to use, assisted by advanced technology, to bring you a high-quality service. They will be there every step of the way to help you with your journeys.|
The automation of line 1 – a project designed to offer you a quicker, more comfortable service in 2012