Daily life

Giant car wash for metros?

How do we wash metro trains? What methods do we use to reduce water consumption? Let’s visit the line M8 maintenance centre with Bruno Le Morvan, manager of the metro washing machines.

A metro train is washed by rollers, much like a car in a car wash… Here we are at the M8 maintenance centre, which is located after the Lourmel station (direction Créteil, and before arriving at Boucicaut). Every week, the 50 trains of line M8 are sent through the washing machine. “Once a month, we wash them manually, from top to bottom, including the interior,” explains Bruno Le Morvan, manager of the metro washing machines.

Key number

machine wash per week and 1 manual wash per month

Doesn’t all this consume too much water? As part of our sustainable development policy, we pay very close attention to the use of resources. As Nathalie Jarosz from the Innovation and Sustainable Development department explains, when it comes to water we are confronted with 3 main issues and challenges:

• controlling and reducing water consumption

• ensuring compliance with waste water regulations

• enhancing water resources through a circular water-saving process engaged by RATP.

We achieve this by notably using groundwater. The M8 washing centre has the advantage of being able to count, in addition to tap water, on groundwater, i.e. the water held underground in the pores and crevices of rock.

Key number

of wash water is sourced from groundwater and 0.75 m3, the amount of water needed to wash a train

We have also set up systems designed to reduce water consumption, notably by perfecting our equipment. We have set ourselves a goal: to reduce water consumption by 10% between 2013 and 2020, stresses Nathalie Jarosz. This process has already paid off, as Bruno Le Morvan points out:

“In 1995, we used about 1.5 cubic metres of water to wash a train 75 metres long. And today? We use exactly half that amount!”

machine à laver
Rénovation Maintenance Behind-the-scenes Operating System